Real Madrid: The aftershocks of Cristiano Ronaldo's departure
It takes great players to build a great team. Ancelotti brought in the big boys in the form of Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez. The aging midfield was rejuvenated with the additions of Isco and Toni Kroos. With the immediate effect, the deadly combination of BBC was formed which earned real Madrid a whopping 108 goals in a 2013-2014 season with Ronaldo breathing fire scoring a massive 51 goals in all competitions.
Bale played a significant part as he single-handedly won the Copa Del Rey with a beautiful solo goal while injured Ronaldo watched from the stands and admired his teammate. The Madrid side went to win the biggest European competition with a sturdy defense in the form of aging Pepe and reliable Ramos and the front three BBC.
The next season, Madrid failed to win any big trophy by missing out in the semi-finals but Ronaldo was at his best again scoring 61 goals in all competitions. Ancelotti paid with his job the following season while Real surprisingly appointed Rafael Benitez as the manager. The side failed to find the net regularly as Real suffered the biggest home defeat to the Catalans by a 0-4 margin. Time and again the age factor of the superstar Ronaldo was brought into question as with each passing game Madrid found difficult in scoring.
Rafa Benitez was sacked and Zidane who was the assistant coach took on the reigns of the ailing Madrid side. Once again Ronaldo was made the main man while Zidane heavily relied on the youngsters with the likes of Varane, Casemiro, Nacho, Asensio, and Lucas. The Portuguese single-handedly turned the home tie against Wolfsburg with the home side needing more than two goals to qualify for the next round.
Ronaldo went on to become the top scorer in the Champions league scoring 16 goals from 12 matches including the hat trick against Wolfsburg and deciding penalty against the Atletico Madrid. Also under Zidane, talented Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio flourished as they began to find the net on a regular basis and Bale injury proved to be a disaster for the Welsh superstar.
Cristiano Ronaldo was at his very best in the Champions League which saw him scoring hat-trick against Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid. He also scored two very important goals against a very solid Juventus side during the final. The Madrid side depends heavily on the Portuguese' brilliance as he gave 100 percent effort on the pitch and he expected the same from his counterparts.
Luka Modric and Toni Kroos became a lethal force to reckon as their passes made Real Madrid tick. Moreover, such was the calming influence of Cristiano Ronaldo that Asensio and Lucas thrived under the great man. The earlier leaking defense was fortified with Ramos finding a formidable partner in the form of the Frenchman Varane.
During the 2017-2018 season, Real went to win the Champions League for the third straight time, the feat no club has ever achieved in the modern times. Ronaldo became the top goal scorer in the elite European league with the stunner against the Juventus side at Allianz Stadium with the away crowd applauding the sheer brilliance of the man.
Now, with the departure of both Ronaldo and Zidane, the Madrid side looks depleted and is often found wanting for motivation which they used to get from their main man. Fiorentino Perez, while Ronaldo left the club, was found saying that no one is great than the club. However, Real have had some bad memories in dealing with their superstars with the likes of Iker crying in his farewell press conference.
No one is greater than the club but then when a star performs at a greater individual level When some more thinking should put in the decision making. Ronaldo was much more than just a football payer, as he was the deciding factor for any crunch game for Real Madrid. While the whole Real Madrid team is suffering and really finding it difficult to find the net, Ronaldo has pleasantly settled with his new teammates at Turin.
At Juventus, he has shown why he is above the rest as at the age of 33 he scored a deciding penalty and scored a stunner from 25 yards out to turn the tie around its head own his own brilliance against Empoli. The 5-time Ballon d'Or winner is enjoying is time at Turin while his old teammates are suffering from the decision for letting the best footballer leave the club.
A Ronaldo less Madrid is looking like a tamed club fearing to go forward and the once renowned defense had started conceding goals more than often this season and the likes of Modric and Kroos are struggling to assert themselves in the midfield.
At Turin, Pjanic and Matuidi have become a deadly duo stringing a host of passes for their attacking trio. In the match against Barcelona, Real was a man short in the form of the greatest player while Juventus has found their missing piece that can win them the much awaited European trophy.Published 31 Oct 2018, 07:49 IST