Real Madrid have been no more than a shadow of their former selves this season, with the Spanish giants already surrendering the La Liga title to Barcelona, whilst also crashing out of the Copa Del Rey and the Champions League in humiliating fashion. After claiming back-to-back-to-back Champions League honours under Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid began their season not only without their celebrated coach but could also no longer utilize the services of their talismanic forward Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese’s stunning move to Juventus in the summer has severely impacted Real Madrid this season, who have clearly not been able to cope without the 34-year old’s significant contributions. Gareth Bale and Mariano Diaz have struggled with injuries, while Ballon D’or winner Luka Modric and his midfield partner Toni Kroos have been unusually inconsistent. Though young Vinicius Jr. has shown his world-class capacity on the left-wing, the 18-year old still has some big boots to fill.
Casemiro, who is currently on international duty with Brazil, captained his side in their 1-1 draw against Panama. The Brazilian later spoke about his Portuguese former teammate.
“Cristiano Ronaldo? Of course we miss him – as any team would, he’s the best player in the world. It was a real pleasure playing alongside him but now he’s not a Real Madrid player”, Casemiro said.
The midfielder also spoke about his former coach Zinedine Zidane’s return to the Bernabeu helm: “We already knew his philosophy and working methods. He’s a club icon – as a player and as a coach. Everyone respects him and he’s come back to do the best he possibly can”, he ended.
News surrounding the Santiago Bernabeu recently is mostly focussed on transfers, with the press speculating that Florentino Perez and the Real Madrid hierarchy are desperate to brick back the mojo at the club by bringing in big-money signings in the upcoming summer transfer window.