Without a doubt, Cristiano Ronaldo was Real Madrid’s most spectacular transfer over the last 50 years, if not all the time. He came at 24 years from Man United, already successful, Ronaldo played 9 years at Madrid, managing to win 15 trophies and score no fewer than 450 goals in 438 games. That’s a record which will stay forever, most likely. Now, with Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo out of the stage, the new coach Lopetegui has to rebuild the team and keep the Real in the top of the world teams.
Obviously, the mission is a tough one. Not because Lopetegui does not have valuable players in the squad, but because Ronaldo was good in all phases of the game, including the defensive. The only remaining true goalscorer is Karim Benzema, but Lopetegui knows he needs a good striker with creative capabilities. The only candidate in the eyes of the Spanish coach is Gareth Bale, the man who brought the third Champions League title in Madrid, scoring two goals in the final against Liverpool. But Bale has never been as prolific as Ronaldo in any of the teams he played.
As a result, Real Madrid is relying on young players. Vinicius Junior was transferred from Flamengo in 2017 for €46 million. Vincius is only 18 years old and seems to be Real’s bet for the future. We do not know much about the Brazilian striker, except he has scored 10 goals in 32 games played for Flamengo.
Raúl de Tomás is another young striker, loaned to Rayo Vallecano, where he managed to score 24 times in the last season. On June 17, 2018 he extended his contract with Real until 2023, but is still unsure if we will see him in the first team.
Another good replacement for Ronaldo could be Marco Asensio, a very talented footballer, good in attack, but also at the middle. Basically, with Ronaldo’s departure, there are excellent opportunities for Real’s young crowd. It all depends on how Lopetegui will rebuild the team. It is very clear that Real Madrid is entering a phase of reconstruction and the results of the season that will start soon will probably be unpredictable.