Mourinho explains why he once used Cristiano Ronaldo as a no.9 in Real Madrid
With no doubt, José Mourinho is one of the best coaches in football we have ever had. He has been the coach for Chelsea, Real Madrid, Porto, Inter Milan, Tottenham Hotspur and now AS Roma.
Mourinho, is well known in his tactics and how he approaches games from time to time.
Cristiano Ronaldo, plays as a winger, but for the first time, at Madrid, José used him as a striker to perform the number role. He played this position for the first time when their side met FC Barcelona in a cup final even though he had three number 9 players but decided to pick Ronaldo and bench the others.
In approached the game with this new formation because, Barcelona had Dani Alves playing in the right back position. A position, which will make him (Dani) play on the same side of the field as Cristiano. He chose that formation because, Dani, is a player who runs a lot, and even as a defender, he plays more offensively and if Ronaldo should play against him, he will be chasing him all the time making him perform more of defensive football instead of attacking.
And obviously, in the central position, he scored the only winning goal.
Mou tries to gave different roles to play in matches aside his natural roles. He will sometime impose defensive roles on wingers to come and defend instead of playing more wide and forward on the pitch. For several instances, you will see him using Angel Di Maria to join the back men in defending. He suppresses their role of pressing higher. Another example is when he was at Manchester United, asking his striker, Romelu Lukaku to come back and defend instead of leaving the man in front and give him the duty of scoring goals only.
Cristiano have been playing as a central striker of late. He did that when he was in Juventus and in Man United, Erik Ten Hag prefers him more on the center of the forwards than to play him from the wings.
After the 2004 Euro, a writer published an article on shifting Ronaldo to the central position and plays him as number 9. He gave reasons as the physical development of him in his first year in England and the more flashes of scoring prowess he showed during the Euro 2004. He was then likened to the positional trajectory of Henry.