Cristiano Ronaldo is in line for an emergency No 9 role for Real Madrid in Sunday’s clash with Levante at the Ciutat de Valencia.
Real are short on strikers with both Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain out injured, leaving boss Jose Mourinho with no alternative but to play the former Manchester United man as an out-and-out striker against Juan Ignacio Martinez’s men.
Los Blancos’ finished with four forwards on the field in Tuesday’s 2-2 Champions League draw with Borussia Dortmund – Angel Di Maria, Mesut Ozil, Ronaldo and Jose Maria Callejon – although none of them is a traditional No 9.
Consequently, according to AS, Ronaldo will be used there against Levante with 20-year-old reserve team striker Alvaro Morata on the bench.
It is not the first time the Portuguese will have occupied the unfamiliar role, having played there for Madrid in and April 2011 Clasico with Barcelona, although he ended the game indignant as he disagreed with Mourinho’s tactics.
“I don’t like to play like that but I have to adapt to what he [Mourinho] asks,” said Ronaldo afterwards.