A humbling night in Paris on Wednesday spoke volumes of the dire situation Real Madrid find themselves in.
Their 3-0 Champions League defeat away to a depleted Paris Saint-Germain was a jarring result and one of the worst of Zinedine Zidane’s troubled second coming.
The three-times winner of the competition from 2015-18 with Los Blancos has struggled to get his house in order, winning just seven of his 16 games in all competitions since March’s reappointment. This win rate of just 43.75 per cent makes for poor reading especially since the man he replaced, Santiago Solari, was sacked following a record of 68.75 per cent from 32 games.
Having scored for AC Milan in a 5-0 demolition of Madrid in the 1988 European Cup semi-final, Ruud Gullit has witnessed the Spanish giants suffer in a competition they’ve enjoyed so much success first hand.
Just why the Frenchman’s second stint with Los Blancos has even materialised after stepping aside following a miraculous hat-trick of Champions League titles remains a source of confusion for the Netherlands icon.
“It’s a hard job for him,” the 57-year-old said speaking at the DSA Open – part of the DHL Swing Against Cancer Golf Series – at Emirates Golf Club in Dubai.
“I’m surprise that he did it. If you win three Champions Leagues in a row, why do you go back? To do what? Now there’s talk about whether he will last until Christmas. You don’t want that.”
A former midfield stalwart himself, Gullit was quick to praise the performers in the middle of the park for PSG where he believes the Ligue 1 champions were the superior force.
He said: “They (PSG) had players who wanted to show themselves. In midfield they were outstanding – hard work, good technique. That was the key difference – midfield.”
Incidentally, that’s the same area in which Madrid have been found wanting. They failed to land Paul Pogba from Manchester United during a summer in which they were also heavily linked to Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen.
Madrid are still stocked with quality, but Gullit believes a part of the squad has gone stale and, especially in midfield, reinforcements are required.
He said: “There are a lot of players there who have been there for a long time and they’re good but sometimes you need new players to keep them on their toes and get better.
“That’s what they need and Real Madrid are in a transition. He (Zidane) has to sort out his midfield.”
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