Cristiano Ronaldo is Real Madrid’s go-to man. When the team desperately need a goal he is the one who invariably steps up to the plate and delivers. The most recent edition of the Clasico serves as a fitting example. Ronaldo scored to give Madrid the lead against Barcelona and then sprung up again to score the equalizer as the game ended 2-2. One must then question why the Portuguese winger is repeatedly burdened with such responsibility when Los Blancos have within their ranks not one but two quality strikers in Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain.
Ronaldo to the rescue time and again..
Jose Mourinho is now into his third year as manager of Real Madrid but he is yet to pick his first choice striker to play in his 4-2-3-1 system. He has regularly rotated Benzema and Higuain with both strikers seemingly preferred over the other over certain periods of time. Mourinho’s indecision stems not only from the quality that both strikers have but perhaps from their shortcomings as well.
With the likes of Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil, Angel Di Maria, Luka Modric, Xabi Alonso and Kaka, Madrid have a plethora of creative talent in midfield to supply the lone striker with quality service. However, Benzema and Higuain have failed to take full advantage of the chances they have been afforded.
Mourinho has regularly rotated the duo
Both strikers have been wasteful on several occasions as Benzema’s misses over the weekend considerably bolsters that accusation. Last season, Benzema was the preferred choice up front. The Frenchman is a more dynamic striker than Higuain. He has a good turn of pace, quick feet, involves himself in the build-up play and has a good work rate as well. He is suited to the counter-attacking style of play which is why he is usually preferred to Higuain for encounters with Barcelona.
The Argentine on the other hand is a traditional goal poacher. He spends most of his time in the penalty box and his movement is devastating but he is unlikely to drop deeper to get himself more involved.
Perhaps Madrid need a striker who can give them the best of Higuain and Benzema. There are few strikers capable of keeping up with Ronaldo in the goal scoring department and thereby reducing the burden on his shoulders. Radamel Falcao has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid in January and his goal scoring record suggests that he is just the kind of striker the Santiago Bernabeu craves. The Colombian juggernaut is one of the most complete strikers in world football and if he does have a weakness, it hasn’t been exposed yet.
Falcao's father Garcia has claimed that his son always wanted to play for Los Blancos. "His dream is to one day play for Real Madrid, always since childhood he wanted to play there", said the 26-year old's father.
Is Falcao exactly the kind of striker Real Madrid desire?
Edinson Cavani is another striker who could be considered. The Uruguayan has scored 7 goals in 9 games for Napoli this season while his exploits in the last couple of seasons is well documented and establishes him as a striker who is more than capable of bagging 35 goals a season. He would certainly excel at Madrid and that goal tally per season could rise significantly.
|Player||Matches||Goals||Mins Played||Mins per Goal|
Statistics for 2012-13 season so far
Benzema and Higuain are both quality strikers and have been performing at a good standard for Real Madrid having scored 142 goals from 273 appearances between them since the Frenchman's arrival in Spain's capital. However, a glamourous club like Madrid demands the presence of a phenomenal striker who can stake his claim to be counted among the legends of the club and neither Benzema nor Higuain is such a striker.
How do you stay up with football when on the move? With http://m.goal.com –your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.