Luis Suarez has made it known that he wants to leave Liverpool this summer, and Real Madrid is a likely destination. Sky Sports reported in June that the Uruguayan forward was keen on a move to Madrid.
While such a deal seems far from completion, one has to wonder what his arrival would mean for Cristiano Ronaldo.
Madrid have already made one big attacking signing this summer with the capture of Isco, but that move will have less impact on Ronaldo. The Spanish youngster's talent is obvious, but he is not quite the star that Luis Suarez is, and therefore he won't compete for as much attention.
Indeed, one has to wonder over the positives of that move for Isco—given the competition he faces for a starting attacking role—but that's a discussion for another time.
A spot does have to open up for Luis Suarez to move to Madrid, though, and Gonzalo Higuain seems the man to make way.
Sid Lowe of the Guardian wrote early in July that Arsenal was set to complete a deal for the Argentinian striker. A recent report from John Drayton of the Daily Mail suggests that deal may be in trouble.
Let's assume that both deals do occur, and that Suarez does arrive at the Spanish capital. The deal would be a good one for Ronaldo.
The Portuguese star wouldn't be worried at all about the introduction of another major star. Though he may not necessarily welcome it, he would see the benefits of Suarez's addition for his sake. He may even find him a more welcome addition than Gareth Bale were he to join.
There are two main reasons for that.
Bale's rise to the upper echelons of the football world means he would be closer than Suarez to rivaling the Portuguese winger. He has become the man at Tottenham, and the big fee that it would take Madrid to sign him would increase the hype. While Suarez would command a decent fee, he would not create quite the reaction that Bale would.
It also doesn't help that Bale and Ronaldo play similar positions. Sure, there can be shuffling around of positions—Bale on the left, Ronaldo on the right or vice versa; or Ronaldo could even go up top to accommodate the Welshman. But that's just it—Ronaldo wouldn't want to move elsewhere for another player, regardless of his talents.
He wouldn't have to do that with Suarez.
Aside from his individual talents, which we'll get to later, you could argue that Suarez is a team player. Certainly not along the lines of, say, Xabi Alonso, but certain situations do suggest the Uruguayan is that kind of player.
He is fine with sharing the international spotlight with Edinson Cavani and, to a lesser extent, Diego Forlan. And at Liverpool, he stepped back into a withdrawn role upon the arrival of Daniel Sturridge.
Small examples, yes, but they showcase his willingness to share the spotlight. Suarez would go to Madrid knowing he is not the man, though Bale wouldn't think otherwise. The Uruguayan would likely revel in the fact that he's no longer top dog.
Once he adjusts, Suarez could form up a great partnership with Ronaldo on the pitch.
He would face a battle for the forward role with Karim Benzema, who is accustomed to the Portuguese's preferences, but his movement, creativity and finishing would help lessen the pressure on Ronaldo. ESPN FC statistics show that Suarez scored 30 goals in 44 games in all competitions last season.
Should he win the starting spot, which is not an unlikely notion, Suarez would present a trickier, more agile version of Benzema, and someone who, when on form, would provide more of a threat to the opposition.
If his play on the field isn't helpful enough, though that's unlikely, Suarez would also take some of the media attention away from Ronaldo.
The Spanish media may not be anywhere near as critical as the English media, but the Madrid-based publications will be especially interested in the newest Galactico. Though it wouldn't be helpful for Suarez to continue testing his teeth against opponents or sparking questions about his character, his arrival would mean less attention for Ronaldo.
In all, Ronaldo would experience several positives if Suarez signed for Real Madrid. The Portuguese winger would have another star to ease the pressure and the performance load, as well as take away some attention on and off the field.