Real Madrid Boss Zidane Eyes Traditional Role for Cristiano Ronaldo in New Look 4-4-2 Formation
Cristiano Ronaldo is in line to feature as Real Madrid's new 'number nine' striker for this season as the Spanish giants eye a formation change.
The Portuguese megastar will be handed a more central role by manager Zinedine Zidane, according to Marca, as the France legend looks to play a more traditional 4-4-2 formation throughout 2017/18.
Los Blancos have primarily set up in a 4-3-3 system under Zidane for the past 18 months, but he is thought to prefer a switch to 4-4-2 due to the greater freedom it allows his four midfield men and two strikers up top.
The change in formation is thought to be down in part to Ronaldo's preference at playing such a system, and Zidane feels that 4-4-2 will allow the 32-year-old's talents to flourish even further than they did with Ronaldo as the main striker with two forwards playing either side of him.
Ronaldo's desire to float in and out of the channels in more of a 'free role' is believed to be the major reason behind the switch, and Zidane's thinking behind changing his formation was lent further weight by the ex-Manchester United star's performance against Barcelona in the two-legged Spanish Super Cup victory earlier in August.
Ronaldo will likely be partnered up front by fellow marksman Karim Benzema, but Zidane will not be averse to also playing Welsh superstar Gareth Bale or rising talents Marco Asensio and Borja Mayoral alongside the club's all-time record goalscorer if need be.
The supposed change in system will no doubt come into effect once Ronaldo returns from his current five-match ban - the forward being given the lengthy suspension after he pushed a referee following his dismissal in the 3-1 first leg triumph over La Blaugrana on 11st August.
The Sporting youth product is still in the midst of defending his name against accusations of tax evasion through the Spanish courts, with charges of dodging payments of arond £13m levelled against Ronaldo.