After Real Madrid's worse El Clasico defeat against Barcelona since 2009, Cristiano Ronaldo, who failed utterly on the pitch, went back to the dressing room and told everyone there that “either he (Rafa Benitez) goes or I go,” the Independent reported Monday.
Real Madrid was crushed 4-0 by a fierce offensive led by Neymar, Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta, while Benitez faced the outrage of Los Blancos fans in Madrid who waved white handkerchiefs to express their unhappiness with the manager.
However, the Independent highlighted that Benitez's greatest opposition to his short term as Real Madrid's manager comes from within his own squad, mainly from Ronaldo.
Former Newcastle and Tottenham star David Ginola believes Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho will be at Paris Saint-Germain next season— Soccer Cafe (@soccercafe1) November 15, 2015
Ronaldo to Paris Saint Germain would be so awesome— Roshan Chekuri (@roshanrchekuri) November 16, 2015
“The murmurs could well be a sign of Ronaldo’s impending Santiago Bernabeu exit,” the Independent wrote.
Heading into the match, the belief was that it could well be Ronaldo’s final El Clasico at the Bernabeu, and the defeat has done nothing to weaken that notion given the breaking relationship between player and manager.
The newspaper also said that all indications point that Real Madrid's president, Florentino Perez, is more on Benitez's side than Ronaldo, as they both apparently agree that Welsh soccer star Gareth Bale, 26, needs to be place in a position where his capabilities can be better exploited.
Perez greatest mistake in the game against Barcelona was to place Ronaldo, Bale and Karim Benzema in the front, while James Rodriguez was shifted back to midfield along with Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, leaving the defensive team completely exposed.
Ronaldo's increasing discontent with Perez seems to be strengthening the possibility that the Portuguese leave for the French league champion team Paris Saint-Germain, who have publicly expressed their interest in signing on the La Liga's 2015 lead scorer.
But, the Independent said, Ronaldo's return to Manchester United remains a possibility as well, although they said it's highly unlikely that the Red Devils would pay more than US$90 million for a 30-year-old player.
It is not surprising that Perez is sticking by Benitez's decision to empower Bale as the lead attacker. Benitez is the man who approved the historic US$130 million deal that brought the player from Wales to Manchester.
Futher more, Paris Saint Germain's Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 34, is expected to leave at the end of the season, a move that would free up resources to acquire Ronaldo's services.
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