Being one of the world’s best footballers can be a gift and a curse. One minute you are loved and the other you are hated, it just comes with the job. In 2009, when Real Madrid spent over 90 million euros for Cristiano Ronaldo, nobody was thinking he would someday leave the club. Now at age 30 and with constant ups and downs, this might be the last chance to get some money for him.
With seven titles in six years and only four of them being major titles, the investment didn’t go the way everyone expected. CR7 can’t be criticized, as in those six years, he’s gotten close to being the all-time goalscorer for the club. Messi had to wait eight years before he could be Barça’s top man. People will be divided, but inevitably there will be life after Cristiano, and here are some men to take his spot.
He’s been linked to Real since he played at city rivals Atlético Madrid. He’ll turn 27 in a couple of weeks, making him a desirable signing. While not exactly a winger à la Ronaldo, he’s more than capable of being the leader of the team. He’s sacrificed his chances of fighting for European glory in Manchester, so joining Los Blancos would be a solid step towards changing that.
His arrival would force to dismantle the BBC and alter that attacking lineup. However, he would bring fresh ideas in and a thirst for titles. He cost the Citizens 45 million euros back in the day, so it will probably take a lot more than that to convince City. His Colchonero past would also be an additive to the Madrid derby, transforming them into even bigger fights than they are now.
The 25-year-old German isn’t a goal machine like CR7, yet he would complement the attack nicely. His movements, finishing, passing and intense attitude give the same oomph as Ronaldo. Joining his national team colleague Kroos would also help with the adaptation process. His youth also sets him up to being a potentially rich investment, especially considering his market value is 55 million euros.
Though he’s never shown discontent with Bayern Munich, a change of scenery is always something to consider. He seems to be a one-club man, but you can never say never in the world of football. The hardest part of this would be convincing the player and worse, Bayern Munich. Relationships with them are good after last summer’s Xabi-Kroos negotiations. Few men are worth the effort, and Müller is one of them.
Yes, he’s already at Real Madrid, still he could benefit from Ronaldo’s departure as much as the other two candidates. Gareth came in with a huge price tag and also as a secondary star, always behind the Portuguese. Because of this, he’s been forced to playing the right wing, a position that clearly took him a while to adapt to. Even two seasons since he arrived, he still seems uncomfortable there.
Many have speculated that the reason the Welsh hasn’t exploded is because he hasn’t been put in his natural role. Even more, some think because he’s not seen as the star, he doesn’t perform like one. He’s the star of the Wales national team, and he used to be the face of Tottenham, yet he isn’t that at the Bernabéu. This would cost the club no money, with the only requirement of getting rid of Cristiano.