Athletic Bilbao boss Ernesto Valverde has hailed Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and dismissed the notion the forward is on the decline.
Bilbao visit the 10-time Champions League winners this weekend and the boss says they will need to be at their very best to get anything out of the game. And he told reporters that 31-year-old Ronaldo is capable of scoring three or four goals in every game.
Some pundits and fans have suggested Ronaldo’s best days are past him and point to the fact he has scored in just two of his last six games as evidence he is on the decline. The striker has netted 30 goals in 31 games for club and country this season.
Valverde stated: “Cristiano’s decline? What is there to say? We play him, and you try not to mention anything so you don’t make him angry. He could score three or four goals in every game. It’s normal the season has low points, he’s always hungry to score…I don’t see many ups and downs. Those who are closer can have another opinion but when we face him there’s always danger in every play.”
The Bilbao manager also spoke about the change in manager at the Santiago Bernabeu, saying that no matter who is in charge, Madrid always have a strong team that can score at will.
“I don’t see big differences between one coach and another, not this soon. I just see Madrid. Over time you’ll see a little of each coach, because they’ve made changes. Their effectiveness at home is very important. They’ve scored 45 goals in their ground, an average of almost four per game, so we have to be very attentive,” he commented.