Morale is relatively low at Real Madrid at the moment, exemplified by their Champions League defeat at home to Schalke recently. Although they won their next La Liga game – at home to Levante – that victory created more problems than it solved. Specifically, these problems stemmed from Ronaldo’s inability to score in the fixture, despite really, really, really wanting to do so. Madrid’s first was through Gareth Bale when a Ronaldo shot was rebounded to him, while their second was also through the Welshman as he inadvertently knocked Ronaldo’s goal bound shot into the opposition net. The Portuguese deity reacted quite poorly to both and at the end of the game was seen to be visibly unhappy.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti, in the aftermath of this, has sought to alleviate any unnecessary pressure and tension in his squad. However, rather than sit his team down and focus their attention on collective rather than individual success, he’s taken the unusual step of dropping Gareth Bale altogether from tomorrow’s El Clasico squad, to make space for Ronaldo’s ego. It is understood the Italian – who is under pressure himself at the Bernabeu – has decided it wiser to leave Bale at home and name Cristiano’s ego in his stead. Whether Ronaldo’s ego will start in the first eleven or on the bench is not yet known but either way it’s a statement of intent from his manager.
While Ronaldo is undoubtedly harshly treated by Madrid’s fans, so too are the rest of their players. Many have suggested that even if the Portuguese captain doesn’t receive the respect he deserves, he’d be better served getting behind his own teammates rather than continue with this blinkered view of his own success being above all else. However, with this move Ancelotti clearly values Ronaldo and his ego more than team harmony. “Ronaldo is incredibly important to us and with his ego on board too, I feel we have a really strong chance of success in the El Clasico,” stated the former Milan and Juventus manager Ancelotti.
Due to its size, it’s unknown whether the ego will travel with the squad or arrive separately.
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