Cristiano Ronaldo has been a revolution in the world of football. He has been a nightmare for the defenders for quite some time now. Although, this season saw some dip in his form, he is clearly one of the best players in the world.
He started off his career as a fast winger. Now, as he is getting older, he is transforming himself into an out and out striker. He now, concentrates more on putting the ball in the net rather than outpacing the defenders. Although, he has got such wonderful stats, there are some defenders who have managed to keep him quiet.
Here are the 5 defenders who have managed to get better of Ronaldo:-
#1 Sergio Ramos:-
Ramos is the team-mate of Ronaldo at Real Madrid. There are certain benefits that a player enjoys playing against his team-mate. As players play with each other, they get to know the playing style and ability of their team-mates.
When Portugal met Spain in the semi-final of the Euro 2012, it was Ramos who dictated the terms on Ronaldo. Both the teams didn’t want to concede and were focusing on defence. Ronaldo was the player who could have broken the deadlock, but Ramos didn’t allow Ronaldo to get away and make an impact in the match. Main reason of Spain winning the semi-final against Portugal was, Ramos not giving any space to Ronaldo and neutralized him in the whole match.
#2 Eric Abidal:-
Abidal had a successful career with Barcelona. It was the first time when Mourinho met Guardiola in the La Liga. Pep had a strong team that had won everything in their path. It was a away match for the Galacticos and Real Madrid were chasing Barcelona on the points table.
Ronaldo was the man for Madrid who could have won the game for them, but it was Abidal who won the battle. Abidal didn’t give Ronaldo any time or space to work angle. Abidal knew that Ronaldo would be very dangerous, if got past him in the wing. He made sure that Ronaldo doesn’t get past him and successfully curtailed him.
#3 Alessandro Nesta:-
Nesta is one the greatest defenders to have never grace the game. He met Ronaldo in the European game against Manchester United. Manchester United had a formidable side which rarely experienced defeat. It was one of those rare occasions, when United got defeated by AC Milan.
Nesta kept the Portuguese winger in his pocket and didn’t allow him to do any sorts of trickery. He completely outclassed Ronaldo, who tried his best to get past the brilliant defender. Nesta’s impeccable skills of reading the game and co-ordination with this partners didn’t allow Ronaldo to even manage a shot on goal.
#4 Ashley Cole:-
Ashley Cole and Ronaldo met quite a few times in the Premier League. During Cole’s Arsenal days and Ronaldo’s United days, both met each other in a Premier League game. Ronaldo was on top of his game and Cole was not able to stop him. It was a nightmare for Cole as Ronaldo outclassed him, every time he tried to tackle Ronaldo.
However, Cole did get back to Ronaldo in the later years, when he signed for Chelsea. In England’s match against Portugal, Cole did manage to get better of Ronaldo. He man-marked him in the entire game and never gave him an inch of space. Ronaldo has said on record that Cole is one of the best defenders he has played against. He said, “Over the years I had some great battles with Ashley Cole, he does not give you a second to breathe. He was such a tenacious player when he was at his peak, quick, tough in the tackle. You knew it would never be an easy game.”
#5 Diego Godin:-
Diego Godin is the backbone of the Atletico’s defence. He is the main reason of the Atletico’s defensive prowess. He has received appreciations from people all around the globe for his performances.
In 2015, at a home game for the Rojeblancos, Godin effectively neutralized Ronaldo. He man-marked Ronaldo and forced him out of the game. Ronaldo had no impact on the game and neither did any of the Madrid’s forwards. The Galacticos just had 4 shots with only 1 shot on target. This goes to show the effectiveness of Godin against Ronaldo. However, Ronaldo did get back at him by scoring a hat-trick in this season.