The 29-year-old has been struggling with a thigh injury of late and is reportedly set to miss Madrid’s next two fixtures with the problem, per AS:
BREAKING: Cristiano will miss Wednesday's Copa del Rey final after suffering a thigh muscle tear. He faces 15 days on the sidelines.— AS English (@English_AS) April 10, 2014
Having Ronaldo sit out of two matches wouldn’t ordinarily be the worst thing in the world, but with arguably the two biggest matches of Madrid’s season to come, it certainly seems that way for some fans.
The Whites face Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final on Wednesday before welcoming Bayern Munich to the Bernabeu on April 23 in the semi-finals of the Champions League—two games in which Ronaldo would surely thrive.
The Portuguese striker’s contribution to the Real Madrid cause has been unquestionable this season, scoring 28 goals in 27 league games for Madrid this season according to ESPN FC, but his colleagues have still performed admirably without their talisman over the course of the campaign.
As ESPN FC’s statistics show, Real Madrid’s last four matches without Ronaldo have resulted in four victories with 14 goals scored and not a single one conceded.
The record gets even better than that, though, as WeAreMadrid10 reported:
Such a record is a testament to the team that Carlo Ancelotti has built at the Bernabeu, and the Madrid manager explained to El Mundo that his side are more than capable without Ronaldo, reported via SoccerWay:
Cristiano is always missed but the players aren’t saying, ‘Oh my God, what will we do without him?’ They have shown confidence as they know how to win without him. It is also a very good opportunity for someone to take centre stage in a final.
Looking to take centre stage will be the likes of Angel Di Maria, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale, who have all proved their worth in the famous white shirt this season.
The latter duo have 31 La Liga goals between them this season, while Di Maria is enjoying his most fruitful campaign in front of goal for Madrid according to SocialRMadrid:
Di Maria is having his best goalscoring season for Real Madrid. '10/11: 9 '11/12: 7 '12-13: 9 '13-14: 10 (ongoing) pic.twitter.com/ApIvqmAguY— SocialRMadrid (@SocialRMadrid) April 13, 2014
Though Madrid will miss Ronaldo, of course, they have so much firepower at their disposal that means that coping without him won’t be an issue.
The Whites have won their last three La Liga games with consummate ease and sit just three points adrift of city rivals Atletico in the table with some generous fixtures to come.
Gaining 15 points out of a possible 15 looks a foregone conclusion with or without Ronaldo in the side, as recent performances have shown.
In the club’s 4-0 demolition of Almeria on Saturday, Madrid showed us exactly why they have what it takes to rival both Barcelona and Bayern Munich in their upcoming fixtures without Ronaldo with a professional team performance.
It was quite possibly the lack of Ronaldo’s presence on the pitch that brought the squad together against Almeria. Without one man stealing the show, 11 men stepped up to the plate and played like a team of invincibles, rather than a team harbouring a single invincible.
While Barcelona and Bayern will prove stern tests for Madrid, fans need not panic about their season petering out. It would be too controversial to say that Madrid are a fiercer prospect without Ronaldo, but they’re certainly not far off it.