Carlo Ancelotti explains why Cristiano Ronaldo won't play in the middle

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Zinedine Zidane is fortunate enough to be able to select both Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in his Real Madrid line-up.

The duo - the two most expensive players in football history - ensure Madrid’s attack is one of the most lethal in Europe, combining to score 70 goals last season.

And though Ronaldo hogs the headlines in the Spanish capital the majority of the time, Bale’s advantage comes from his ability to play in a number of attacking positions.


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For Los Blancos, he’s played on the right wing and behind the striker. At times during Euro 2016 he’s been Wales’ most advanced player.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo has made the position on the left flank his own, both for club and country. Sir Alex Ferguson played him on the right at Manchester United but if the 31-year-old appears on the right these days, it means something has gone seriously wrong.

Ancelotti: Gareth can play anywhere

Carlo Ancelotti had the pleasure of managing both during his two-year stay at the Bernabeu and explained just why Ronaldo is averse to playing in the middle in his column for the Telegraph.

“They are different players, despite the obvious similarities,” the Bayern Munich manager said. “At Madrid, I played Cristiano on the left and Gareth on the right because that was the way it worked best for the team.

“Gareth can play any one of those three attacking positions if you want him to. Cristiano always wanted to play on the left because he felt that was the position that served him the best.

“He wanted to play there because he believed that if he was in a central role he would spend too much time with his back to goal. ‘I want to be able to see the goal,’ he told me.

“So Cristiano played on the left, where he could get on the ball and run at defenders, and cut in and shoot. Gareth was different in that he was not such an out-and-out goalscorer and therefore he was more adaptable.”

Champions League glory

What has come of Bale and Ronaldo’s relationship is a neat run of success.

The pair have won two Champions Leagues and the Copa del Rey together, and a La Liga title, which has evaded Madrid for the past four seasons, is surely approaching.

Bale and Ronaldo will put their friendship to one side this evening when Wales take on Portugal in the semi-final of Euro 2016.

Can Gareth Bale surpass Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Gareth Bale
Karim Benzema
La Liga
Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo
Manchester City

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