What position does ronaldo play ? While many believe that CR7 may be in the twilight of his career and his start to the season at Manchester United may somewhat echo that, the truth is, that Cristiano Ronaldo is still capable of doing incredible things on the football pitch. The question remains, however, in this largely stacked Portuguese attack, where does Ronaldo feature, and where does Fernando Santos get the best out of him?
Ronaldo has been deployed in three positions in attack. He made his name as a right midfielder in Sir Alex Ferguson’s 4-4-2 formation at United, and he then later began being deployed as a left winger, in a formation that tended to change, but largely revolved around having three attackers at Real Madrid. As time went on, he has been moulded into what some media outlets refer to as a penalty box player, being able to fill a number 9 role exceptionally well. He still excelled on the left in his year at Juventus but was often used as a striker.
Portugal may face a similar issue to Manchester United, as the club is still unsure as to what position will suit Ronaldo, as well as the rest of his team in the best way.
Below, some of his likely positions, along with the competition he faces, have been listed below
Ronaldo back to his roots on the right wing?
The likelihood of Ronaldo being regularly deployed as a right winger is fairly low. Out of the different formations that Fernando Santos has tried over Portugal’s recent games, Ronaldo has not featured in this position.
Part of the reason for this is the emergence of Otávio, who has turned in some impressive performances in that position. Otávio can also play as an attacking midfielder, which ensures his deployment on the wing can complement an out-and-out 9, who can score off the balls fed to him.
What’s more is that Bernardo Silva of Manchester City is often deployed on the right wing by his club, and does an absolutely stellar job in that position. He gets goals, and assists, and has a work rate second to none.
With two top-quality options on the right, and with Ronaldo not having played regularly there since his days at United, it’s highly unlikely that he will be featuring on the right for Portugal.
Will CR7 be deployed as a centre forward?
This is arguably the position that suits both Ronaldo and the rest of the Portuguese team in the best way. Having been deployed as an out-and-out striker on countless occasions in his club career, mixed with his goal-scoring ability and physical prowess, utilizing CR7 as a number 9 may be the best for the Portuguese.
Another player that inhabits that position that could rival Ronaldo includes Andre Silva. An up-and-coming goalscorer who has played for Porto, AC Milan, Sevilla and now Leipzig simply does not have the x-factor that Ronaldo can promise, nor the experience or physicality. He’s a great footballer, but not quite on the level of CR7.
When looking at a compilation article of World Cup favourites, however, Ronaldo did not appear among the top 10 players most likely to pick up the competition’s highly coveted top goal scorer award, which indicates that bookmakers may disagree about whether CR7 can perform as a goal scorer.
Will he be deployed on the left wing like at Madrid?
The likelihood of Ronaldo being deployed as a left winger like his days in Madrid are fairly slim. Rafael Leão was one of the stand-out talents in AC Milan’s scudetto winning 21/22 campaign and has firmly claimed his spot on Portugal’s left flank.
Leão is the favourite to feature in this position, but only just, as the Portuguese also have the likes of Diogo Jota to call upon, who has been on rip-roaring form since he joined Liverpool. The Portuguese also have the reliable Pedro Neto at their disposal, showing that Portugal has no need for reinforcements on the left.
So, where will he play?
The best guess is centre-forward. The only one who really knows this though is Rafael Santos. The Portuguese have plenty of options in their attack, which is elevated by the presence of a seasoned veteran like Ronaldo, who is still capable of so much. Ronaldo offers the Portuguese attack a level of versatility that no other player in the squad can, and he will come in handy as the Portuguese look to start their World Cup campaign.
Time as a winger at Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo was 18 when he signed for Manchester United. The Red Devils had been scouting him for over a year, and Ronaldo proved himself in a friendly between Sporting and United. He started off as a wide midfielder/winger in a 4-4-2 formation, the most popular formation then. A very tricky winger, he was always eager to take on players and create things every time he had the ball.
Owing to his versatility, he could play on the left and right wings. Although his primary job was to help the main strikers score goals, he liked to drift inside, get the ball in dangerous areas and score goals, which most wingers were reluctant to do. Like every player in that role, he also had to track back often to help the side back in defense.
Ronaldo scored 27 goals and provided 25 assists in his first three seasons. His goalscoring was obviously improving and along with that he kept providing for his fellow teammates. Twelve goals scored by any winger were considered very good. Come the 2006-07 season, Ronaldo boasted a staggering 23 goals and 14 assists for his club. This was the first time he outscored both strikers in the team, Wayne Rooney and Louis Saha.
Not only did Ronaldo improve massively, but he was allowed much more freedom up front with the strikers. On paper, even though the formation was 4-4-2, while attacking, Ronaldo moved further up to make it a 4-3-3, which allowed him to make many more dangerous runs in behind and get into dangerous goalscoring areas.
The Portuguese had become an attacking outlet along with the winger on the other side, which was previously limited to only strikers. Since the midfield was joined by another player instead of wingers in a double pivot, the need for Ronaldo to track back had decreased significantly.
In the 2007-08 season, he provided an astonishing number of 42 goals and eight assists. A stunning increase of almost 20 goals from the previous season, Ronaldo also set the record for the most goals scored in a Premier League season with 31 to his name, which was equaled only by Luis Suarez and bettered by Mohamed Salah with 32.
During this season, Sir Alex Ferguson often played a 4-3-3 and Ronaldo’s role in the team was further changed to more attacking and less defending. He stayed on the touchline but frequently moved inside to produce goals. It goes without saying that Ronaldo had obviously developed himself to the point where he arguably produced the best individual Premier League season, earning himself the 2008 Ballon d’Or.
Development of Ronaldo into an inside forward at Real Madrid
After earning himself a move to Real Madrid for a world record fee, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner showed the world the greatest heights of a modified winger. He played as a winger in the 4-2-3-1 formation but was burdened with more attacking than defending. In fact, it was at Real Madrid where he purely became an attacker and positioned himself on the left wing of the pitch.
He spent most of his time up front, waiting to pounce on the opposing defense where he previously had to track back. But that was not all. The 60+ goals in four consecutive years did not come just as an attacking winger; he frequently acquired the role of an ’inside forward’ where he formed a close pairing with the striker but still stayed a bit on the left, precisely on the flank.
The 37-year-old came in from the left and attacked in-field with runs off the ball, dribbling diagonally towards the goal. He stayed on the touchline often and dribbled players vertically to put in a cross or pass from the left. From around 2014 onwards, he started playing regularly at left forward and till today, it still remains his most comfortable position.
The inside forward role was never relevant until the Portuguese started playing in that position. He single-handedly evolved from the role of a winger, thanks to his love of scoring goals. Players understandably use their strong feet on the inside to score goals. However, this was the opposite before, with players having their stronger foot on the outside to provide accurate crosses.
They were no longer the same players anymore as they became more goal oriented and their focus driven towards the end product. The evolution of this role changed a lot in how football was played and tactical advancements were made accordingly.
Above is information what position does ronaldo play. Hopefully, through the above content, you have a more detailed understanding of what position does ronaldo play .Thank you for reading our post.