Cristiano Ronaldo v Gareth Bale: Comparing their performances
By Pro Soccer Development
Last Updated: 07/07/16 12:46pm
It was billed as Cristiano Ronaldo versus Gareth Bale but how did they compare when Portugal took on Wales in their Euro 2016 semi-final?
Ronaldo took the headlines, scoring one and setting up another as Portugal saw off Wales 2-0 to reach the final.
But what do the in-depth statistics reveal? Pro Soccer Development took a look to reveal that what Bale brought in volume, Ronaldo made up for with efficiency...
The two men certainly took responsibility on Wednesday night. Ronaldo produced a staggering nine goal attempts, while Bale had five of his own. Between them they had more attempts than every other player on the pitch combined.
It was Ronaldo's heading ability that proved decisive. Having glanced a header wide just before half time, soon after the break he produced some quick movement to buy some space and proceeded to leap above James Chester to open the scoring.
His propensity to shoot means that Ronaldo can always make things happen and it was from one mishit effort that Nani diverted in the second goal. By the end of the game, with Wales pushing, Ronaldo could have had a hat-trick.
In comparison, Bale was largely restricted to long-range efforts and was not able to make use of his own heading ability. Indeed, from the corners Wales did have, Bale's head did not connect with any of the deliveries. Ronaldo was far superior in this department.
Aside from the goals, Bale was actually more involved in the game than Ronaldo. He ran with the ball on 17 occasions compared to Ronaldo's six and attempted almost twice as many tricks, according to PSD.
However, Bale's determination to make things happen did not necessarily translate into results. Only 71 per cent of his runs were successful compared to 83 per cent of those by Ronaldo. More of the Portuguese star's tricks came off.
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Gareth Bale|
|83%||6||Runs with the ball||17||71%|
All those feints worked too. The game-winning moment came when Ronaldo received the ball from a Chester headed clearance at the edge of the box, controlled the ball, feigned to shoot, deceiving Joe Ledley, and shot into the path of Nani.
Ronaldo linked up well enough with his team-mates but it was Bale who was involved more due to his deeper positioning and the Wales star took it upon himself to haul his team back into the game.
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Gareth Bale|
The problem was that without Aaron Ramsey's runs from midfield, Bale found himself forcing things at times. He attempted no fewer than 15 through-balls but only five of them were successful.
Ronaldo managed four successful through-balls himself, despite attempting fewer than half the number that his Real Madrid colleague had tried to pull off.
Bale tried everything he could to drag Wales through and was the game's dominant force in terms of sheer numbers. But when it came to the numbers that mattered, it was Ronaldo's night.
Appropriately, given that he plays for a team that have reached the final despite winning only one game inside 90 minutes, he's become an expert in efficiency, streamlining his involvement for maximum effect.
It was Ronaldo who won the numbers game.