Soccer / opinion

Two Pieces Jig The Whole Puzzle
You know what it is to miss two key parts of a puzzle, this means the puzzle will definitely be incomplete and would have no meaning, regardless of how much definition you try to give it. We have seen two of the biggest names in world football depart the Spanish capital and everything seems to be falling apart like a pack of unguarded cards. While a the club may fail to agree, the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane from Real Madrid, not just their leaving but both leaving in the same transfer window was a huge loss to the Galaticos which might take them a few years to recover from. The height of it was last night's 4-1 thumping at the hands of a youthful Ajax team right there at the Bernabeu, ultimately knocking them out of this season's Champions League, ending their hope of an incredible defence of the title won last season under the tutelage of Zinedine Zidane. A whole lot of football critics would never have seen Madrid dumped out of the competition in such fashion having led 2-1 on aggregate coming into the tie. Fine, Ajax have been in outstanding form this season but for the defending champions to have lost woefully last night is appalling despite coming into the game with one leg in the next round. The main problem is that, the exit of both Zidane and Ronaldo were untimely and unplanned for. In essence, Real did not have enough time to make a succession plan which is quite bad for a team at such level. The departure of Ronaldo had long been on the cards even before their last triumph in the Champions League. Even after the Champions League final, CR7 still made comments that suggested he was most likely moving ahead, although, at that time it was already too late to plan for life after him. It may be arguable that CR7 had not been utterly instrumental in the finals of the Champions League, especially the two over Atletico Madrid and the last one over Liverpool, it still doesn't take away the fact his contributions and what his presence alone brings to the team. It was visible to the blind last season how Madrid started slowly, especially when CR7 was out injured or suspended but looked rejuvenated when he got back and even enroute the Champions League final, he was very instrumental, scoring crucial goals and winning matches. Since the arrival of CR7, Real Madrid have only failed to reach at least the Semifinals in his first season and in those years, they have added _La Decima_ and gone to win three times on a trot. Who says CR7 is not missed? Agonisingly, they failed to bring in any new player in the summer, laying the heaven burden of the number 7 Jersey on inexperienced and untried Mario Diaz. What stopped the hierarchy from fighting tooth and nail for the signature of Eden Hazard? Or look somewhere else to proven additions? Fast forward to this season, Madrid have been far from impressive and it is only by the poor showing of teams like Sevilla, Valencia, Villareal, Getafe and the likes that Madrid have a place in the top three on the log. For the first time in a long while they faced Barcelona on four occasions, managing to avoid losing just one and in over 16 years, get eliminated from the Champions League in the round of 16. Arguably, one of the best defenders in the work right now and that the football world has ever seen, Sergio Ramos would have definitely learnt his lessons to fight the war, one battle at a time. He had eyes beyond the knockout round when they had not even crossed the hurdle now, he won't even see the next round. Sorely, he would miss their first match in the next campaign, whether they get to qualify for the Champions League or Europa League. **Out of the League Title Race** (IMO) **Out of the Copa del Rey** **Out of the Champions League** All within the space of two weeks. Although sadly but true, it might take a while before Real Madrid become a force to reckon with again, locally or in Europe.