Zinedine Zidane clever to leave Real Madrid after Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit  |  Photo Credit: AP
The absence of Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane hit 13-time European champions Real Madrid hard as they crashed out of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 following a 5-3 aggregate defeat at the hands of AFC Ajax. While both Ronaldo and Zidane had left the Spanish giants in the summer of 2018, former Ballon d’Or winner Ruud Gullit is of the opinion that the Frenchman was clever in leaving the club after Cristiano opted to sign for Juventus.
With Ronaldo, Real Madrid had the surety of 50 goals a season, something that hardly any other player in the world (barring Lionel Messi) is capable enough to emulate. In the absence of Ronaldo, it was expected that the likes of Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and new signings Mariano Diaz along with Vinicius Jr. would be able to hit 10-20 goals each among themselves. The season, however, is heading towards a disaster, with Real Madrid already out of the Copa del Rey and La Liga title race.
Highlighting the intelligent decision made by Zidane as Ronaldo decided to part ways with the club, Gullit said that it was going to be difficult for any manager in the world to make Real Madrid tick without the Portuguese. Zidane, sensing the opportunity, decided to leave the club and didn’t let his record suffer.
“Zidane was clever enough to get out of there on time when they lost Ronaldo,” Gullit said while fulfilling the role of a pundit on beIN Sports. “That’s the whole point. And whoever comes after that has a difficult task. You have no Ronaldo. That’s 50 goals you don’t have.”
Los Blancos defender Dani Carvajal, meanwhile, called the ongoing season as ‘sh*t’, with the club crashing out of the tournament after a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Dutch club in the second leg of the Round of 16 tie.
“I think I’ve never had this feeling of discomfort, I do not know how to explain it,” he told Movistar Plus. “It’s never easy to come from two defeats against Barcelona, today we came with a clear mind of wanting to win, two errors put us 0-2, the start of the second half is good but 0-3 kills us.
“I do not see the end of the cycle, we have a young team and the margin for improvement is enormous, we have to face it and not hide, we’ve had a sh*t season.”
It’s all about the remaining La Liga campaign where Real Madrid would look to hold on to a spot in the top 4 in a bid to continue playing Champions League football next term.