Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has said it will be "impossible" for the club to replace Cristiano Ronaldo in the upcoming transfer window.
Los Blancos sold the Portuguese forward to Juventus last summer and didn’t spend big in the market in an effort to secure a direct replacement for him. This term, Madrid have missed the influence of Ronaldo and are set to end the campaign without silverware.
Zidane also left ahead of the current season, although he has been reappointed after a torrid term for the capital club. Speaking about Ronaldo, the Madrid boss said there is no way the club will be able to secure someone else as influential as him, per Football Espana.
"It is impossible to replace Cristiano, it does not matter who you sign," said Zidane prior to Monday’s match with Leganes in La Liga. "He has left the club and you can sign quality players but they will not achieve what he did at this club, but that is football."
Madrid go into the match with their local rivals 14 points behind their great foes Barcelona. They are also out of the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League.
Ronaldo, meanwhile, is on course for a Serie A title with the Bianconeri. He also netted against Ajax in the first leg of the team’s quarter-final clash in the Champions League, helping Juventus take a 1-1 scoreline back to Turin (U.S. only):
In the previous round, Ronaldo netted a hat-trick to see Juventus past Atletico Madrid, and he was praised by Zidane:
Already, thoughts are beginning to turn towards the summer from a Madrid perspective, with the club expected to spend big in order to propel Los Blancos back to the summit of Spanish and European football.
In European competition prior to this season, Ronaldo had helped Los Blancos become a dominant force under Zidane.
So frequently during the Frenchman’s first tenure at the club, the forward would pop up with decisive goalscoring contributions when his team required them. Ronaldo was the focal point of Zidane’s team and relished the responsibility of leading the attack.
They won three Champions League titles in a row under Zidane, with Ronaldo conjuring moments like this along the way:
Madrid have struggled to adapt following the sale of Ronaldo, with nobody stepping into the talisman void he left in the summer of 2018.
There is plenty of talk about big names coming in. According to Sky Sports, Real are "increasingly confident" of wrapping up a deal for Chelsea forward Eden Hazard. It’s been reported by J.I. Garcia-Ochoa of Marca that Madrid will move for Manchester United’s Paul Pogba once the Blues star’s signature has been secured.
While both of those players would make a major difference to the Madrid side, to replicate Ronaldo’s incredible impact at the Santiago Bernabeu does feel like an impossible ask.