Ex-Real Madrid Assistant Coach Reveals Tactical Move That Altered The Career Of Cristiano Ronaldo


    Paul Clement, the former assistant coach of Real Madrid under the stewardship of Carlo Ancelotti has revealed the tactical move that allowed Cristiano Ronaldo to transition from being a winger to a striker, shedding light on the difficulties of leading one of the game’s most influential players.

    Coaching a superstar like Ronaldo posed a unique challenge, given the legendary unparalleled stature in the footballing realm. 

    Initially resisting changing his position, Cristiano Ronaldo, renowned for his prowess on his favored left wing during his time at Manchester United and Madrid, was hesitant to embrace the shift to a central role, to play as a no.9. 

    Paul Clement, Ancelotti’s former assistant and erstwhile Swansea manager, delved into the details of the workings of Real Madrid’s star-studded ensemble, offering insights into Ancelotti’s approach to coaching Ronaldo into a new role. 

    Paul Clement on Cristiano Ronaldo transition from being a winger to being a striker

    In an interview with The Sun, Clement unveiled Ancelotti’s strategy of making  Cristiano Ronaldo comfortable while also tactically repositioning him as a striker.

    According to Clement, Ancelotti engaged in candid dialogue with Ronaldo, acknowledging the player’s preference for the left flank while subtly nudging him towards the striker position, recognizing the need to accommodate Ronaldo’s playing style, while also devising a dual playing style.

    While speaking to the Sun, Clement said: “At Real Madrid, Carlo had an idea of Ronaldo as a striker so he didn’t have to track back.”

    He had a discussion with Cristiano Ronaldo, who said he preferred playing off the left.

    Clement added: “Carlo knew he had to make him comfortable, so brought in two systems for when we were attacking, 4-3-3 with Ronaldo on the left, and then 4-4-2 when defending, with Ronaldo up front.”

    This tactical adjustment proved instrumental as Ronaldo flourished in his newfound role under Ancelotti’s guidance, culminating in a triumphant campaign that saw Real Madrid clinch the prestigious Champions League title in 2014, alongside a plethora of collective and individual accolades.

    As Ancelotti embarks on his quest to secure a record fifth Champions League triumph this season, Cristiano Ronaldo’s transformation from wing wizard to prolific striker stands as a testament to the Italian manager’s astute tactical genius and ability to extract the best from his star players.

    Carlo Ancelotti’s side have been drawn against Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League knockout stages for the third successive seasons.

    Both sides have eliminated each other in recent seasons as they respectively went on to win the trophy when they did. 

    Consequently, this would be an interesting tie as both teams will be looking to get better of each other.


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