Cristiano Ronaldo Must Embrace New Real Madrid Teammates

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistSeptember 9, 2013

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 01:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid reacts during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Athletic Club Bilbao at estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 1, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

When Mesut Ozil was sold to Arsenal, you would have been hard-pressed to find any Real Madrid supporters or people associated with the club who were pleased. Not only was Ozil a popular player, but he is also arguably the best No. 10 in the world.

But there was something particularly worrisome about the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo has felt the need to publicly address his displeasure with the move. And whatever issues he may have had with the decision to sell Ozil—or any issues he may have with his new teammates—he must get over them quickly if Real Madrid are to keep pace with Barcelona on the La Liga table.

According to Neil McLeman of the Mirror, Ronaldo said, "The sale of Ozil is bad news for me. He is the player who knows best my movements in front of goal. I am very unhappy about the sale."

At best, these comments are petulant, as an upset Ronaldo kicks rocks because his parents sold his favorite toy.

At worst, his comments are foreboding.

Will Ronaldo fail to develop chemistry with new teammates like Isco and Gareth Bale?

Or worse, will he decide to leave the club this summer in part because of Ozil's sale? Will a departure, which was already rumoured this summer per Rob Shepherd of the Daily Mail, come about in part because Ronaldo wasn't consulted before Ozil was sent packing?

One note: Leaving Real Madrid made sense for Ozil, and he surely pushed through the move. He wasn't going to get the amount of minutes a player of his stature needs, and he knew it.

So it seems hard to imagine Los Blancos ever made selling Ozil a part of their long-term plans. Rather, it's more likely they accepted the German's desire to leave and happily took the bounty Arsenal offered for his services, once it was obvious he couldn't be swayed. 

Ozil aside, there has been no shortage of doubters in regard to Real Madrid's summer, namely in regard to the huge Bale signing. While Los Blancos assistant coach Zinedine Zidane doesn't doubt Bale's ability, he certainly has questioned the amount of money it took to sign him. 

From Sky Sports:

Asked whether Bale was worth the hefty fee paid for him, ex-France playmaker Zidane told Canal Plus: "You need to ask that question in a year's time.

"Ten years ago, they bought me for 75million euros and I said I wasn't worth it. Today, I tend to say a player is not worth that. Two clubs agree on a price and no-one is forcing the other to do anything.

"That's football. Unfortunately, it's incomprehensible with what's happening today to pay so much."


And he's not the only one to think so. 

There are so many questions for Real Madrid after this transfer window. Can Isco replace Ozil? (By the way, the answer to that is a resounding yes—he's a wonderful young player.)

Can Ronaldo and Bale form a dynamic duo, or will their styles clash? (The jury is very much out on that one.)

And will Ronaldo embrace his new teammates and allow them the freedom on the pitch to do what they do best, or will he grow impatient with them if they don't immediately complement his style? 

Bale, in particular, will be under plenty of pressure and scrutiny this season. The last thing he needs is Ronaldo breathing down his neck and subconsciously punishing him for Ozil's sale. 

Real Madrid are a talented squad, but none of that will matter if Ronaldo doesn't embrace the changes the club underwent this summer and allow players like Isco and Bale the freedom to find their game with Los Blancos. 

Nothing is more important for Real Madrid's season than the transition of Real Madrid's new players, and that transition will be much smoother if Ronaldo accepts these changes with open arms.

If he doesn't put his petulance aside, it could be a very, very long season for Real Madrid. 


Follow TRappaRT on Twitter