Livingston V Albion at Energy Assets Arena : Match Preview

21 February 2017
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Cristiano Ronaldo prefers natural position on wing - Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane has revealed he considers Cristiano Ronaldo's best position to be on the wing as his Real Madrid team prepare to visit Valencia in LaLiga.

Ronaldo, 32, has long played in a variety of positions on either wing or through the middle because of his effectiveness in each.

As he ages and his athleticism gradually declines, there had been a suspicion he would increasingly play through the middle, particularly with Gareth Bale so proven out wide.

But Real head coach Zidane insists he has no plans to do so and that, despite Ronaldo's development, he remains most influential in the position he first established himself in.

"He's always played out on the flank," Zidane said at a press conference to preview the Valencia fixture.

"That's his natural position. I'm sure he will score goals. He can play in a variety of positions because he's an outstanding player.

"But he prefers playing out on the wing. That's where he's scored 300, 400 goals."

Ronaldo's work-rate and conditioning continues to impress, but Zidane also plans to rotate him as they continue to juggle their domestic commitments with the Champions League.

"I'm pretty sure there'll be another game or two when he'll be rested," said the 44-year-old. "But he'll play on Wednesday, definitely."

The Frenchman is yet to decide whether to start Bale after the Wales international returned from injury as a substitute and scored in Saturday's defeat of Espanyol.

Wednesday's trip to Valencia was postponed from December by the league leaders' participation in the Club World Cup, and while Los Che have recently showed signs of improvement, Nani has warned they cannot look beyond surviving relegation.

Their recent 2-0 defeat of Athletic Bilbao took them up to 15th in the table and represented successive clean sheets for the first time this season, and the winger told Superdeporte: "It's going to be a very difficult game.

"Madrid is a team that is having a great season, but we want to play a great game.

"We are on the right path, we are working to improve things and we are growing each day.

"We have to be realistic, and at Valencia we cannot dream of anything but avoiding the drop."

Source: PAR