What's the story?
Former Ajax and Real Madrid midfielder Clarence Seedorf believes that while Cristiano Ronaldo's exit from the Bernabeu was a great loss, Zinedine Zidane's departure had a far greater impact on the club.
In case you didn't know...
The summer of 2018 saw the departure of two club legends - one as a player and the other as manager.
Ronaldo said farewell Real Madrid to join Serie A giants Juventus in a staggering €100 million transfer. The Portuguese ace helped Los Blancos to four Champions League titles and two La Liga crowns, establishing himself as the club's all-time top scorer in the process.
Zidane, on the other hand, left the club with 105 wins from 149 games as well as three Champions League titles and LaLiga success in 2016-17.
Since then, Real Madrid has been through quite a journey. A series of horrible results under Zidane's replacement Julen Lopetegui led to an eventual sacking. The players took months to adapt to the new Los Blancos and showed little dramatic improvement even under new boss Santiago Solari.
However, the club appears to be slowly getting back on its feet with a Champions League Round of 16 qualification and a slowly-diminishing gap between longstanding rivals Barcelona and themselves in LaLiga.
The heart of the matter
Seedorf has now spoken about the impact that the two exits have left on the club, stating that while Ronaldo gave the team a lot of confidence, the results would not have been as different if he was still at the club.
Speaking in an interview with Marca, the former Blancos star said, "Cristiano was considered a king in Madrid and he guaranteed goals for the team."
"If Cristiano was still in the team then Los Blancos would have more confidence in themselves, but I don't believe the results would have been so different."
Seedorf claimed that Zidane's exit was far more impactful in comparison: "It's likely that the exit of Zidane has had a far greater impact because the way of working has changed. Whoever had replaced him would have needed to do a special job in order to have immediate success and overcome the inevitable initial difficulties."
Real Madrid are scheduled to face Ajax in a much-awaited Champions League Round of 16 clash tomorrow night.