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STATS: Ronaldo vs Valencia

valencia ronaldoBefore we get in to this, the comparison between Cristiano Ronaldo and Antonio Valencia isn’t supposed to prove who is the better player. Ronaldo was bought for £80m the same summer Valencia was bought for £16m, it’s all to obvious who the better player is.

However, it is interesting to see how Valencia is getting on at filling Ronaldo’s boots, a task the media said would be impossible. Given that he had a scoring record of just 7 goals in 89 games at Wigan, it seemed beyond comprehension that he would be able to leave any mark on what Ronaldo had achieved with the club (just as it was unimaginable that United could challenge for the title without CR9).

In Cristiano Ronaldo’s first 26 games last season, he scored 10 goals.
Goals in the league:
2 against Stoke – 12th
2 against Hull – 17th
2 against West Ham – 9th
1 against West Brom – 20th
1 against Bolton – 13th (penalty)
Average position: 14th

Assists in the league: 2

Goals in the League Cup:
1 against Boro – 19th
1 against Derby – 18th in the Championship

In Antonio Valencia’s first 26 games, he’s scored 7 goals.
Goals in the league:
1 against Bolton – 18th
1 against Everton – 11th
1 against West Ham – 17th
1 against Wolves – 16th
1 against Wigan – 15th
Average position: 15th

Assists in the league: 5

Goals in the Champions League:
2 against CSKA Moscow

When you consider that Ronaldo had much more freedom in where he played, straying centrally for much of the season, Valencia hasn’t done too badly at all. You have to remember that this is his first season at the club after making a big step up from Wigan, and that he strictly plays on the right.

There are areas of his game that he can improve but he’s younger than Ronaldo and joined the Premier League three years later. So far, so good.

To get some perspective… Frank Lampard has scored 1 more league goal than Valencia this season, but 5 of his 6 goals have been penalties. Steven Gerrard has scored as many leage goals as Valencia this season, but 2 of his 5 have been penalties. Benayoun, Anelka and Kevin Doyle have scored as many goals as Valencia. Milner, Ashley Young, Lennon, Wright-Phillips, Duff, Deco, Steven Ireland and Ballack have all scored 2 goals or more less than Valencia.

Pretty good for a player that was written off at the start of the season.

“Most of the media looked at us losing Ronaldo and viewed it as being crucial and that we wouldn’t be nearly as good but there is only one point difference from last season,” Ferguson said before our 5-0 win over Wigan. “Cristiano was an unbelievable player. It was inevitable at some point he was going to leave. We have adjusted to it. Antonio has done well and his development has been good. The good thing about him is that he is as tough as boots and has great stamina and speed. He’s a quiet and shy boy and I don’t think with his personality he would be interested in trying to outmatch Cristiano. He has been unaffected by the position he is playing in. He enjoys that position. He can play other positions but we have not tested that yet. I know he can play centre midfield because I watched him play there and we know he can play through the middle and I have also seen that. But we think he is important to us the way we play. We like to have width in the team and he is doing that very well.”


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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129 Comments

  1. rooney the new king says:

    Costas – well on wiki valencia is on 8 that is more than ashley young and yes people will be in shock valencia has more goals than steven gerrard, that means stevie me is a declining force in terms of scoring 20 goals a season.

    ashley young 6 goals
    steven gerrard 5 goals
    antonia valencia 8 goals

  2. rdurango123 says:

    My only contribution to the Valencia-Ronaldo debate is a non-stat—Man of the Match: skysports and telegraph gave it to Valencia, Manutd gave it to Rooney, and the premierleague gave it to Fabio. This has happened consistently throughout the season. Did that happen last season?
    Valencia is my favorite player. It is, however, premature to compare him to Ronaldo. There might never actually be a comparison among the two, but I do think the team is more solid as a whole.

  3. trevor says:

    Lads,

    Im back from my Christmas Hols with the folks.

    What we all have to remember is that Ronaldo was something special, By fat the most Amazing Tallented Footballer i have ever watched play for united live!

    It is extremly unfair to compare Valencia with Ronaldo, Not because of Tallent but because of the formation and the tactics last year.

    Last year the team was set around ronaldo, The tactics where to provide him with Chances and it certainly did that.

    For me Valencia with grow and grow, dont think he ever will be at ronaldos level but he will be incredible for us!

    Unless a team has Ronaldo or Messi it is more of a team game. Valencia has all qualities to provide us with Goals, Assists & Defensive cover for a good few years!

    For me a very very good buy!

  4. Costas says:

    @rooney the new king :

    8 goals? I am cnfused now, lol. Maybe they are counting the one he scored in the friendly?

  5. rdurango123 says:

    *My mistake. They gave it to Rafael, not Fabio. I still get them confused :-) .
    Happy new year all

  6. willierednut says:

    RTNK – MANUTD CHAMPIONS08.

  7. King Eric says:

    willierednut – Yes mate

  8. willierednut says:

    Thought so king eric.

  9. theboogeyman says:

    willierednut- Hey, you got it!

  10. manchuchu says:

    Things change. Ronnie will find hamburgers and VD at some point and won’t be up there forever. We have to remember that Real Madrid is the place where most promising careers go to die. Benzema is feeling that right now.

    I like our shy little Michael Jackson winger. He’s tough, unassuming and I’m sure when he comes into his own self-confidence very much like how Patrice Evra has, you mark my words, Real will come running to us with more bags of their filthy drug money.

  11. Lexxy says:

    Jst dont kill him off with d ronaldo comparison, bcos in as much as valencia wil b a great player like becks, kanchelskis he wont match what ronaldo, Only Wazza can do jst dat if he is consistent(ROO For world player). Then 20 goals frm berba is not a reality. We must accept dat he is a huge flop and it sucks 2 see him play 4 man utd 6 goals is a poor return 4 a 30mil striker. He jst scored jst 20 competitive goals in one and half season. Dat is too poor 4 someone playin 4 united as a striker. Wish he goes in the summer not mindin d amount.

  12. Hugo says:

    Ronaldo wanted to leave. His performances were too often laclustre (people kept talking about his body language all the time, remember?). Comparing Ronaldo with Valencia by his final year at Utd may not be the best. How about this: compare them now. They are the same age, they both had to adapt to a new club and city (in Ronaldo’s case, a new Country and La Liga’s football), how do they stand against each other?
    Also, a game against Wigan at Old Trafford might not be the best benchmark, outstanding a performance by Valencia as it was.

  13. Grande says:

    Valencia needs experience in big games then he shall be a true great for us. Encouraging run thus far.

  14. rooney the new king says:

    King Eric – I got to ask who is this username u go on about just asking

  15. rooney the new king says:

    willierednut – and I am offended you are assuming I am someone you and many hated

  16. willierednut says:

    Its you admit it.

  17. rooney the new king says:

    willierednut – admit what dont accuse me of someone I am not got it. and to say I am a united basher is pethetic

  18. rooney the new king says:

    willierednut – and I think you need to owe me an apology for even thinking I am a united basher

  19. willierednut says:

    Where did i say you’re a united basher.

  20. rooney the new king says:

    willierednut – well over the past phew weeks this username was nicknamed a united basher, this is the only username I have used rooney the new king no other name. I have only have been commenting on this site for a month.

  21. willierednut says:

    Is the enemy of my enemy my friend, or my enemy? answers on a postcard please.

  22. King Eric says:

    rooney the new king – Alright. I may well be wrong and if I am I apologise but your spelling , choice of words and comments are very similar to someone who used to parade on here as Michael, manunitedchampions2008 and theres only one keano. He used to dislike Berba and Park as well. As I say I may be wrong. For what it is worth you make some good comments.

  23. King Eric says:

    By the way that was not a dig at your spelling. But both you and the other person we are talking about spelt the word “few” as “phew”. A bit of a giveaway.

  24. King Eric says:

    *spelled*

  25. rooney the new king says:

    King Eric – I will say this my spelling is not great it is actually shocking gramma I will not deny that so when I do comment my spelling will be really bad.

    and second (what I said about berbatov when I saw him at spurs he looked amazing player I thought hey we have a quality player). I have just been dissapointed in him at united, and on park I like him a hard worker he may not be a great player but a good squad player.

    all I will say is I dont know who this username is because it is not me because I have only been commenting on the site for nearly a month. remember I called united 07/08 squad an overated side.

  26. rooney the new king says:

    King Eric – I hope this whole dumb debate has been cleared up, like I said my spelling will be really bad when I comment

  27. King Eric says:

    rooney the new king – Of course it is cleared up mate. Apologies.

  28. rooney the new king says:

    King Eric – glad that was and just to make sure when I do comment it will be all over the place, the spelling will be bad it just annoyed me some think I am a united basher when I have not even said anything bad about the club.

    - well the glazers and some players I have been a critic of, but when I think about it back when we lost to fulham 3 0 I was way ott sorry about that but no defence and out of form attack result disaster.

  29. giggs11gerrard0 says:

    @King Eric – I am with you on Robbo but for me I would have to say Keano, I guess because I was only young watching Robbo but at 29 I saw Keano properly at games through it all. I just wish he would left on a better note, the fans deserved better!

    Reading Darren Flecther in United we Stand was a great article on how we watched Keano prepare for a game! He was a clear leader in a time when we had plenty of world class talent yet the young Irish lad bought from Forest was without question our leader.

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