Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer from Real Madrid to Juventus in 2018 was an unexpected event that impacted European football. The move was quite shocking considering that Ronaldo had hinted on finishing his career at Real Madrid. Ronaldo’s decision to sign a 4-year contract with Juventus shook the Spanish team so much that it took a whole season to recover.
As Barcelona puts up a strong challenge for the Cup, Real Madrid is the favourite team to win. If you are a fan, you can get involved and predict the league winners for La Liga this year!
Revisiting Real Madrid’s Performance During Ronaldo Reign
Ronaldo’s departure from Real Madrid brought to surface a chain of challenges that Real Madrid did not know it had. First, they had a short time outside the transfer window to replace the highest goal scorer in the team’s history. They also had to reconstruct their offense that, for a long time, had been wholly oriented around the team’s star.
In a career that spanned nine years, Ronaldo played a total of 439, making 450 strikes and winning four championship leagues in five seasons. At his peak, Ronaldo was the most complete footballer of all time, as he played the most prominent role in helping his team shine on top of the La Liga charts. At the time of leaving Real Madrid, the club boasted of a score failure rate of 8.86% – that is failing to score in only 46 of 519 games.
What Changed after Ronaldo Exit?
Real Madrid played 57 games in the 2018-19 season without Ronaldo, with 13 ending without the team scoring. That is a failure-to-score-rate of 22.87%. However, this season has shown a lot of improvement, with the team failing to score in only six games out of the 30 so far. That is a failure-to-score-rate of just 20%.
Real Madrid is the leader in the La Liga league tables after beating Real Sociedad 2-1 to solidify their contention for the league title. While the team was shrouded in controversy and decision unclear, after deliberation, Real Madrid was favoured for the win. The Los Blancos team is preparing to take on Barcelona for the league title even if only to prove that they healed after Ronaldo’s departure.
How Perez Restructured Real Madrid for La Liga
Many people agreed that Real Madrid was in trouble when its team captain left in the summer of 2018 in a surprise €100 million transfer. Throughout the last season, there were rumours of Ronaldo returning to his former team, but it is clear now that they are managing well without him. Players like Karim Benzema have had to step up to take the fight to the enemy and steadily but surely the team is winning everyone’s confidence again.
In 2019, Real Madrid’s president Florentino Pérez signed up Luka Jović from Eintracht Frankfurt and Eden Hazard from Chelsea. Shortly after, Ferland Mendy from Lyon came on board with a six-year contract. Many saw these acquisitions as reinforcement of the team’s defence rather than an attempt to replace the striker talent the team lost.
La Liga Title Race Vs. Barcelona
Real Madrid made it to the top of the LaLiga table, but they tie in the number of points with its arch-enemy Barcelona. This year’s title is a huge deal for the Santiago Bernabéu team because it has been 17 long years since they last won. With eight games remaining, this league is Real’s to lose if they will manage to keep Zinedine Zidane’s men in check.
In the remaining matches, the team will be playing against three bottom-placed teams – Mallorca, Espanyol, and Leganes. Perhaps this is the main reason why everyone believes the title may already be theirs. The biggest obstacles in their mission, aside from Barca, are Getafe and Villarreal in the fifth and sixth positions. As the current season edges closer to the end, it will not be long before we know for sure whether Real Madrid is back to being the formidable team it was a few years ago.
Even this late in the season, Barca seems to be making the kind of mistakes that will only hurt them more this late in the league. For instance, in their match against Sevilla, they sent the wrong set of players to start the game. Coach Quique Setien’s substitutions were criticized as lacking the incision and pace to unlock the opponents. Real Madrid is taking notes of these lapses to use against their closest rival, not only to win the title but also to prove that they can do without Ronaldo.