Cristiano Ronaldo must be a striker’s dream to play alongside. The Real Madrid and Portuguese forward boasts incredible pace and his finishing prowess ensures he finds the back of the net more often than not. Having played at two of the biggest clubs in the world, Manchester United and Real Madrid, who are the 5 best strikers to line up alongside Ronaldo?
The English centre forward arrived one year after Ronaldo in 2004. Although Rooney hit the ground running, Cristiano took a couple of years to settle into English football but when he did, the R & R combination linked up well for a few years before he departed in 2009 to Real Madrid. They were one of the most feared attacking line ups in the world and their partnership helped win Premier League titles as well as the UEFA Champions League in 2008. Despite clashing at the 2006 World Cup, both players knew their partnership wasn’t worth destroying and put their differences behind them to the massive benefit of Manchester United.
Many questioned whether the two most expensive footballers in the world would be able to link up. But the former Tottenham winger complimented the Portuguese star to make him an even better player. Cristiano has even been kind enough to share his free kick technique which Bale has often used since playing at Madrid. Their partnership is further enhanced by the fact there different footed which allows them to play either side of the attacking trio at Madrid to devastating effect. The pace they both possess gives them a lot of threat from counter attacking moves which more often than not leads to one of the two players scoring.
His current strike partner at Real Madrid is a natural born finisher and although Benzema doesn’t boast as much pace as his Madrid team mate, his intelligence and positional sense allows Cristiano the space to create his magic. Only one player has teed up Cristiano for more goals at Madrid, Mesut Ozil (27 times) than Benzema (25 assists). Since signing for Madrid in 2009, the pair have been in 40 goal-scoring assists between them which is evident proof of their great understanding of one another. You can guarantee that if one player isn’t scoring then the other certainly will be.
Despite now being at Napoli and rumoured to not have gotten along with Ronaldo, Gonzalo came out in a German newspaper and expressed just what an honour it was to play alongside one of the world’s greats. Gonzalo was very similar to Benzema in the sense that he was a born predator inside the box and wasn’t blessed with blistering pace. The Argentine forward enjoyed his best season at Madrid the year Cristiano signed as he scored 27 goals in 32 league matches. In the same season Cristiano scored 26 times in 29 league matches including 7 goals in 6 Champions League matches.
Ronaldo was initially handed the No.9 shirt due to the Real Madrid legend that was already in their ranks. Raul is one of the best strikers to have ever graced the pitch and even Ronaldo had to take a back seat when it came to his beloved No.7. Although he was to inherit his number a year later when Raul left Madrid, Ronaldo learnt a lot from the solitary year the two players were at the club. Raul was a trademark finisher and there is no doubt that Cristiano became more of a forward as opposed to a winger at Madrid and will have taken tips from how to play as the frontman from the experienced Raul.
So who do you think is Ronaldo’s best strike partner? Do Real Madrid need to bring in another Galactico up front to try and match his quality? Sound off below in the comments section for your chance to win a $50 Premier Sports Memorabilia gift voucher.