"Cristiano knows he can't go past five and score a screamer anymore"

Ex-Barça fullback Gaizka Mendieta has suggested that Cristiano Ronaldo's ability to score spectacular goals are behind him as he previewed this Saturday's Madrid derby.

"Cristiano knows he can't go past five and score a screamer anymore"

Ex-Barcelona and Valencia defender Gaizka Mendieta has suggested that Cristiano Ronaldo’s days of scoring spectacular goals from outside the area are over and that the Real Madrid star needs to focus more on how to put himself to best use in the box.

No more "goals of the game" for Ronnie 

“Cristiano is showing that he understands that he can no longer collect the ball in the centre of the pitch, take it past five players and score the goal of the game,” said Mendieta on Wednesday at a promotional event. “He knows that where the team needs him most is in the area.”

Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after failing to score on a penalty kick during the WC 2018 qualifying football match Portugal vs Latvia

Isco and James 

The former fullback also addressed the ongoing debate over Isco and James’ prominence in the Real Madrid team. “The fact that [Isco] played and scored in the friendly against England could help him for the derby [versus Atletico this Saturday]. Now one of the two will have to help to find the balance that the team’s lost without Kroos and Casemiro.”

Simeone praise 

Speaking on stage at the event, Mendieta also heaped praise on Atletico Madrid coach, Diego Simeone for “changing the mentality of the club and the fans.”

“He’s done so much that now people don’t think of Real Madrid as favourites. Atletico have shown they can beat Real Madrid at the Vicente Calderón as well as in the Bernabéu.”