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What if Zidane played Cristiano as a number nine?


Past and present

The Calderón has been an unhappy hunting ground for the Portuguese striker in the last five derbies. But so what? Madrid's finest ever golscorer - 371 goals in 360 games in the white jersey - is allowed a few blips at some stage of his career. As soon as he reads this for sure the prospect og the next Ballon d'Or will set his pulse racing and his mind veering towards Saturday so he can contribute something to the team and speak in a medium he knows all too well: bulging nets. The spectacular hat-trick he hit past Courtois in the Calderón still lives long in the memory, particularly given that the Belgian keeper was rated as the best in Europe at the time. 

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At this point I'd like to make a suggestion to Zidane, who currently has his hands and mind full with Morata's injury (get well soon, Álvaro!). It's obvious that of late Cristiano has been struggling on the left, and doesn't quite have the speed which marked his first five seasons at the Bernabéu. It would be interesting to see him stationed as a pure striker, to see him slicing defences apart through the middle. And on the right Lucas Vázquez. The homegrown blanco gives that incision in one-on-one situations and puts lethal balls into the box, not to mention his tracking back and pressing. Modric, Kovacic and Isco would appreciate it - greater balance and more freedom for Cristiano. The true Mjölnir...


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