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Gareth Bale v Cristiano Ronaldo debate: An ego out of control?

16/03/2015 00:00:00
by Agencies

CRISTIANO Ronaldo's unprofessional reaction to team-mate Gareth Bale's double for Real Madrid hints at an ego that is out of control.

Real Madrid are back to winning ways. They must be happy?

On the face of it, you would think so. Two goals from Gareth Bale ensured Real Madrid a 2-0 win over Levante that sees Carlo Ancelotti's second-placed side head to Barcelona for the Clasico a point behind the leaders.

Luis Enrique's side had enjoyed a 2-0 success at Eibar on Saturday courtesy of a couple from Lionel Messi. It was a much-needed three points for Madrid after a draw and a defeat had handed Barcelona the initiative at the summit of Liga.

What do you mean 'on the face of it'?

Well, the look of dismay on Cristiano Ronaldo's face told another story. For some reason, Ronaldo is becoming unbelievably precious these days. Even more self-absorbed than he is usually is when attempting to top up a tan.

When Bale scored Madrid's opening goal from a rebound after Ronaldo's effort was blocked on the line, the Portuguese player looked like he had just discovered a fly in his soup mixed in with a full tub of table salt.

He threw his arm in the air looking dramatically displeased. Resembling the mood of Tiger Woods during a bad round of golf, Ronaldo has looked happier when it starts raining during a session on a sun lounger. According to reports, he apparently didn't applaud the fans afterwards. So much for being part of the greater good.

That is very weird. What is the matter with him?

Who knows? Maybe he doesn't like Bale hogging the limelight? Maybe he is upset about Messi scoring twice the previous day to move to 32, two goals ahead of him as Liga's leading scorer, but Ronaldo's petulant reaction was completely unacceptable for a player in any team.

Bale has been struggling for form, and seems to be toiling for confidence. You would have imagined Ronaldo would be pleased for a team-mate who hadn't found the net in nine matches, but apparently not so.

Little wonder the former Barcelona forward Gary Lineker described Ronaldo's reaction as "bizarre" and "unhealthy". So much for the BBC. There is no BB in Cristiano's world.

The ego has landed? Surely it just a storm in a teacup?


Well, you would hope so, but Ronaldo's act of petulance comes on the same week he took a vow of silence after he scored twice in the dismal 4-3 defeat to Schalke that almost buried Madrid's Champions League campaign.

He is not speaking to the media until the end of the season, and by the looks of things, he is hardly on great speaking terms with Bale. Lesser players would be hammered by the coach for such an unprofessional reaction, but Carlo Ancelotti will not want to upset Ronaldo. Especially on the week of a 'Clasico' Madrid can't afford to lose.

The problem Ronaldo has is partly to do with his standing in life. If you start believing your own press, you are in trouble of losing a grip on reality, even when you aren't talking to the press. Huge egos can be difficult to deflate in football when people keep telling you how great you are.

But what about Bale? It is better news for him, right?


It is reassuring for Bale that he can still produce. He is up to 18 for the season from 40 games. And at least it reminds interested parties what he is capable of.

Bale has been taking plenty of abuse from the Madrid crowd, and the fickle Spanish press. He reacted by clenching his ears while Ronaldo was busy wondering whether or not he should be celebrating the goal.

Talking about weird, Bale and Ronaldo have been linked with a move to Manchester United in the close season. Can you imagine those two cuddling up together to work under Louis van Gaal? That sounds even more ridiculous than Ronaldo's reaction.

Ancelotti is happy with the Welshman, right?

The Real Madrid coach said Bale's resurgence may have something to do with the return to action of midfielder Luka Modric, who he played with at Tottenham Hotspur, after a four-month absence due to injury.

"Bale looked more motivated and more hungry," he said. "The presence of Modric offers more depth for Bale to link up with his team-mates. They know each other well, they played together at Tottenham, and there's no doubt that Bale is more comfortable with Modric on the pitch."

What happens now?

Well, probably nothing. Not until after the Clasico plays out. Defeat to Barca will leave Madrid with a huge task to win the title. And Ancelotti will resemble a dead coach walking. Madrid will focus all their attention on their visit to the Camp Nou on Sunday evening.

The vibe from the Madrid camp isn't one of overwhelming harmony with too many individuals appearing to be more interested in doing their own thing. Led by Ronaldo. He celebrated with a birthday party after Madrid were flogged 4-0 by Atletico in early February.

At least he knows what he can get away with if it all goes pear-shaped in Barca over the weekend. We do wonder: what happens if Bale scores against Barca? How does Ronaldo react?

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