Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale Questioned by Real Madrid Icon Francisco Gento

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMay 10, 2016

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 04:  Gareth Bale of Real Madrid is congratulated by teammate Ronaldo after scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League semi final, second leg match between Real Madrid and Manchester City FC at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on May 4, 2016 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Real Madrid legend Francisco Gento believes the club would be more successful if Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale worked to help one another more on the pitch. 

According to AS (h/t FourFourTwo), the 82-year-old said: "They are two great players. There are few like them. If they were to link up a little better and help each other a little more, they would win more."

The former winger won a staggering 12 La Liga titles and six European Cups during his 18-year career at the Bernabeu—a trophy haul neither Ronaldo nor Bale is likely to match given the club has won just one league title since 2008 and one UEFA Champions League since 2002.

Ronaldo and Bale have scored a phenomenal 33 and 19 league goals, respectively, this season. Both have managed 11 assists apiece, and yet, according to WhoScored.com, the Welshman has only set up three of his team-mate's efforts.

The pair have repeatedly been forced to deny speculation of a rift between them, per the TimesHenry Winter (h/t the Daily Mail's Anthony Hay), yet in February, Ronaldo indicated he does not spend time with Bale away from the pitch, according to the Daily Express.

Whether their relationship is fractured or not, Ronaldo and Bale's situation paints a stark contrast with the close friendship enjoyed by Barcelona's front three of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez.

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Francisco Seco/Associated Press

They fired the Blaugrana to almost unparalleled success in 2015 as they won the treble, and they look likely to end the season strongly as they are just two wins away from La Liga and Copa del Rey glory.

Even before the arrivals of Suarez and Neymar at the Camp Nou, Barca have always appeared a more unified outfit than Real's collection of Galactico superstars under president Florentino Perez, and that could be one reason why the vast majority of silverware in Spain has gone to Catalonia rather than the capital over the last decade.

Real could win La Liga on Saturday if they can better Barcelona's result at Granada, and they will aim to win their record 11th Champions League when they take on bitter rivals Atletico Madrid in the final for the second time in three seasons.

Both players will inevitably prove vital, and Match of the Day's Martin Keown picked out Bale in particular as Real's biggest threat, per BBC Sport Wales:

BBC Sport Wales @BBCSportWales

Martin Keown tells Football Focus Gareth Bale, not Ronaldo, is Champions League finalists Real Madrid's star man https://t.co/iDqY8SaEds

It was he who made the difference in their Champions League semi-final with Manchester City, per BT Sport Football:

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

What a time for @GarethBale11 to get his first #UCL goal of the season 🔽 #RealvCity https://t.co/yQwzZOB43s

The title is probably beyond their grasp—it's unlikely 16th-placed Granada will upset Barca—but they have every chance in Europe if they can overcome Atletico's brilliant defence in Milan.

For that to happen, all of their stars—Ronaldo and Bale in particularwill need to be at their best and, like their opponents, put egos aside for the sake of the team.

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