As Cristiano Ronaldo leaves Real Madrid, they are searching for a replacement
As Cristiano Ronaldo leaves Real Madrid, the club are scanning the horizon for his replacement.
Now, who might replace the irreplaceable?
The obvious choice and the one the club want. He fills the void on the pitch but, just as importantly for Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, he fills it off the pitch too.
Not since the purchase of David Beckham in 2003 would Madrid have such a commercial coup. No one would sell more shirts and the marketing kick-on would go some way to paying for him.
The fans are not as convinced by the former Barcelona man. They are not crazy about the ego, and the constant speculation around who he might want to play for next.
They love a showman, and those reservations would disappear once the goals started flying in.
Fan reaction 2/5
The obvious choice and the one the La Liga club want is Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar
Currently lighting up the World Cup and anyone with half a good eye for a player knows he will be giving Ballon d’Or acceptance speeches before he’s Neymar’s current age.
The marketing benefits are not the same however, which is why Perez still prefers Neymar.
There is also the small matter of persuading PSG to let go of a French national treasure in the making.
He grew up with Ronaldo posters on his wall so it’s likely he’ll wear the white shirt at some point. It may come down to when he thinks it’s best to do that.
Madrid wanted him last year but he opted for PSG because he didn’t believe he would be first choice at the Bernabeu.
He could be persuaded otherwise now but only if Madrid give up on Neymar, which does not look like happening.
Fan reaction 5/5
The PSG striker is currently lighting up the World Cup but Florentino Perez still prefers Neymar
He is an easier option than the previous two and could even come this season with someone else following in 2019.
Hazard would do very different things to Ronaldo so would not have the weight of comparison.
He might disappoint supporters, unless of course he dumps Mbappe out of the World Cup, and then wins it.
He may arrive this summer while Real Madrid wait a year for Neymar.
Fan reaction 2/5
Chelsea’s Eden Hazard is an easier option than PSG strikers and could even come this season
Would have the best chance of matching Ronaldo’s goals haul and would have no problem dominating the Bernabeu.
But Real Madrid are too resigned to him not wanting to leave Tottenham right now to even pick up the phone to Daniel Levy.
Daft Madrid fans would also be critical if all he did was score goals with no added frill. They said the same of Michael Owen: ‘All he does is score goals!’
Fan reaction 2/5
Tottenham striker Harry Kane would have the best chance of matching Ronaldo’s goals haul
Real Madrid usually buy players on the strength of World Cup performances so that creates a bit of a problem.
He has his supporters at the club but doesn’t really fit the Ronaldo profile. He is more a replacement for Karim Benzema and his failure to get into that shocking Argentina team did nothing for his reputation.
That might have been down to Jorge Sampaoli and not Dybala but it still looked bad to not even see him come off the bench.
He needs to step up another couple of levels and maybe Ronaldo will bring the best out of him next season at Juventus. That €100m transfer will need to happen first.
Fan reaction 1/5
Juventus’ Paulo Dybala has his supporters at the club but doesn’t really fit the Ronaldo profile