The Merengue have found goals hard to come by since their record-breaking star left for Juventus
Former Real Madrid star Ivan Zamorano admits that the Merengue are struggling without Cristiano Ronaldo, with his incredible goalscoring abilities most keenly missed by the club.
Zamorano represented Madrid for four seasons during the 1990s, winning the Pichichi trophy in 1994-5 as his 28 goals fired the Blancos to a Liga title that season.
One of world football’s most prolific scorers during his career, Zamorano knows a thing or two about putting the ball in the back of the net.
And he recognises that Ronaldo, who smashed countless scoring records during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu, will not be an easy man to replace.
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“It is difficult to deal with the exit of a man who guarantees you 40 or 50 goals a season,” the Chilean explained to Goal .
“It is impossible to look for a replacement because that man does not exist. Real Madrid must try out new ideas on the pitch to live without such an important player like Ronaldo.
“Not just his goals, he also turned up in the club’s most important moments and now he is not there. But with the forwards that are there, I think they can get back among the goals. Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio will not take long to get their goalscoring touch back.
“We have seen several games without goals and that is worrying because Real Madrid have always scored. In any case, I think it is just a bad scoring run, and it will pass.”
Madrid and coach Julen Lopetegui have managed to steady the ship somewhat after a disastrous run of form with a 2-1 victory over Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League.
Lopetegui’s job, however, may hang on Sunday’s Clasico, with a defeat away to Barcelona set to cost the ex-Spain man his job.
“No matter how the teams arrive at the game, it is a game that has huge importance for the fans and for the country. They are matches in which either of the two sides can turn things around because it is a one off,” Zamorano said of the upcoming grudge match.
“When you arrive at Real Madrid, the first thing you are taught is that coming second is a failure and that you always have to beat Barcelona. Although neither team are at their best, it is Spain’s biggest game and one of the biggest in the world. That is enough motivation to turn it into an opportunity to recover confidence, faith and hope.”
While Madrid’s woes have dominated the headlines in recent weeks, Barcelona, too, have failed to consistently find their best form so far in 2018-19.
And in a week where the Catalans play three of Zamorano’s former clubs – victories against Sevilla and Inter followed by this weekend’s Madrid clash – the Chilean has taken a special interest in their fortunes.
“It is a decisive week for Barcelona and what happens will have a big impact on their future confidence-wise,” he said. “These are vital games that from a statistical and emotional point of view, could change a great deal depending on the results. It is a very difficult week.”
“If Barcelona come out of it in good shape they will be well set but if not it will be hard to lift the team’s spirits.”