Bale and Ronaldo: A Devastating Partnership?
It finally seems that Gareth Bale’s expected move to Real Madrid may finally become a reality in the coming days. Some Manchester United fans hope that this may signal the return of Cristiano Ronaldo to the red side of Manchester. However, it seems that Real are adamant that they will pair Ronaldo with the incoming Bale to possibly create one of the most devastating partnerships in world football. The move comes in direct competition with the dynamic pairing of Lionel Messi and Neymar at fierce rivals Barcelona. Madrid look to be paying over the odds for the Welshman, but will their gamble pay off?
Gareth Bale has undoubtedly modeled his style of play on Cristiano Ronaldo. From his free kick style to the way he leaves the dressing room, Bale has said himself that he looks up to Ronaldo and respects his style. Bale started life as a left back at Southampton and moved to Spurs to fill that role. However, it was not for another two-thee seasons and the influence of Harry Redknapp that turned the Welshman into a flying winger. After a successful season and performances that saw him named PFA players player of the year, Bale was moved into a free role last term that saw him flourish. 31 goals in all competitions last season saw the transformation complete, with much of his style based on the template of Ronaldo.
Ronaldo is well known for his ego, and will not be happy to now have the new most expensive player in history in his team. At this stage, Ronaldo is at the centre of everything that Real do. 201 goals in 200 games proves this. Ronaldo regularly operates from the left but has been known to have a free role. Bale will surely take over the role currently held by the Argentinian Angel Di Maria, with Isco playing in the middle of the two. Bale, in a similar fashion to Ronaldo will play wide and cut in on his favoured left foot with shots across the face of goal. When Nani signed for Manchester united, many made the joke that United had cloned Ronaldo for the left wing. However, the more you look at their styles of play, the same statement is genuinely viable with the purchase of Bale. Bale has played on the right or some time for the Wlsh national team, and Andre Villas Boas had clearly planned to play with inverted wingers this season.
In the future, Ronaldo may well choose to return to Manchester and Bale will have to try and fill the large shoes left by him. For now, Ronaldo remains the main man at Real and will look to assert himself this season. As a result, I wouldn’t expect to the Welshman standing over too many free kicks this season. The question of whether they can play together is simple; of course they can. However, the main casualty will be in other players who will now have to take a backseat, with players such as Ozil and Luka Modric looking on from the bench.
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