Real Madrid legend Roberto Carlos defends club for not replacing Cristiano Ronaldo

Denzil Pinto 14:30 13/10/2018
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Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Juventus in the summer

Former Real Madrid star Roberto Carlos has told fans to be patient and trust the hierarchy after defending the club’s decision not to sign a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo.

Los Blancos had been linked with the likes of Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard in the summer but failed to bring in a player of that magnitude following Ronaldo’s staggering €112m move to Juventus in July.

Without the Portuguese superstar, who scored a club-record 450 goals in his nine-year stay at the Bernabeu, the club has struggled in front of goal this term. They have just netted 12 times in eight La Liga games and haven’t scored in their last four matches.

Carlos accepts there will be criticism from the supporters for not bringing in a star forward but warned them that president Florentino Perez will not just sign a ‘player for the sake of it’.

“In football, there are so many great football players like Eden Hazard, Robert Lewandowski and Neymar. Real Madrid are always after the best talent,” Carlos told media during a press conference to promote the FIFA Club World Cup in the UAE on Saturday.

“At the club, there are some very good footballers even after Cristiano Ronaldo left. The president Florentino Perez stays calm and doesn’t rush to sign players for the sake of it. It is up to the club if they want to sign a player and it is important they identify players who can fit into the team’s style of play. If they find a player, then they will have to make a decision to try and sign him.”

With Ronaldo playing a crucial role in Real’s success, including four Champions League titles and two La Liga titles, Carlos said the defending European champions were right not to stand in Ronaldo’s way.

Roberto Carlos spoke to media in Abu Dhabi on Saturday

Roberto Carlos spoke to media in Abu Dhabi on Saturday

“It is a decision that the footballer takes,” said the 45-year-old, who made 370 appearances for Los Blancos between 1996-2007.

“He was playing for Real Madrid and we want to thank him for what he did for the club.”

Ronaldo’s departure wasn’t the only major talking point in the Spanish capital with Julen Lopetegui appointed as Zinedine Zidane’s successor following the Frenchman’s exit in May.

The former Real Madrid B coach has endured a difficult start to his new job with three defeats in nine games, including back-to-back losses to Alaves and CSKA Moscow.

But Carlos says the club shouldn’t be concerned and that the 52-year-old is the right man to deliver success.

“Yes, Real Madrid have made a very good contract,” he added. “They have a good organisation within the group. Some football players went out and some came in. Same with coaches with Julen coming in. Real Madrid is like that and he is building a team to become champions.

“They have a new coach and techniques and it is very important to improve slowly. Real Madrid usually perform slowly but then pick up. It happens every year and Real will achieve everything to try and be the champions.”

Luka Modric has got Roberto Carlos' backing

Luka Modric has got Roberto Carlos’ backing

They still have the individual quality on the field as evidenced with Luka Modric’s nomination for the Ballon d’Or.

The Croatian was integral in last season’s Champions League success as well as captaining the national team to the World Cup final in Russia.

And Carlos gave his backing for the elusive 33-year-old to win the prestigious award in December.

“Luka is a very good player indeed. He is the favourite to win the Ballon d’Or. You don’t want Ronaldo or Messi winning every year and it is important for someone else to win.

“Luka has everything and is a complete global player.”

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Sport360 staff 20:29 12/10/2018
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Hello, Real Madrid fans!

The international break may be under way, but the Sport360 team is keeping an eye on all the updates from the Santiago Bernabeu on Friday.

8:10pm – Marcelo visits children’s home

Marcelo is edging towards full fitness and is set to give Real Madrid a much needed boost during their injury crisis.

In the meantime, the Brazilian decided to give some children in the Spanish capital a boost as he paid them a visit.

Watch the video here.

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5:20pm – Giggs calls up Bale replacement

Wales have called up Ipswich winger Gwion Edwards for their Nations League clash with the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday.

The uncapped Edwards joins the squad with Gareth Bale troubled by muscle fatigue and manager Ryan Giggs admitting that the Real Madrid forward is unlikely to play in Dublin.

Read more here.

Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale

12:30pm – Eden Hazard gives his backing to Luka Modric

Real Madrid star Luka Modric deserves to win the Ballon d’Or, according to Eden Hazard. The Croatian led his side to the World Cup final in Russia and played an instrumental role in Real Madrid’s Champions League triumph. Read more on what Hazard said here.

Fresh from his 'The Best' award, Luka Modric will feature.

Fresh from his ‘The Best’ award, Luka Modric will feature.

12:00pm – Isco trains on his own

While the rest of Los Blancos elite stars are away on international duty, Isco has remained with his club as he bids to regain full fitness. The Spanish playmaker has returned to training after surgery and trained on his own.

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10:30am – Gareth Bale to miss Wales game against Ireland

Wales manager Ryan Giggs has confirmed Bale is likely to miss their Nations League clash with the Real Madrid star still struggling with muscle fatigue, which ruled him out of Thursday’s 4-1 defeat to Spain. Read more on that story here.

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