Real Madrid have yet another manager, and it seems that it is all change once again at the Santiago Bernabeu, with rumours persisting that the plan is to play Cristiano Ronaldo as a central striker and use Gareth Bale as the main winger, with Karim Benzema seemingly surplus to requirements causing much debate.
While the fact that Ronaldo is a goalscorer cannot be questioned, the fact of the matter is that the former Manchester United player does not like being deployed as the central striker is well publicised, and something that could well come back to haunt Real Madrid and Benitez.
However, just because Ronaldo does not like to play in a certain role does not mean he cannot play there, and judging from a breakdown of last season, it is a role that he could well excel in, and certainly one that Benitez has a right to ask him to play in…
Ronaldo scored 61 goals last season, but only five of them came from outside the box, which speaks volumes. He is a goal pocher, he can head the ball as well as anyone, he is a natural finisher. If you asked Real Madrid fans who they would rather have the ball fall to at their feet in the six yard box, Ronaldo or Benzema, it would be Ronaldo all day long.
Ronny only needs one touch. Of his 61 goals last season, 38 of those only needed a single touch before they found the back of the net, showing just how clinical he actually is. Playing him as a number nine is not out of the question, and while the number seven might not relish the role, he is certainly lethal enough to play there.
His head may as well have a crown on it, because a massive 17 goals out of the 61 he scored last season were headers, and it is hard to think of anyone who is actually better in the air or can pack a more powerful and well directed punch when the ball falls to them during a set play or in the box. Ronaldo may be brilliant with the ball at his feet, but people tend to forget just how big he actually is, and how commanding his physical presence is.
Eden Hazard and Mario Balotelli eat your heart out. From the spot, Ronaldo has an 81% conversion record, scoring 13 out of the 16 penalties he took last term. Pretty impressive and something that even Lionel Messi’s biggest fans would say is something the Portuguese man can boast over the player who has stepped it up yet another level in 2015.
Ronaldo isn’t just a player who scores at the Bernabeu. In fact, he has shown time and time again that he can be relied upon on the road, with goals coming at the Camp Nou, or Camp Calma as he likes to call it, on more than one occasion. Last season, 31 goals of the goals scored by the forward were at home, but a massive 30 of them came away from the Bernabeu, a stat that the other Real Madrid forwards can only dream of.
Should Rafa actually decide to sell Benzema and play Ronaldo as his central striker, it may well damage the relationship between the player and the coach further, not to mention push Ronaldo closer to a Manchester United return, but anyone who doubts the forward would be prolific in the role is a fool. Ronaldo’s long term future is in question, no matter how Real Madrid want to dress it up, but on the field, he wants to win, wants to be the best and will give his all no matter what. t,