Soccer Power Rankings: Ronaldo struggling at Juventus; Bayern Munich first, while Messi and Barcelona rise
The reigning German champs are still No. 1, while there are two South American newcomers on the list
Due to his dominance in every single competition, we all expected Cristiano Ronaldo to hit the ground running at Juventus, but through three Serie A matches, that hasn't happened. Ronaldo is left with no goals and just frustration. As Goal.com points out, his 23 attempts on target without scoring is the worst tally in Europe's big-five leagues this season.
So what's going on? Let's dive right in.
Why the slow start for Ronaldo?
Despite how fit and talented he is, the level of defense played in Serie A does not compare to La Liga or the Premier League. The defensive focus that Serie A is historically known for was always going to play a role in him adapting to the style.
We are maybe wrong to think he will go all Brazilian Ronaldo and score like mad man in Italy in his first season. O Fenômeno had 34 goals his first season for Inter Milan in 1997 after arriving from Barcelona. Now, there's still a chance Ronaldo can do something similar, but he's got to start putting these chances away.
But that won't change in a day. Juventus is used to playing a style of attack filled with crosses, which suits Ronaldo, but also trying to find the feet of their previous forward, Gonzalo Higuain. Ronaldo is more mobile and likes to float to the side, so it's pretty much like the team is playing without a true striker, despite Ronaldo playing more like one as his career goes on.
Ronaldo looks pretty happy at Juve, even during Matchday 2 when he missed a chance that was finished by Mario Mandzukic. He showed a bit of frustration but then a smile. According to his coach Massimiliano Allegri -- he has been upset. Allegri said in a press conference that he was angry for not winning UEFA Player of the Year, which went to his former Real Madrid teammate Luka Modric.
But that could be a good thing.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a more dedicated athlete in any sport than Ronaldo. He strives for perfection and doesn't accept anything short of it. Taking things hard and only wanting to improve is a key component to his success.
"So he was very upset, but this shows that he continues to work, " Allegri said after the match. "And he wants to continue to be the best for us, and that is an advantage."
It will take time, but it will come
Patience, Juventus fans. The team is getting results, which is more important than individual accolades. Paulo Dybala may not be playing much and Ronaldo isn't scoring, but both of those things should change sooner rather than later as they increase their chemistry.
And when that happens, watch out. This team can win every competition it plays in, especially if Ronaldo finishes like he is capable of.
But where does that leave Juve in our World Club Soccer Power Rankings for this week? Have a look:
World Club Soccer Power Rankings
Previous rankings:| | |
Bayern Munich (GER)
|A 3-0 win over Stuttgart to continue its fine start to the season. Feels like this team really won't be tested until the Champions League arrives in the middle of the month.|
|When you win by six goals and actually score eight, you've got to move up. Lionel Messi had two, Ousmane Dembele got another and the Catalan club is looking sharper each week.|
|The Reds remained perfect in the Premier League and even survived a goalkeeping error. Much improved at the back and a threat to win it all.|
|Yeah, they beat Parma, but we are still all awaiting Ronaldo to make an impact. Bicycle kick at the Mestalla in the Champions League this month, no doubt.|
Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)
|Picked up goals from their three stars up top in a victory over Nimes, but Kylian Mbappe showed his immaturity with a silly red card. At least their next opponent will have a 0.0001% better chance at beating them.|
Real Madrid (ESP)
|Who needs Ronaldo? Los Blancos are looking sharp but some tough tests coming soon. Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale are doing their jobs.|
Manchester City (ENG)
|A tough 2-1 victory against Newcastle, and those close games are good every now and then as Pep Guardiola pursues perfection. Co-favorites in the league with Liverpool, but the edge still has to go to the reigning champs.|
|Could the Blues emerge as another true Premier League title contender? Four wins from four and doing it without a really good striker. Impressive.|
Tottenham Hotspur (ENG)
|Sent back down to earth after cruising Manchester United by losing at Watford. Still a really strong start for this team, but they know they wasted chances.|
Atletico Madrid (ESP)
|Sloppy and unfortunate 2-0 loss at Celta Vigo. Uncharacteristic of this team. Watch them now reel off five straight clean sheets.|
|Don't look know, but Watford is joint-top of the table with Liverpool and Chelsea. Wild stuff. The next Leicester City? Nah.|
Borussia Dortmund (GER)
|Decent point at Hannover without Christian Pulisic. Some very winnable games coming up that could help them stay within striking distance of Bayern.|
Inter Milan (ITA)
|Inter got their first league win of the season and finally looked sharp doing so. But somebody other than Ivan Perisic has to step up in attack.|
|No comeback this week as they were humbly defeated 3-0 at Sampdoria. They had to slide as a result.|
Manchester United (ENG)
|A 2-0 win at Burnley, which just proves that Jose Mourinho is the greatest coach of all time. Respect, man.|
|The Gunners won a tough one at Cardiff City and now have some momentum, but if Unai Emery doesn't start Lucas Torreira, I'm banning them from these rankings.|
|Five goals conceded in their last two matches and starting to show some weak spots. Really missing Alisson in goal.|
Boca Juniors (ARG)
|A bounce-back week for the Argentine giants, advancing in the Copa Libertadores and beating Velez 3-0 at home on Sunday. Getting Dario Benedetto back from injury is a huge boost.|
Cruz Azul (MEX)
|Crushed Veracruz 4-1 and are four points clear atop Liga MX. Still undefeated with three goals conceded in eight matches.|
|A great week. Through to the Copa Libertadores quarterfinals after a stunning penalty-kick victory over Estudiantes, and then destroyed Botafogo 4-0 on Saturday. Santos, Internacional are next.|
Sao Paulo (BRA)
|Nice draw against Fluminense considering Diego Souza's red card, though the own goal stung. Still atop the table in Brazil.|
|Los Che need to get healthy and soon. A 2-2 draw at Levante could have been three points, but Ezequiel Garay and Geoffrey Kondogbia are the heart and soul of this team and should be fine after international break.|
|Fine draw at Cruzeiro, and that defense keeps on destroying. Seven straight clean sheets.|
Colo Colo (CHI)
|They are through to the Copa Libertadores quarterfinals after eliminating Corinthians. This is the only team left not from Argentina or Brazil.|
|Tough 3-0 loss at River Plate to drop out of the Libertadores, but this team's form in league has been impressive. In first place with 10 points and beat second-place Rosario Central 2-0 on Sunday.|
Biggest movers: Watford (+5) and Roma (-4)
Teams knocked out of the top 25 this week: Bournemouth (ENG), Borussia M'gladbach (GER)
Honorable mentions: Kasimpasa (TUR), Marseille (FRA), Atlanta United (USA), Univ. Catolica (CHI), Hearts (SCO)
Valencia scored twice in the first half
Bayern was the stronger team and it showed for much of the match
Barcelona is seeking its fifth consecutive Spanish cup title on Saturday in Seville
The title is on the line on Saturday
This doesn't happen every day, but it's valid
Leon enters with a disadvantage and 90 minutes to answer