With so many betting sites to consider out there nowadays, it may be easy to get lost amid all the different odds and information. Some sites will still tell you that Real Madrid are favoured to win Champions League again this year, while others say that the struggling Spanish giants have no chance.
How far Los Blancos are able to go in Europe this season may depend on the form of Cristiano Ronaldo. The 32-year-old Portuguese superstar has unfortunately started to show some signs of decline. Ronaldo turned in a dour performance over the weekend in the team’s disappointing 2-2 draw against Celta Vigo, and the defending Champions League title holders currently sit a distant fourth in La Liga on just 32 points.
On Wednesday, Spanish outlet Diario Gol reported that Ronaldo’s teammate, Sergio Ramos, has urged the club’s brass to drop Ronaldo for a period of time. Ramos reportedly wants Ronaldo to get some time off in an attempt to rediscover his currently missing world-class form.
The report says that Ramos also wants the likes of Karim Benzema, Marcelo and Raphael Varane to enjoy a stint on the sidelines in order to recuperate.
While Ramos may want one thing, it’s difficult to imagine Zinedine Zidane actually dropping his most high-profile player. Earlier this week, Zidane said, “I can’t imagine a Real Madrid without Cristiano, not at all. He’s a Madrid player and he wants to finish his career here. I don’t see him playing anywhere else.”
Despite Ronaldo’s recent dip in form, the superstar has reportedly drawn the interest of defending Premier League champions Chelsea. With former Madrid striker Alvaro Morata struggling to stay consistent in his first season in England, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has reportedly toyed with the idea of replacing him with Ronaldo, if the latter has an interest in returning to the Premier League.
Considering Los Blancos are currently 16 points adrift of Barcelona in La Liga and seven points back of Atletico for second, Real’s chances at making a serious run in the league this season would appear slim.
With little to play for domestically, it may make sense for Zidane to give Ronaldo some time to try and find himself. That said, doing so may risk upsetting the player, which is something Zidane certainly would not want to do. If Ronaldo believes that continuing to play is the best way for him to find his form, then he’ll play.
Madrid will resume La Liga play on Saturday when they take on Villarreal, who sit third in the league, from the Santiago Bernabeu.