Just imagine having Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale together in the same team? Scoring enough goals through free kicks for their side to merit a place in the Champions League. Forget the muscular forays into open field that leave defenses slack jawed. We've seen Bale put Maicon out to pasture in that famous match but after that his career trajectory was a bit more squiggly.
There were flashes but Bale was less effective when pushed inside rather than out on the wing where he does most damage. This season and particularly the second half of it, he's turned it on and scoring match winners on automatic. Against Lyon, his two free kicks were pieces of cold calculated science. The Spurs winger's style is inevitably inviting comparisons to Cristiano Ronaldo but one can say on the strength of evidence, Bale at this stage is a better dead ball taker. There are other differences and context.
A: Bale is far more a conventional winger in that he naturally whips left to right crosses across goal expecting Spurs players to meet them. They cannot keep apace.
B: This new goalscoring onus is because of A.
C: He is obviously set on moving from White Hart Lane and hence B.
D: On open play, Bale's more raw than the man from Funchal even when you turn the clock back to a comparable stage (Bale is 23 years, CR7 is five years older). CR7's
Porto Sporting CP/ Man Utd days showed a player with markedly superior close control of the ball.
A Bale - Ronaldo combination would be most effective with the Welshman doing what he does best, out hustle the competition down the channel, and then let Ronaldo go to work inside. With Angel Di Maria having his problems with consistency and temperament, Bale would be seen as an ideal replacement.
More onto the match. Lost in between those two superlative set pieces was Samuel Umtiti's absolutely smashing half volley which left Brad Friedel aghast. That was a critical away goal as the second leg moves to the Stade De Gerland. What bets Hugo Lloris starts for that match?