Cristiano Ronaldo needs Real Madrid more than the club needs him
Why Cristiano is likely to suffer more should he leave Real Madrid.
It is that time of the year when Cristiano Ronaldo is back at being unhappy at the club and wants to leave. Although most of it is only just rumours, it would perhaps be safe to assume that his silence speaks more than the words of the outlets. Despite the fact that the chances of it happening are actually very little, what if he really leaves? Where does that put Los Blancos? Where next for Cristiano Ronaldo? Questions, questions and more questions.
Perplexed? Sit back, inhale deeply, exhale slowly... and read.
After finishing the season on an outstanding high, winning back-to-back Champions League trophies for the first time in the current format, Real Madrid began their off-season in perfect fashion. As if already having the best young squad in Europe wasn’t enough, the likes of Marcos Llorente and Jesus Vallejo are back at the club.
Then there is the imminent arrival of Theo Hernandez. Oh, and Vinicius Junior, the talented 16-year-old Flamengo forward, will also join the club in just over a year’s time. And—damn—Kylian Mbappe might also join.
All of this left Real Madrid fans as happy as dogs during the mating season. But when things go too good, always expect something bad to happen and put everything in turmoil—and that is what the Cristiano Ronaldo saga has done with the Madridistas.
So, in short, Cristiano Ronaldo is furious at the way the Spanish authorities have treated him and, hence wants to leave Spain. Neat, isn’t it? But it—leaving Real Madrid, obviously—will well and truly do him more harm than good.
This claim might infuriate a few people; after all, what does an unemployed 24-year-old man, who happens to write on football, know about football? Calma. Calma…. let’s just calm down here and think logically.
The support on the pitch
The tactical support that Cristiano Ronaldo gets at Real Madrid is second to none. Be it Manuel Pellegrini or Zinedine Zidane, every Real Madrid manager in the last eight years have carved out systems with the intention of bringing the best out of the Portuguese.
Indeed, Karim Benzema – a striker labelled by many as average and discarded as useless – has dedicated his entire Real Madrid career to serve Cristiano Ronaldo on the pitch. The devotion of the Frenchman towards the Portugal captain is so much that he probably has, “played for Cristiano Ronaldo under the banner of Real Madrid,” in the experience section of his CV.
It is for this reason that the former Lyon man is so highly regarded within the Madrid hierarchy despite not being the best of finishers. Benzema brings the best out of the best forward at the club, what else could you ask from him if he already does what he is asked to do?
Among all managers, Zinedine Zidane’s care towards the former Manchester United forward has been fascinating. The Frenchman has guarded his prized asset all season and both the club and the player reaped rewards from it, putting the number 7 in pole position to win the Ballon d’Or.
Best squad in Europe
And then there is Real Madrid’s superior squad. It is a unanimously accepted fact that Real Madrid have the best squad in Europe. Almost every player that sits on the bench would walk into the starting XI of most top European clubs.
The fact that both Lucas Vazquez and James Rodriguez couldn’t even make it to the bench in the Champions League final speaks volumes about the depth and the strength of the squad. Nowhere will he find such quality players around him, except where he already is.
While the other teams’ coaches could provide the system for him to thrive, like at Madrid, they can’t promise the quality players that Madrid already have. This, in turn, allows him to compete with Lionel Messi for the Ballon d’Or.
Given that he is reaching his middle-30s, it is only fair to assume that his competitive streak with Lionel Messi is close to ending. However, Zidane’s care and the quality of his team-mates allows him to prolong his war with the great Argentine. It is no coincidence that Messi won most of his Ballon d’Ors when Xavi and Iniesta were at the peak of their powers.
And at Real Madrid, all of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Isco and Karim Benzema provide the adequate support for his quest of being the best over ‘La Pulga’.
Being the Ballon d’Or holder places Cristiano Ronaldo above the rest and Real Madrid have made sure that the branding of their star player is done as much as possible. From the cleaners at the Bernabeu to the board members, ask anyone about who the best player is, they will basically essay out an entire book from their mouths about the greatness of the Portuguese.
The admiration for the Portugal captain could have been found in the Champions League trophy celebration at the Bernabeu. The attending crowd began a “Cristiano Ballon d’Oro” chant which was later joined by the players and the former United forward himself.
Anyone at the club would do absolutely anything to support their number 7. Indeed, the official announcement on Real Madrid’s website, where they backed their star player over the current tax issue, is a telling testament to his place in the club.
In contrast, outgoing defender, Pepe, wasn’t given the same support when he was accused of evading taxes, despite the fact that the centre-back was the third captain and served them for 10 years.
Cristiano Ronaldo is special and he deserves special treatment—and Real Madrid provide him with just that.
Real Madrid without Cristiano
With everything so well set at the club, it would be unwise for the Portuguese to move over something that doesn’t relate to football. For Real Madrid, a Cristiano sale wouldn’t be the end of the world. In fact, they are very well placed for a life without their star man.
In terms of on-pitch quality, the Blancos already have incredible players to cope up without their record goalscorer. Indeed, the likes of Marco Asensio, Isco, and Mateo Kovacic can all be used to alter the system to negate the absence of the former Sporting starlet. Also, there is a good chance that they would sign someone like Mbappe to take up the scoring mantle.
However, the one thing that goes against the Merengues is the invincible mentality of Cristiano Ronaldo. The dressing room influence of the number 7 is far too great to be overlooked. In fact, if anything about him is underrated, it is his ability to drive his team-mates in the quest for glory.
His hunger to win at all costs is what inspires the people around him. That determination is unparalleled, and so is the character – only Sergio Ramos and Marcelo seem to have such ‘grinta’ in them. And a dressing room always needs personalities like this to achieve glory.
If Cristiano Ronaldo leaves, Real Madrid will lose a quality player, but that’s okay since they have the necessary resources to more than make up for that. However, character is something money can’t possibly buy, so it will be interesting to see how the Blancos turn out on that front.
Regardless of that, weighing up the pros and cons, it seems as though the club will cope up just fine without their brightest star, but the jury is still out for the reigning Ballon d’Or winner.