Imagining a Jose Mourinho-Led PSG Team That Includes Cristiano Ronaldo

Jonathan JohnsonFeatured ColumnistMay 6, 2013

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 12:  Cristiano Ronaldo (L) of Real Madrid celebrates scoring his sides second goial with head coach Jose Mourinho of Real Madrid during the la Liga match between Real Madrid and Levante at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on February 12, 2012 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

With all the speculation regarding coach Carlo Ancelotti telling his players that he has decided to stay at the club next season (via talkSPORT) proving to be just that, Paris Saint-Germain still appears to be a viable destination for Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho (via The Times). Of course that all depends on him actually leaving the Spanish capital, but it is looking increasingly like a question of when and not if in that respect.

Added to that Cristiano Ronaldo’s agent playing up the possibility of the Portuguese moving to PSG in the near future (via ESPNFC) and it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the pair could be immediately reunited. Los Blancos and Ronaldo himself insist that he will not be leaving (via The Daily Mail), but if Mourinho came calling it is conceivable that the two could team up again in Paris.

If "the Special One" was to replace Ancelotti at the Parc des Princes, it would be in typical Mourinho fashionreplacing a coach who has laid the foundations for a strong team without actually having to construct large parts of it himself.

With an already strong side in place, the two-time Champions League-winning coach would likely identify a number of weak areas to strengthen, but otherwise leave the team untouched. Arguably those positions within the PSG side would be the two fullbacks, possibly a central midfielder to provide a more reliable presence than the gifted but erratic Marco Verratti.

Then there is the issue of a striker to play alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovicor replace him. Given the pair’s previously frosty (via The Telegraph) relations, you’d imagine the Swede would not hang around.  

It seems though that the club will be signing a replacement with or without Mourinho’s say-so with sporting director Leonardo believed to have agreed a deal to sign Napoli’s serial goal scorer Edinson Cavani (via ESPNFC). The Uruguayan could adequately replace Ibrahimovic in terms of goals scored, but could not when it comes to creativity.

Ronaldo could do both, but a potential pairing between the two would likely see the Portuguese international take the Swede’s position as the focal point of the side, freeing Cavani to do what he does best: score goals. The Portuguese’s industrious would then provide PSG with a double threat, a direct approach when Ronaldo wants to go alone and a predator to gobble up any chances created by the 28-year-old.

With that taken care of, the next port of call would be in the midfield. Blaise Matuidi has become indispensable to Ancelotti’s side this season and he would likely continue to be so should Mourinho take over. He is similar to Claude Makelele and Michael Essien, two of Mou’s favoured players, and that leaves a more creative but balanced midfielder to add to the mix.

According to reports (via ESPNFC), should Mourinho take over at Chelsea he would look to make Spanish international and current Real Madrid man Xabi Alonso his first signing. The former Liverpool midfielder would be perfect. Capable of playing in a deep role but by no means defensive, his trademark raking cross-field passes would be lethal in combination with the speed of Ezequiel Lavezzi and Lucas Moura on either wing and Ronaldo in the middle.

Equally it would work directly with Cavani if he was played as a target man at times, holding the ball up to bring others into play.

Alternatively he could do the same with current Porto schemer Joao Moutinho, who is apparently already on PSG’s radar (via The Express).

Further back it just leaves two potentially problematic positions. Although Maxwell and Christophe Jallet are by no means unreliable, Gregory van der Wiel is not consistent enough to be a regular first choice in the side and there is no adequate cover at left back.

Mourinho, instead of bringing in a square peg to fill a round hole as he did with Essien in Madrid, would more than likely favour a steady but unspectacular option on either flank. Maxwell could keep his position in the short term but Jallet and van der Wiel would surely be ousted.

Possibly by the likes of Alvaro Arbeloa, one of the Portuguese’s most loyal disciples from his time at the Santiago Bernabeu, or Inter Milan’s Alvaro Pereira, a player he was keen on at Porto.

The pragmatist that Mourinho is, this team or one similar would become an instant Champions League contender. But Ronaldo would be the key component to any success the team would likely enjoy and it seems PSG have recognised that regardless of whether or not the Portuguese arrives.

How true the rumours are that Mourinho would want to to take the Parc des Princes hot seat is another matter entirely.