Sky Sports pundit Guillem Balague believes Cristiano Ronaldo will have to leave Real Madrid before teammate Gareth Bale can flourish.
The Welshman scored his first Madrid goal since August in their 2-0 victory over Eibar on November 29 and picked picked up two assists in Los Blancos' Champions League triumph over Shakhtar Donetsk four days previously.
Ronaldo, who was recently revealed as one of three nominees for this year's Ballon d'Or award, has been heavily linked with a move away from the Bernabeu this season - and Balague believes the forward's departure will bring the best out of Bale.
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"I am convinced that when he (Bale) gets the opportunity to be the main man at Real Madrid, you are going to see more and more of that," he said, according to Sky Sports.
"He enjoys the freedom of playing wherever he wants - right, left, in the middle - but while Cristiano Ronaldo is there it is not easy for him to grow."
Balague, one of Spain's most renowned football experts, also suggested Madrid will consider selling Ronaldo to aid Bale's development.
"Madrid are thinking it is the right time to sell Ronaldo and to allow Bale to grow.
"We have seen only flashes so far of Bale, there is a lot of confidence in him and that is why they will keep him next season for sure."
Madrid's record signing has played in several positions while in Spain but hasn't been able to hold down a permanent position in the team. Balague believes if Bale was given the freedom and trust to play in a free role, much like Ronaldo does now, he would thrive.
Ronaldo is undoubtedly one of the world's greatest football players, past and present, and is the brightest star in a side brimming with talent.
However, if given the chance the shine, Bale could prove just as prolific for Real as he did at Tottenham prior to his move in 2013, when play revolved around him. The decision to sell Ronaldo would be met by anguish amongst Madrid fans, but if it unleashes the potential in Bale it may be a risk worth taking.
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