Cristiano: "I don't see myself playing as a centre forward"
The Real Madrid forward gave an interview with Chinese media in which he said he preferred playing in a wide position with "more freedom."
Public opinion has long held that at some point in time Cristiano Ronaldo will make the change from a wide player to a centre forward to counter the advance of the years and to extend his prolific career by adding greater finishing ability and movement in the area to the Portuguese’s power and quick feet when running at defenders on the wing.
In recent seasons, and above all 2016-17, although Ronaldo has on paper been playing on the left, his average position on the pitch has tended more towards the middle, his runs starting from his favoured role on the left but often ending in the area closer to goal.
Ronaldo: "I started to see the game in a different way"
It is an intermediate position where the Portuguese feels more comfortable, appearing in the area regularly but not being stationed there, as he explained during an interview with Chinese media picked up by Portuguese daily A Bola: “I can assure you I don’t ever see myself playing as a centre forward,” Ronaldo said. “It’s true that I’m not the same player I was 10 years ago when I started out at Sporting or even at Manchester United, where I was a pure winger who took defenders on and crossed… but then later I started to see the game in a different way.
“I thought to myself; I have the ability to be more than that, I have to play closer to the goal where I’ll have more chances to score. At times it may seem that I’m a number nine but I’m not. I like to have freedom on the pitch.”