5 Things Gareth Bale Will Learn from Cristiano Ronaldo
Many speculated Cristiano Ronaldo's ego wouldn't be able to handle the Welshman's arrival, but the early signs are proving quite the opposite.
Cristiano's the most complete player and I'm going to train with him, play with him and learn from the best. Everyone has their own opinion but, for me, Cristiano is the best in the world.
What exactly is it that Bale can learn from Ronaldo, though? Over the next five slides, B/R take a look at the possibilities.
How to Take His Goal Scoring to the Next Level
Cristiano Ronaldo introduced himself to the 2013/14 Champions League with a blistering hat-trick against Galatasaray on Tuesday night.
It took the 28-year-old to a barely believable 206 goals in 204 games in the white of Real Madrid.
He's going to have to share some of his tricks and tips with Gareth Bale if the Welshman is to turn into a goal-scoring machine of that pedigree.
Bale scored 43 goals in 146 Premier League appearances in England before his move to Spain, although time spent as a left-back makes it difficult to gauge how impressive or unimpressive that is.
He did manage 26 goals in all competitions for Tottenham last season, though, demonstrating the rate at which his strike rate has improved.
That trajectory is going to have to continue if he wants to satisfy any doubts over his transfer fee.
Goal scoring stats via Transfermarkt.
Dealing with Pressure
There is more pressure on players to perform at Real Madrid than at most other clubs in the world—if not all other clubs in the world—especially when your price tag is knocking on £90 million.
So while Gareth Bale may be granted a little bit of time to find his feet in La Liga, he won't get long.
It's an experience Cristiano Ronaldo went through when he arrived in Madrid, too—the Portuguese forward came out on the other side emphatically, though.
Zinedine Zidane can see the parallels, and talking to Real Madrid TV, he cited Ronaldo as the perfect example for Bale to follow (via Ronaldo7.net):
The best example [Bale] should look to is Cristiano Ronaldo, who as the most expensive football player in history managed to deal successfully with the incredible pressure that was put on him, delivering outstanding performances and results.
A debut goal against Villarreal kicked things off in the right manner, and following an impressive cameo against Galatasaray on Tuesday, Bale will be keen to impress the Bernabeu faithful against Getafe on Sunday.
He Doesnt Have to Be Superman
One area in which Cristiano Ronaldo is perhaps slightly misunderstood is that he is actually quite often a very good team player for Real Madrid.
Already this season he has set up goals in La Liga and the Champions League, while last season in the Primera Division he assisted 10 goals and created another 52 chances for his teammates.
On top of that, he completed over 800 passes.
Gareth Bale arrives from a Tottenham side where he so often had to do something special last season to save the day—that doesn't have to be the narrative now he's at Madrid.
Surrounded by players like Ronaldo, Isco and Karim Benzema means sometimes all he'll have to do is pass the ball.
Statistics courtesy of Squawka.
How to Become a Big-Game Player
The notion that Cristiano Ronaldo is not a big-game player has been thoroughly embarrassed in recent years.
While it remains true that he has the ability to steamroll lesser opponents, he has also demonstrated an appetite for the bigger stage.
He scored 12 goals in 12 Champions League games last season—including one in each match against Manchester United—after having scored the brace which salvaged Real Madrid penalties against Bayern Munich the season before.
Against Barcelona, he has managed 12 goals in 19 appearances in the white of Madrid, too—including two in the Copa del Rey semi-final last season and the goal which effectively clinched the league in 2011/12.
For Bale to go down in Madrid history, he'll have to sprinkle some similar magic over defining games in the coming seasons.
What to Wear
You can't go wrong with a suit, so Gareth Bale was never going to look anything but smart when he was unveiled at the Bernabeu (above).
Some of his fashion choices have been less straightforward since he arrived in Spain, though.
Notably, this one:
WTF IS GARETH BALE WEARING?! pic.twitter.com/YrbwmjjRPm— Sport-locker.net (@TheSportLocker) September 15, 2013
Nobody is quite sure what he was thinking, but hopefully it doesn't happen again.
Cristiano Ronaldo is a man of expensive taste, if not always particularly eye-pleasing, so hopefully he can make sure Bale steers clear of fashion faux-pas like this in the future.