Could Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez Work Together at Real Madrid?
Real Madrid's transfer activity is sure to present an interesting watch point during the forthcoming summer as the Spanish side seek to add new big names to an already stellar squad.
One of the latest names linked with some vigour to the club by Marca is that of Liverpool forward Luis Suarez, the flawed genius capable of winning a game on his own in a moment—or of losing his head in the heat of the battle, often to his own detriment.
The report indicates that a four-year deal is already in place, with personal terms agreed to with the player. The only hurdle left to overcome is that of negotiating a fee with his current club, a fee which the Reds would likely try to make a record sale out of if they have any intent of selling.
For Real Madrid, set to appoint a new manager soon as Jose Mourinho leaves at the end of this season, the task will be to have someone in place who can merge the skills and unpredictability of Suarez with the best player already at the club, Cristiano Ronaldo, and have the two combine to deadly effect.
Real Madrid: The Domain of Cristiano Ronaldo
The top dog at the Santiago Bernabeu is undoubtedly Portuguese attacker Cristiano Ronaldo.
Bearer of the famous No. 7 jersey—the same as Suarez wears at Liverpool—Ronaldo is the team's main attacking threat, the best athlete and the most consistent performer by far. His 34 goals so far this season, with one game remaining, would be enough to clinch the top scorer award in most countries, and he has weighed in with 10 assists too.
Operating from a wide left starting point, Ronaldo has licence to charge down the channels or cut infield to threaten from range, and his superb athleticism means he is at his most dangerous when Real Madrid is on a counter-attack.
Often seen sprinting in toward the far post for an unmarked tap-in, Ronaldo is difficult to mark as he makes the most of the spaces left by Real's usual two forwards, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain.
Luis Suarez's Position and Style of Play
Though he can really play anywhere along the forward line, Suarez has proven himself adept and indeed one of the best in the world at leading the line by himself, provided he has support to run into the spaces he leaves as he roams the final third.
Technically sublime, Suarez is at his best in tight spaces and in one-on-one situations as he attempts the seemingly impossible, often without success, but creating goalscoring chances as a result.
He is a quick thinker, able to play first-time passes and spot spaces to make runs into before the passer has even decided what to do with the ball, and he's also a good finisher. While he missed a lot of chances in his first full season, his conversion rate has improved this year as he scored 30 goals in all competitions for Liverpool.
Indeed, Suarez's shot conversion rate for 2012-13 is only just below that of Cristiano Ronaldo himself.
How Does One Benefit the Other?
One thing Suarez does not do as a centre forward is maintain a full-on, 90-minute presence off the shoulder of the defender.
He drifts wide, working the channels, or else drops deep to link up with his midfielders and turn to face goal as he receives the ball, letting it run past him and often taking the first defender out of the game in the process.
To fully utilize the effectiveness of this movement within a team environment, additional support runners must be able and willing to operate within the central spaces that Suarez leaves in the usual No. 9's areas.
In Cristiano Ronaldo, of course, Real Madrid have the world's best wide forward, capable of sprinting into those spaces from the channel and taking up the position of a striker in mere seconds. As well as his goals, Suarez totalled five league assists this season; you could bet he would provide several more for the likes of Ronaldo, whose pace and attacking instinct would be an option every time the Uruguayan looked up.
Suarez also works extremely hard to press defences and win the ball back high up the pitch; Real don't always do this habitually, but there are few attacks better prepared to take advantage of a quick transition than that of Real Madrid's.
It remains to be seen if their interest turns into anything like a concrete bid, much less whether Liverpool accept it, but there are certainly plenty of reasons to think that should Luis Suarez become the newest star in La Liga, he would link up superbly well with Ronaldo.
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