Even though Benitez insists that there is no rift between Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, the media isn’t letting the matter go that easy.
Benitez believes that there is actually nothing wrong with his relationship with Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo, contrary to the reports (and in some cases video evidence from the training ground) that have sprung up from nowhere in the news headlines.
Obviously, there would be question marks on the veracity of Benitez’s claims but the one thing that doesn’t make any sense is the rift between Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
It almost seems incomprehensible that two players that complement each other so well (till now) would not like to play in each other’s presence or even grow as football players by feeding off the strength points one offers to the other.
Here are the top five reasons why there is actually no rift between Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo of real Madrid \:
- Ronaldo is a right footed player who likes to play on the left side of the field while Gareth Bale is a left footed ‘young’ player who doesn’t mind playing on the right.
So there is no clash of interests. We have seen evidence of their compatibility in terms of positional play in the first two seasons since Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo started playing for Real Madrid together.
In their first season, Gareth Bale’s speed on the right wing combined with Ronaldo’s darting runs from the left side of the field, bolstered Real Madrid attack force to the extent that Real Madrid absolutely annihilated Bayern Munich in the Champions League 5-0 on aggregate when just a year before Bayern Munich had decimated Barcelona over the two legged tie 7-0.
Ronaldo likes to come inside with his right foot and shoot for goals (when his fitness levels allow him to because I still believe that Ronaldo isn’t 100 percent fit.) when he is on song.
Although lately he hasn’t been able to do that either because of fatigue or being on the wrong side of 30.
Seven years of intense hard work for Real Madrid might have finally taken its toll on his fitness levels since his eternal rival Lionel Messi’s body already gave up about two weeks ago, who is now on a rest till mid November.
For me, even to see Ronaldo on the pitch running seems like a miracle. Why would Ronaldo, in such state, get into a war of words with Gareth Bale just to retain his alpha male presence in this Real Madrid team? Makes no sense right.
Gareth can continue to do what he does best on the right wing or even from a central position, it should make little difference to Ronaldo’s activities on the pitch.
We saw that even when Bale played through the center, Ronaldo was still able to score goals and assist in plays without adjusting too much to the new formation that Benitez has employed since the start of the season.
Infact, argument can be made that Ronaldo’s withering goal scoring ability in the last seven or eight matches might be down to Bale not being at his best.
So the question of Ronaldo not wanting to play with Gareth Bale lest he lose his star status at Real Madrid is absurd.
Ronaldo actually performs better when Gareth Bale is on the pitch, rather than off it.
Have we ever heard of a rift or a sign of incongruity between Frank Ribery (Bayern Munich’s left winger) and Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich’s right winger) at Bayern Munich even though both are remarkably similar in their styles of play in the sense that both like to cut inside and score goals.
The situation at Real Madrid isn’t even close to Bayern Munich since Ronaldo and Bale play on the opposite wings with opposite play styles.
- Gareth Bale is more of a runner and Ronaldo has become more of a finisher
Ronaldo might have had a problem playing with Gareth Bale in his Manchester United days (assuming at that time Gareth Bale was the same player he is now because he wasn’t. Gareth used to play as a left back for Tottenham before moving to forward roles in his last two seasons there) when he was a pure winger who liked to dribble the ball on the right wing.
But that isn’t the case anymore. Ronaldo has become a predator inside the box now. As he admitted recently at Golden Shoe ceremony that he no more has to work as hard as before to score goals.
Maybe it’s because Ronaldo’s body isn’t able to sustain the convoluted positions his knees were subjected to when he used to dazzle defenders with his quadruple stepovers or it could be that Ronaldo has actually become wiser over the years.
Whatever the case, the fact is Ronaldo no more wants to have the ball at his feet all the time to make an impact in any given game.
Bale, on the other hand, is just starting out in terms of being a regular world class player. He likes to run with the ball and involve himself in everything that Real Madrid in the attacking department on the pitch.
Gareth’s main play is to either knock the ball in front of him to get past his markers or cut inside to take a shot on goal. Lately though, he has reduced his tendency to drift inside like Ronaldo as he seems to prefer wing play because of his past positions for Tottenham and Southampton.
I don’t know about anyone else, but to me that looks like a perfect combination of one player who just wants to finish off moves inside the penalty area and another up and coming youngster who wants to carry the ball in danger zones to create opportunities for his teammates.
- Both are very competitive players. So the issue about one wanting the other one to just be shipped off to another club, negates the attitude they bring on the pitch.
If there is one thing that can be reported with certainty about Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, then that is both are super competitive individuals.
The talk about one wanting other to leave the club because of a potential clash in terms of contributions on the pitch, is nonsense.
Infact, as opposed to what is being written in the media, Ronaldo’s and Bale’s mental make up would allow both of them to push each other to their limits.
Ronaldo would no more require Messi to be performing at Barcelona, in order to wake up in the morning for training every day.
Bale is a winner and Ronaldo has shown throughout his career that no matter where he is, he wants to be number one. Why would any of the two run away from a perfect opportunity to improve a players and prove their mettle to themselves.
If anything, I think, Bale and Ronaldo would rather have each other in team, in this situation so that they have something to fight for in every game for the same team.
Ronaldo has been in these type of situations (where you have another player who want to be the best there is) before with Sporting Lisbon (where he had Ricardo Quaresma, another fantastic but a loose cannon winger, on the wings) and with Manchester United he had to fend off competition from Rooney and the like to establish himself as the best of Manchester.
Gareth Bale did the same while competing with Luka Modric and Van Der Vaart along with Lennon and Defoe at Tottenham.
Both of them, being the professionals they are and the level they have achieved in football, must be, now, accustomed to the fact that they would be challenged by new players.
And in order to remain being competitive at the highest level, they would have to work harder and actually learn out of the experience instead of running away from it by either changing clubs or forcing the other to do so.
- Bale has always admired Ronaldo and has taken him as a role model rather than a potential rival. And vice versa.
We can’t simply forget the number of times Bale has played down his comparisons with Ronaldo simply because he thinks Ronaldo is way better than the rest of the guys.
Can we forget the fact that Bale has mentioned, countless times, that he wants to be a complete player like Ronaldo.
At the back of hundred million dollar move to Real Madrid, the first thing Bale said was that he looked forward to meeting up with Ronaldo and learning for his work ethic to become a better player.
Ronaldo is somewhat of a role model for Bale to emulate, not someone who would steal his thunder so to say.
Can we really ignore the fact that Bale copies Ronaldo’s stance on free kicks and if you think about it long enough, Bale pretty much hits the ball like Ronaldo does too.
In fact, in the video below we can clearly see that Bale had difficulty to contain himself and not ‘absolutely’ plagiarise Ronaldo’s trademark goal celebration.
A player who recognizes and respects Ronaldo to this extent cannot be simply become despondent if he has to share some responsibilities with Ronaldo on the pitch.
- Both have completely different personalities.
Gareth bale is more of a team player than Ronaldo, always has been. Gareth, wants to blend in with other squad players without compromising on his star quality contributions to the team.
Ronaldo on the other hand, wants to do things for the team (and mostly does manage to do so) that no other player can (or has depending on how you look at it).
On top of that, Ronaldo wants to be recognized for it. He feeds of the limelight and uses that as his motivation to perform even better the next time of asking.
These traits, of Ronaldo and Bale, seems to be in complete harmony as far playing for the same team in concerned.
Gareth Bale’s, according to his agent Jonathan Barnett, mental makeup is completely different to Ronaldo’s.
I don’t know about Bale’s agent but for me, and for Benitez as well it seems, that is a recipe of harmony rather than conflict.
Bale wants to the best player he can be while Ronaldo wants to be the best at everything he does in his life.
So far, the pair have given no indication that they are uncomfortable with each other’s hunger to win and to achieve.
Benitez might, after all, be right in the sense that some section of the media wants to cook up stories about Real Madrid which actually don’t exist in order to destabilize Real Madrid.
According to Benitez the atmosphere in the dressing room is perfect and by looking at the on field behavior of Real Madrid players, I would have to say there is little that indicates otherwise.