Mourinho ready for Ronaldo as striker

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho is not worried about the absence of Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain through injury and thinks Cristiano Ronaldo can lead the attack.

Football News: Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid

By staff

The Portuguese international has often featured as an advanced winger down the left and loves to cut inside and rifle in shots from the edge of the area. 

He benefits greatly from the presence of a targetman up front so that he can utilise his pace to get into dangerous positions, often sneaking behind the defence and breaking the offside trap. 

But Ronaldo will not have much support up in attack as young Jose Maria Callejon remains the only recognised striker fit and available for Los Merengues' La Liga match against Levante. 

Mourinho, however, has already confirmed that he will instruct the 27-year-old to play the striker role in the game. The Portuguese coach believes that Ronaldo can be equally as effective in this role and Callejon will likely take his place down the left flank. 

"At Levante, Cristiano will play as the No.9. We will play with Di Maria, Cristiano and Callejon in attack," Mourinho told reporters at a press conference on Saturday.

"You have to play against every team. Sometimes you play teams with different characteristics. 

"On the one hand, you have to impose your football, and if you don't, you have to adapt.

"Winning [there] is not only difficult for us. 

"If it were an easy stadium for others and difficult for Madrid, it would be something else. It is difficult for everyone. 

"Their style gets results, so no one should criticise them."

Moreover, Mourinho faces another selection headache at left-back. Marcelo and Fabio Coentrao are still out injured while Michael Essien has produced mixed performances as a defender in recent games. 

"I do not know who will play on the left. I do not know if I can count on Coentrao or [Alvaro] Arbeloa. Whether they play or are on the bench depends on how both players feel and train."

The ex-Chelsea coach also heard about certain pointed comments that Benzema had made within the French media criticising his lack of playing time. 

When questioned about Benzema's complaints, Mourinho simply replied, "I spend every match on the bench."

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