Without Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo has fallen in the Champions League. For the second season in a row, Juventus have gone out in the last 16, doing so against Lyon last year and against Porto this time around. These are not two continental superpowers, but they proved too much for the Old Lady, who are also struggling to maintain their dominance in Serie A this season. Inter are threatening their monopoly.
Without Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid have fallen in the Champions League. Their last two seasons saw then eliminated by Ajax and then Manchester City at the last 16 stage. They’re struggling without his goals and the numbers have fallen since Ronaldo left. Karim Benzema does what he can, but the rest haven’t been able to step up and minimize the impact of the superstar’s exit. At first it was Gareth Bale who was given that responsibility, while it’s now up to Marco Asensio, Eden Hazard, Rodrygo and Vinicius and they’ve all had their own struggles.
At 36 years of age, Ronaldo is running out of time if he wants to match the six European Cups that Paco Gento achieved. His Ballon d’Or haul is at five, having not won it since the 2017 edition when he was still at Real Madrid. In the capital, they’ve added another league championship, but little else since the forward packed his bags.
All of this shows what a ruinous divorce it was after the Kiev final of 2018. Ronaldo looks like a superstar without a team around him and Real Madrid, since he left, look like a team without a superstar.