How Ancelotti lured Ronaldo into the center of the attacking line

Fri 11 December 2020 | 14:23

The Italian coach, who led Real Madrid to their eleventh Champions League title, played a major role in the Portuguese star career during his time with the Whites.

Cristiano Ronaldo

reached the highest peak of his career under

Carlo Ancelotti

management when he led

Real Madrid

 to their Decima Champions League title. Paul Clement, who worked alongside the Italian manager in several clubs, helped the Portuguese star to turn into a full-time striker with the aid of Ancelotti.

Clement, who believes Ancelotti made the greatest move by putting Ronaldo in the center of the attacking line, said:

"When we first got to the club, he had played as a number nine but Carlo had the idea for him in 2013-14 that he would become a full-time striker so he didn’t have to track a full-back.”

"He spoke to Carlo and asked to be on the left, cutting inside, shooting, crossing and providing key passes. Carlo just said: 'Look it is important for you to be comfortable and we don’t want you to be uncomfortable'.”

"It is an example of how Carlo manages top players; he didn’t put his foot down and say you’re a striker now. It was important for Ronaldo to be comfortable because he was the match-winner and it worked well.”

"They had to adjust everything else to ensure he didn’t have to track his full-back so he played one system offensively and another defensively. Defensively, it would be a 4-4-2 where Ronaldo would be a striker with Karim Benzema.”

"Then Angel Di Maria, who was on the left of midfield, would move out to the left to create a four. It was a lopsided shape that would change to allow Ronaldo to play more advanced."

During his two seasons with Los Blancos, Ancelotti won four titles including their UCL trophy win over

Atletico Madrid


"I always quote what Carlo says: 'When Ronaldo walks onto the pitch, you have always got a 1-0 lead',”

Clement added.

"In our two years there, he scored 50 goals a season. So when he misses a couple of games through niggles, then you miss that goal he brings in every game.”

"You are starting 1-0 ahead just by having him. What an advantage that is! I liked him a lot. He was a good guy, clever and a businessman with great languages. He was a great people person with a good character for the squad.”

"He was always telling stories and he helps his team-mates. That’s before talking about his talent with his work ethic. He worked on and off the field. His job was to provide and score goals. Scoring goals motivated him.”

"Off the field, he is super professional with his care and attention to recovery, gym work, strength training, diet and nutrition. It was incredible."

source: SportMob