A leader is only as good as the men he leads.
Look at John Terry, written off and ready to be let go at the end of 2013, but he stands now captaining the champions of England. Around a rejuvenated side, the veteran has gleamed out, galvanised by his comrades.
In 2009, when Real Madrid signed Cristiano Ronaldo, they demanded a great player. And a great player they got. But perhaps, too great. Even at £80 million, Real Madrid got more than they bargained for.
Article continues below
The Galacticos aura, the MEGA feel about Real skyrocketed with the transfer. And Ronaldo, being hailed as the next football God, was the new prince of the Bernabéu.
Six years on though, the prince is yet to win a war. He has excelled at battles, but it's wars that win laurels. The extraordinary Real-Ronaldo marriage has only yielded one La Liga title and one Champions League medal, which surely is not good enough.
Article continues below
La Decima, the trophy Bernabéu had so dearly being waiting for, a final sapphire in their golden crown of world dominance, was delivered in 2014; five years after Ronaldo arrived. But it was not delivered by the best winger in the world.
It was Sergio Ramos' equaliser and Ronaldo's apparent successor Gareth Bale who delivered the trophy ahead of Atletico who almost snatched it from Los Blancos. Ronaldo could only score a tame penalty in Real's final flourish, and hope that his overdone celebration would be the image that people remember the match by.
Bigger egos have donned the white shirt of Real Madrid, bigger egos have been booted out. Ronaldo's arrogance, although backed by his exceptional performance, is weighing down this great club.
There is no Real Madrid team, no Galacticos. The current Real Madrid squad is Ronaldo and Co - 10 men supporting Ronaldo's quest to be ahead of Messi in the goals tally.
Real Madrid with Ronaldo now is like a race car running low on fuel. The weight reduction helps the performance, but ultimately you need the fuel to finish the race.
Florentino Pérez, the man who builds the Galacticos, has to make his decision, or risk another season of failure.
The team does not attack, they cross into the opponent's half and seek Ronaldo.
They do not win, they aid Ronaldo in scoring more goals than the opposition.
They do not lose, they let Ronaldo down.
Ronaldo might really be the greatest footballer of all time, but what good would that be? What would we remember him by?
His flashy skills in beating defenders? His superhot girlfriends? His charity work? His celebration styles? His multiple Ballon d'Ors?
As Jose Mourinho rightly said, if you win no trophies, nobody remembers how great you were.
Ronaldo has four major titles with Real. Two of them were won by Gareth Bale, and the Liga title under the tactical genius of Mourinho.
Should Real still cling on to their false pretence that Ronaldo makes them a better team?
Yes, his goals make a difference. But any leading winger in the world would have produced results with players like Di Maria, Modric, Alonso, behind and around him.
However, would Ronaldo have been able to keep up with Messi if he had still been in United, a side that was crumbling and eventually fell during the same period? Would Ronaldo have been able to keep a veteran star like Van Persie at bay and demanded 'all passes' ahead of the striker, much like he did with Benzema and Higuain?
Real Madrid miss Mourinho more than they realise now. They need someone with the guts to face Ronaldo and tell him to be a team player. To bench him if need be. Ancelotti, Ramos are not that man. Casillas is too beaten down himself to face anyone, and Bale has been hammered into nothing by his team and supporters.
Perez should; but would he?
Does Ronaldo's hype and marketability make him indispensable to Real? Probably yes.
Bale's decline in form hasn't helped either.
Ronaldo's expressive disgust at every chance his team mates take at goal, his displeasure at their misses, his annoyance with their misplaced passes, makes Real Madrid susceptible. It makes the team weak.
The team is not playing for the fans, not for themselves, not for money, not for trophies, they play to be with Ronaldo. They play to help Ronaldo.
The Galacticos of all teams, cannot be about one man.
Real Madrid are not used to trophy less seasons. Ronaldo would perhaps have the comfort of the Golden Shoe, but not the Galacticos.
And so while Messi would take home another treble possibly, Ronaldo would be left bickering on how he is carrying the club, even though he is the pest crumbling it.
For the sake of good football, I hope Messi gives Ronaldo a tip about adjusting to new team mates, or else B(ale)-B(enzema)-C(ristiano) would fade away from memories, while M(essi)-S(uarez)-N(eymar) turn immortals.
But would Florentino Pérez bother?
Maybe he has just decided to bear one more season of anxiety, until he snatches Eden Hazard from Chelsea and finally gets a Galactico that can play with his team.
What should Real Madrid do about Cristiano Ronaldo? Let us know below!