Former manager Fabio Capello was cited as saying two years ago: “The truth is that Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t dribbled [past] an opponent in three years.”
Clearly, Capello, like many others, believed Ronaldo had evolved into a “moment player,” foregoing dribbling in favor of becoming a pure, unadulterated finisher.
Ronaldo has even stated that he no longer wants to dribble on the field, but Friday night, the recently-turned 36-year-old proved he’s still more than capable.
Juventus drew 0-0 with Inter in the second leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final, with a 2-1 victory in the first leg enough to send them to the final, where they will face Atalanta or Napoli.
And Ronaldo’s rinsing of two Nerazzurri defenders was one of the game’s highlights. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was fed on the left wing and used his characteristic step-overs to get past defenders.
Ronaldo found an opportunity and pushed Samir Handanovic into a brilliant stop, displaying impressive balance and agility.
There’s no disputing that Ronaldo’s dribbling was at its best and most entertaining during his glittering period at Manchester United, but his ability to outwit an opponent has clearly not vanished.
Ronaldo, who has 300 career goals since turning 30, has been endorsed by Giovanni Mauri, a fitness coach who saw the Portugal sensation’s intrinsic discipline and work ethic at Real Madrid, to play into his 40s.
“When he [Ronaldo] arrived in Italy, I said he is a player out of the usual,” Mauri told Tuttosport. He’s settled in and continues to score.
“He is following the method we recommended to him in Madrid, in which recuperation is an important element of the training.”
“Rest does not always imply sleeping. It is not inactive, but it is composed of specialized activities aimed at achieving musculoskeletal, mental, and articular wellbeing.
“From [Paolo] Maldini to [Alessandro] Costacurta, I’ve worked with many footballers in their forties.”
“When I was at PSG, I was convinced Ibrahimovic would have played until he was 40.” Despite their strength, they are all athletes with exceptional flexibility.
“Despite weighing nearly 100 kg, Ibra possesses the movement of a dancer.” Cristiano Ronaldo falls within this category and can play till the age of 40.”
“Ronaldo can’t dribble” pic.twitter.com/0fJQPjPfjB
— zz 🏎️ (@izzulftbl) February 10, 2021