Ronaldo and Nadal are two of the greatest sports stars the world has ever known. Cristiano Ronaldo is the mercurial Portuguese winger with lightning quick feet, amazing power and the ability to conjure something out of nothing. Rafael Nadal on the other hand has dominated the clay courts for the best part of a decade, polverising his opponents with his top spin forehand and incessant retrieval game.
2015 has been a year to forget for both these global superstars. Rafael Nadal has lost his mojo and is no longer as invincible as he once appear during his heyday. The confidence has seeped from the Majorcan’s pores and the once reliable forehand has deserted Rafa. His tournament record this year has not been as expected, early round losses in tournaments in which he has one time and time again. In the summer following numerous head scratching losses the future did not look bright forRafa.
Cristiano Ronaldo the three time player of the year Ballon D’or winner is also suffering a crisis of confidence and form as he looks to figure out his role in Real Madrid manager Rafa Benitez tactics. Ronaldo has been forced to give up his favoured wide left position to accommodate Real Madrid President’ favourite player Welshman Gareth Bale. He now plays in a number 9 role and is struggling to create space for himself or have the impact in games that he once had.
Both players rely on their physicality and speed to execute their best game. Nadal relies on his forehand power to play his best tennis. Ronaldo relies on speed, skill and size to muscle past defenders and create opportunities for his team. Ronaldo will be 31 on his next birthday in 2016 and Rafa will hit 29. Their physical powers are on the wain and so too are each’ influence on their chosen sport. Age will inevitably cause a further deterioration in their abilities and over time they will begin to have less effect in their sport.
As time goes by both must become more saavy and in the absence of their physicality learn to perform smartly. Garner all the experience and knowhow gained over the years to further their own influence on the game .
Lionel Messi has frequently been labelled the bets player in the world, even more than Cristiano Ronaldo. Messi is a diminutive number 9 relying much more on his skill to create opportunities than his counterpart Ronaldo. Although younger than Ronaldo Messi has the capability to continue being the best player in the world. He has less miles on the clock than Ronaldo and even half fit can change the game with the flick of his hips. Messi is the ultimate team player, he also has the ability to create in any situation which is why he is so dangerous.
Roger Federer is proof that with good scheduling and smart training that top players can extend their careers. Entering into his 35 year, Federer is currently ranked number 3 in the world and has adapted his game to finish points earlier rather than waste energy rallying from the baseline against an opponent. Federer has realised to stay fresh in the game he must conserve as much energy as possible. If anything Roger is playing better than ever. Ronaldo and Rafa can both learn a lot from Federer especially if they wish to extend their stay at the top of their games.
Nadal has shown the ability to adapt and change in the past 6 months as he has rediscovered his level and begun to string some results together. If Ronaldo wants a big money payday to finish his career he needs to put together the kind of performances of a few years ago when he scored for fun.