The after effects of Cristiano Ronaldo's departure: Who should Julen Lopetegui sign for the new era?
The iconic status of Cristiano Ronaldo always hints about making headlines whenever necessary. It happened during the Champions League final and it happened during the World Cup too.
The recently concluded World Cup always had a hint of Ronaldo headlines, be it in a positive or a negative way. And there is no doubt his legion of fans would have expected him to be making headlines in the final week of the tournament.
Despite leaving the competition early, the Portuguese star ultimately managed to deliver a headline. His announcement of transfer from Real Madrid to Juventus had been the headline of the last month despite the World Cup being a bigger event. No wonder people call him a superstar.
But why did he leave Real Madrid all of a sudden? And did Julen Lopetegui knew of this outcome when he decided to come to this great club? There is no doubt that Lopetegui has lost a gem for his new club. It will surely double up the negatives for Lopetegui as he will have to cope up with the loss of the world’s best player. And given their former icon’s goal average of almost 50 goals a season, finding a replacement on the market will be extremely difficult. So, for Real Madrid, the impact of Ronaldo’s departure is hard to quantify.
In financial terms, the Real Madrid president has done quite brilliantly. At the age of 33, showing all his powers to perform at his best makes him a phenomenon. And for Florentino Perez to sell him ahead of his decline is smart. To even engineer a high fee from Juventus after nine years of trophies, productive investment and revenue is very intelligent.
Yes, there are clear positives for Lopetegui after Ronaldo’s departure. It will be easier to accommodate players who play in his style rather than accommodate Ronaldo just for the sake of it. It will be easier to enforce his own rules, his training style, and his match tactics. He will have more freedom to be his own boss rather than live with an ego as big as Ronaldo’s.
Julen Lopetegui will have much better side than the one Zinedine Zidane was left with when he joined Real a couple of seasons ago. The Champions League winning mentality will surely give Lopetegui a much needed help to continue the winning trend. The amount of star players like Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Gareth Bale and Isco will surely help Lopetegui to settle very quickly.
Players Real Madrid should sign during this transfer window
So, what now for Real Madrid? The bigger question perhaps is can their fans expect a new ‘Galactico’ era? Fans will ask themselves who Real Madrid has lined up as a replacement for their departed legend?
Real will be desperate to fill the Ronaldo shaped hole at Santiago Bernabeu with a player who can match the Portuguese goal-scorer for skill on the pitch and star power off it. Does this clear the way for Neymar to make his long-mooted return to Spain from PSG?
Perhaps the Chelsea star Eden Hazard, who is more attainable. So whoever Real targets, expect that they will deliver a new ‘galactico’. Nevertheless, Real will be seeking to fill the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo. And when it does, the knock-on effects will likely be felt across Europe.