What does Ronaldo’s exit mean for Real Madrid?
The deal is done. After a couple of months of speculation, Cristiano Ronaldo has left Real Madrid to join Juventus in a deal worth around £99 million. It ends his nine-year spell in Spain, so what does the move mean for Real?
Ronaldo leaves Madrid as one of the club’s greatest ever players. He scored a quite remarkable 450 goals in all competitions in just 438 games, as well as winning two La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys, and the Champions League four times, including in each of the last three seasons.
His departure will have to mean big changes at the Bernabeu. They have built their team around Ronaldo for almost the last decade, and he will be a massive loss, even at the age of 33.
After Zinedine Zidane’s decision to resign as manager at the end of last season, new man Julen Lopetegui has a massive job on his hands trying to replace the Portuguese international.
In the short term, there is a good chance that Ronaldo’s decision to leave means that their dominance in the Champions League is over, at least for the next season. He scored a quite incredible 105 goals in Europe for Real, including 43 in the last three seasons.
He has so often been the man to dig them out of a hole in that competition, in a way that not many players are capable of.
It may have to be that Real Madrid returns to the time when they would specifically go out, and look to sign a Galactico.
That hasn’t really happened in recent years, and although they have signed some excellent players, the last superstar to join Real was probably James Rodriguez in 2014.
Ronaldo was the one real Galactico in this team. They have some outstanding players, but he was the man people came to see.
They may now look to bring in someone of the ilk of Neymar or Mbappe, as much as for the commercial benefits, as well as those on the pitch.
One man they will hope evolves into a superstar is Marco Asensio. The young Spaniard has risen to prominence in the last couple of seasons and looks a magnificent prospect. He is still a raw talent and has a lot of work to do if he wants to make it to the top. He’s played 91 times for Real in all competitions and delivered 21 goals, so will want to improve that figure if he wants to emulate Ronaldo.
It would also mean a greater role in the side for Gareth Bale. There were rumours that the Welshman would leave the club this summer, but with Ronaldo leaving, a lot will be expected of him this season.
He was the hero in the Champions League final with a sensational overhead kick, and there is a chance that come to the start of the season, he will be the key man in this Real side.
Ronaldo leaving also leaves a question mark hanging over Karim Benzema. He has scored just 16 league goals over the past two seasons, but this has not really mattered because he works well with Ronaldo, and he gets enough goals to make up for it.
But there is no way Real will find anyone as deadly in front of goal as Ronaldo, so they will have to share more goals among the side. The striker must be able to get a few, so that man might not be Benzema.
It will be interesting to see how Real get on without Ronaldo available to them. It will have to mean big changes, but we will have to wait and see what those changes are.
Who will Madrid sign to replace Ronaldo? Sound off your opinions in the comments section below!