‘Ronaldo Meant Opponents Had To Score Two’ – Madrid Haven’t Replaced Him

Real Madrid have failed to
adequately replace Cristiano Ronaldo, says Fabio Capello, with the
presence of a Portuguese superstar meaning that the Blancos’ opponents
used to need “at least two goals” to win.

‘Ronaldo Meant Opponents Had To Score Two’ – Madrid Haven’t Replaced Him 1

A five-time Ballon d’Or winner bid farewell to Santiago Bernabeu during the summer transfer window of 2018.

Ronaldo, after nine years in Spain, opted to take on a new challenge in Italy with Serie A giants Juventus.

His
absence has been felt in Madrid, with Real struggling to replicate the
success they enjoyed when an all-time great graced their books.

Capello
says Ronaldo almost guaranteed the Blancos a goal every time he took to
the field, with Zinedine Zidane left short of those qualities during a
second spell at the helm.

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The former Real boss told AS: “As a
television commentator I would always say that if you want to beat
Madrid, you have to score at least two goals, because you knew that
Cristiano would be sure to get one. The same applies to Barca with
[Lionel] Messi.

“It is necessary to make changes, but with
care. You have to sign players who make a difference, because when you
wear the Madrid or Barca shirt it can weigh heavily on your
shoulders. If you don’t have lots of quality, you can’t do it, you get
lost.

“The same thing happened during my time at Milan, when
it was time to play at the San Siro. There were players who thought
they were good and they found themselves lost.”

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‘Ronaldo Meant Opponents Had To Score Two’ – Madrid Haven’t Replaced Him 2

Real
have continued to invest heavily in top talent, such as Eden Hazard,
while promising youngsters such as Rodrygo, Vinicius Junior and Martin
Odegaard are considered to have bright futures.

Capello,
though, believes it would be too big an ask to expect those still
learning their trade to step up and become talismanic figures for one of
the biggest sides on the planet.

The Italian added: “We’re
waiting for them to explode. In my second spell at Madrid we signed
Marcelo, [Fernando] Gago and [Gonzalo] Higuaín. In December the
president came to me and said: ‘Why don’t you put them on, Fabio!’

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“‘Because
they are kids,’ I told him, ‘and you have to wait a while. They are the
future, they can make history later.’ And the only one of them who did
little was Gago, while the other two did their part. They needed
experience and character.

“You have to sign young people and
then use them little by little, taking care of them. You cannot give
them the responsibility now.”

Real entered the
coronavirus-enforced break in Spain sat second in the Liga table, while
they face an uphill battle in the Champions League following a 2-1
defeat to Manchester City in the first leg of their heavyweight last-16
encounter.