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Why Real Madrid should sell Cristiano Ronaldo and build around Gareth Bale

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When pictures emerged last week of Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo showing frustration at his team-mate Gareth Bale during a pre-season friendly, there was little reason to be surprised.

It's yet another heated moment between the two Real Madrid stars. It's starting to become clear that the pair don't have the best of relationships. It seems that the two of them will not be in the same team for the long-term.

One of them is going to go. Bale has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United this summer while Ronaldo has recently been linked with a switch to PSG. While the Madrid fans may have turned on Bale it would make more sense to let Ronaldo go first.

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RONALDO'S ARROGANCE

There has always been an aura of arrogance and over confidence about Ronaldo. It's one of the reasons that he's been able to develop into arguably the best player in the world. However that arrogance is becoming more and more visible in his game.

Over the last year we've seen our fair share of on the pitch strops from Ronaldo. Often it's been the result of his team-mates choosing not to pass to him and often the team mate in question has been Gareth Bale.

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It's these moments of childishness that highlight the sheer arrogance of Ronaldo. While you cannot deny that he's a wonderful footballer you also cannot ignore his inflated ego. He's long since been the main man at Real.

Signed for £80 million back in 2009 he's been at the forefront of every success the Spanish club have had since then. This seems to have gone to his head. While there was that arrogance about him in his United days it's become far more clear since he made the switch to Madrid.

It's almost as if he thinks he's untouchable, and for a long time he has been. This needs to change.

HOLDING BALE BACK?

Despite scoring a crucial goal in the 2014 Champions League final, things haven't gone smoothly for Bale at Real Madrid. Signed for £85.3m, much was expected of Bale and it would be wrong to say that he hasn't delivered.

He scored 22 goals in his first season and 17 last season, respectable tallies. Yet pleasing the fans has proved difficult for Bale. Despite a superb debut campaign they turned on him last season.

The truth is that much of the criticism Bale gets from the terraces is unfair and unjustified. He's been branded a 'ballhog' following numerous incidents with Ronaldo. The fans chose to ignore the fact that Bale actually provided 12 assists for his team-mates last season and 19 in his debut season.

The Madrid fans are guilty of pinning the blame for the teams struggles on one player. Bale has become an easy target because he's new to the league and still proving himself. This is why Ronaldo's 'ball-hogging' is ignored while Bale is blasted for it.

Although Bale has done well in Spain he's never quite matched his final season with Spurs. He struck 26 goals in that campaign, but while Ronaldo's goalscoring tallies increased when he moved to Madrid, Bale's have declined. The question is why?

Simply put, Ronaldo is the main man at Real. This is what's prevented Bale from hitting the heights of his Tottenham days. In that final season he was Tottenham's star man and the team was set up to get the best out of him.

At Madrid the team is built around Ronaldo, meaning Bale has had to play second fiddle. The truth is that while Ronaldo's there Madrid fans won't see the best of Bale.

TIME TO SELL

With both Bale and Ronaldo linked with moves away this summer, the general feeling has been that the Welshman will be the first to leave the Bernabeu. However letting Bale go and keeping Ronaldo would be unwise.

While it's difficult to justify selling a man who's consistently managing in excess of 50 goals a season, there is reason to. It's widely believed that a footballer is at his peak between 27 and 29, Ronaldo is 30-years-old now, suggesting he may already be past his very best.

Though he managed an incredible 61 goals last season, it's true that he's not getting any younger. Any sell on value is quickly disappearing, which would make any bids this summer attractive. In all likelihood this is the final summer in which Madrid will be able to recoup the majority of his transfer fee.

No one is going to pay in excess of £60 million for a 31 or 32 year-old. This is why they should seriously consider letting him go if they receive a concrete offer. The Portuguese is only human and we will see a decline from him eventually, and it will come sooner rather than later. Madrid can ensure that he's in someone else's hands when that happens.

BUILD AROUND BALE

Though he's been around for a long time Bale is still only 26, meaning he's yet to reach his peak. So letting him go so another club can reap the rewards of the best of Bale would be illogical. Real should be looking to build the team around their record signing.

To do so Ronaldo needs to go. With him gone Bale will be the main man, which will enable him to shine like we know he can. Tottenham proved how good Bale can be when you set the team up around him, so it's surely something Real will have considered.

While it seems unlikely that Bale will ever reach the kind of goal tallies Ronaldo has managed, we will never know until Bale is set loose. At present he's being restricted by Madrid's star man. With a new manager coming in, it would make much more sense to build around Bale than Ronaldo.

At 26 the best is surely yet to come from Bale, while at 30 the best may already have passed from Ronaldo. Thus the Welshman should be allowed to stay with Real. Move Ronaldo on while he still has sell on value and allow Bale to take a place as a Real Madrid legend.

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Topics:
Gareth Bale
Real Madrid
La Liga
Cristiano Ronaldo
Football

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