A report from Spanish publication Don Balon has claimed that a number of players, including Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, want Cristiano Ronaldo out of the Real Madrid starting XI. Yes, these kinds of crazy rumours will come every day ahead of the summer transfer window. But the question is how reliable are these reports??
The unverified report claims that players have met with coach Zinedine Zidane to discuss his selection in the side.
They are reportedly frustrated that Ronaldo continues to play despite a dip in form, and are “tired of the privileges” he has in the team.
The likes of Alvaro Morata, Marco Asensio, Mateo Kovacic and Lucas Vazquez have also been named in the report as those amongst the group that met with Zidane.
Ronaldo, 32, has scored 26 goals in all competitions so far this season, 19 of which have come in La Liga. The four-time Ballon d’Or winner has scored five goals in his last nine games, a slightly underwhelming total by his normally prolific standards.
Those reportedly complaining of his inclusion in the side are believed to be of the view that Zidane should select players based on performance, and not on reputation.
Ronaldo started against Atletico Madrid on Saturday, nonetheless, he was unable to score as Los Blancos were denied victory by a late Antoine Griezmann equaliser. It proved to be a point gained in the title race, however, as Barcelona were beaten at Malaga. Zidane’s side now have a three-point lead with a game in hand.
However, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo will be looking to rekindle some of the magic they once served up under Carlo Ancelotti on Wednesday when they face their old coach in the latest edition of Real Madrid’s rivalry with Bayern Munich.
Real’s ‘BBC’ trident enjoyed one of their most productive nights under Ancelotti the last time they were in the Allianz Arena, running riot in a 4-0 win to inflict the heaviest ever defeat on a side coached by Pep Guardiola.
The expensively assembled trio have frequently been blamed by the Spanish media for Real’s unconvincing attacking displays this season, however, with the team relying on other parts of the team, not least defender Sergio Ramos, for goals.
The spotlight will be on the out-of-form trio in Wednesday’s quarter-final first leg in Germany as Real resume their bid to become the first team in the Champions League era to retain the trophy.
Bale, albeit while missed three months of action through injury, has endured his worst season since joining Real with nine goals in all competitions, while Ronaldo, with 19 in the league, is on course for his worst domestic tally since 2010.
Benzema, meanwhile, has also been far less prolific in domestic matches this year but is the team’s top scorer in the Champions League with five goals to only two each from his Portuguese and Welsh teammates.