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Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo ranked among Europe’s worst finishers – but he’s above Lionel Messi



It hasn’t been a great start to 2022 for Cristiano Ronaldo, with the Manchester United star enduring a torrid spell in front of goal.

The Portuguese ace has scored just once in 10 appearances since the turn of the year. His form for United has led to criticism from supporters and pundits alike, while the Manchester Evening News understands Ralf Rangnick’s patience is wearing thin with the 37-year-old.

Ronaldo is adamant he can continue for another “four or five years” before he considers retirement. Others are not so convinced, and having looked like a broken man after the goalless draw with Watford on Saturday, it’s easy to see why.

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Unfortunately for Ronaldo, his stats for the season don’t make for pretty reading. In fact, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has been ranked among the 10 worst finishers in Europe’s big leagues.

Planet Football have gathered the expected goal (xG) stats from FBref for the continent’s big five leagues (Premier League, Ligue 1, La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A), and compared them to the goal tallies actually recorded by players. The results throw up a few surprising names.

Among them is Ronaldo, who won’t take any pleasure in seeing his name on the list. The United star has nine league goals this season, but has an xG of 12.5, which sees him ranked behind Brighton’s Neal Maupay when it comes to non-penalty goals per 90 minutes.

The xG figures can be taken with a pinch of salt due to the varying reasons why a player might not have converted a chance. Whether it’s a defender making a last-ditch tackle or a goalkeeper making an unbelievable save, there are a number of factors involved.

But Ronaldo’s appearance on the list will not do the Portuguese superstar’s attempts to silence his critics any favours as his place in the United side continues to be questioned. The stats could also be a big factor behind Rangnick’s frustrations this season.

There is one slight silver lining for Ronaldo. His great rival Lionel Messi fares even worse than him amid his disappointing season at Paris Saint-Germain, having scored just two league goals since making the move to France compared to his xG of 6.6.

There are plenty of other big names to keep Ronaldo and Messi company on the list. Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus ranks ninth with just two league goals compared to his xG of 5.3, while Tottenham’s Harry Kane sits in eighth with eight goals from an xG of 11.3.

The 10 worst finishers in Europe this season

1. Burak Yilmaz – 9.3xG, 4 goals scored

2. Terem Moffi – 8.3xG, 3 goals scored

3. Lionel Messi – 6.6xG, 2 goals scored

4. Tammy Abraham – 15.7xG, 12 goals scored

5. Cristiano Ronaldo – 12.5xG, 9 goals scored

6. Karim Onisiwo– 6.4xG, 3 goals scored

7. Bryan Mbeumo – 6.3xG, 3 goals scored

8. Harry Kane – 11.3xG, 8 goals scored

9. Gabriel Jesus – 5.3xG, 2 goals scored

10. Lorenzo Insigne – 10.3xG, 7 goals scored

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