Cristiano Ronaldo Would Be Hampered by Signing of Gareth Bale
Real Madrid may be excited about the soon-to-be reality of welcoming English superstar winger Gareth Bale to the Bernabeu, but it's difficult to imagine Los Blancos' top player, Cristiano Ronaldo, feeling the same way.
According to ESPNFC.com's Miguel Delaney, Real's deal with Tottenham Hotspur is "all but done" and could be confirmed at any moment.
But while adding big-time talent to the equation is a necessity for clubs looking to win championships and please their supporters, simply buying top-flight players isn't always the perfect solution. In Real Madrid's case, landing the reigning FWA Footballer of the Year would only hamper the rapid progress and elite production that Ronaldo has made in Spain over the past four-plus seasons.
Ronaldo has been the alpha dog for Real since making the jump from Manchester United in 2009, and all indications are that he will retain his status when Bale arrives at the end of the summer.
But that's not to say that Bale's presence won't hamper Ronaldo's progress or production in 2013-14 and beyond. Any time a club spend €160,000 per week (expected earnings after tax) on a player, they expect him to not only be involved, but also to play a dominant role.
After all, Real paid €96 million to land Ronaldo from United four years ago and it didn't take long before he became the face of the club and one of the world's top two players.
But new Real boss Carlo Ancelotti recently refrained from discussing the potential of the two players teaming up, feebly stating that Ronaldo would welcome Bale to the Bernabeu with open arms, per The Guardian's Sid Lowe:
I don't want to talk about Ronaldo [and Bale], but in general when a player comes to a team he comes to help the other players to be a better team. So I think that all players think that if a new player comes it is good for the team and therefore for them too.
While Real doesn't have the titles to show for Ronaldo's incredible production last season (55 goals in 55 appearances), bringing in Bale doesn't ensure that the club will score more goals and certainly doesn't help the club all that much defensively.
Instead, Real will have to work another high-profile name into the mix while at the same time making sure Ronaldo gets enough touches to make his impact felt as well.
The Portuguese star has thrived as the go-to player for Real since joining the club. There's been absolutely no debate as to who takes the big shots for Real and who the rest of the players look to in the critical moments.
But Bale's presence would change all of that. His massive fee would raise expectations, thus giving him a greater role and more authority on the pitch. The result of that will be reduced touches, scoring chances and goals for arguably the best player on the planet in Ronaldo.
Will Gareth Bale's presence hamper or benefit Ronaldo?
Barcelona's move for Neymar at the beginning of the summer certainly ratcheted up Real's interest in Bale, but Ronaldo and Bale have played very similar roles for their clubs in the past and could be a potential recipe for disaster down the road this season.
After all, there's only one ball to go around.
Plus, players who know they are among the best in the world and are being paid like it tend to have large egos. Therefore, even if things are going well for Real on the pitch, there's the potential for a never-ending struggle to achieve alpha dog status, a struggle to live up to the hype.
That's not to say it will be impossible for Bale and Ronaldo to complement each other on the pitch, but that each player will be forced to compete with the other for opportunities and goals in addition to trying to beat the opponent.
For a player coming into his prime like Ronaldo, that reality could be crippling for his progress.
Obviously, adding Bale to the mix makes Real Madrid a much more dangerous squad across the board. But unless both Bale and Ronaldo can coexist and make each other better instead of holding each other back, this move is poised to hamper Ronaldo's progress and overall production this coming season.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
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