The sparkling form of the Welsh wizard this season has lead to comparisons with the Real Madrid superstar, so let’s find out if the Spurs winger really measures up.
Using the in-depth football statistics provided by whoscored.com, we compare the performances of Ronaldo and Bale in La Liga and the Premier League respectively.
Keep in mind that the statistics used are only taken from the appearances in the relevant domestic league of each player this season. The number of appearances for each player currently stands at:
Ronaldo: 26 La Liga appearances
Bale: 25 Premier League appearances
Ronaldo: 26 goals
Bale: 16 goals
As you many may have predicted, the Portuguese leads the Welshman in the goal-scoring department, but this could be influenced by a number of factors.
Bale works much harder than Ronaldo in defence. The former Manchester United star has license to roam across the Madrid front-line with little to no defensive responsibility. So in contrast to the Tottenham man, he is spends most of the game lurking in advanced positions.
Ronaldo also plays alongside a larger pool of creative talent at Madrid in comparison to Bale at White Hart Lane. The likes of Modric, Kaká and Ozil possess incredible vision and more often than not can pick out Ronaldo with ease.
Ronaldo: 5 assists
Bale: 2 assists
Remarkably, both players are yet to reach double-figures in assists this season. This stat underlines how heavily their respective teams rely on their ‘main man’ when it comes to scoring goals.
The Welshman has scored 31% of Tottenham’s 51 goals this term, whereas Ronaldo has bagged 39% of the 66 goals scored by his side.
Despite supposedly playing as wingers, it seems teammates are looking to assist them rather than the opposite.
Ronaldo: 39 successful dribbles
Bale: 54 successful dribbles
Although both players have fantastic ball control and dribbling ability, Ronaldo is widely hailed as one of the most unstoppable footballers of the modern era when running at defenders with the ball at his feet.
So it may come as a shock to see that Bale has actually completed more dribbles than the Portuguese magician this season.
However, the Welshman is in the form of his life and is carrying the belief that he can beat anyone, something that can only coincides with a string of superb performances.
So, perhaps it makes sense that not even the ever-dangerous Ronaldo can match the glittering Tottenham man for successful one-on-one duels this season.
Ronaldo: 11 tackles
Bale: 24 tackles
One area that Bale certainly outshines the Portuguese in is his defensive work-rate.
The Tottenham star has racked up more than double the amount of successful challenges made by Ronaldo, no doubt easing pressure on the Spurs back four with his tackling efforts.
Who knows, perhaps if the 23-year-old didn’t love defending so much he might have netted even more goals so far this season.
Ronaldo: 808 passes (77% accuracy)
Bale: 833 passes (80% accuracy)
Bale and Ronaldo have both grown into prolific goal-scorers, however general passing is the essence of football and all top players must maintain high standards regardless of their position.
The Wales international edges out CR7 in passing accuracy but the difference is so tiny that it borders on insignificant.
Ronaldo: 7 completed crosses (13% accuracy)
Bale: 52 completed crosses (24% accuracy)
This statistic may not be as detrimental to Ronaldo as it may seem at first. Both players favour the left wing, but because one is left-footed and one is right-footed, the decision-making process of each player is significantly different.
The advantage Bale has on the left side is that he can swing in a more precise cross on his favoured foot, however Ronaldo has the opportunity to cut inside and take a strike with his preferred right foot.
The Real Madrid forward does not need always need to look for a cross. He can shoot, pass or cross with his remarkably strong weak foot, however his game is built on beating his man, cutting across goal and having a shot.
All in all, they are two players exercising different game plans in the same position.
So it appears Bale clearly does trump Ronaldo in a few areas of the game. Do you think the flying Tottenham winger can reach the ability of the Madrid superstar, if he hasn't already?
Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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