Real Madrid are just beginning the process of adjusting to life without Cristiano Ronaldo following the Portuguese superstar’s surprise departure last week.
Following nine phenomenally successful years at the Bernabeu, the Portuguese superstar decided to leave the Bernabeu for Italian giants Juventus.
“The nine years at Real Madrid were wonderful, but it’s a brand new step in my life, so I thank all the supporters with my heart,” he said at a press conference earlier this week. “But I have to focus on this next step. I’m looking forward to playing. I’m very motivated, concentrated and focused on that.”
Filling the huge void left by a player who scored an absurd 450 goals in 438 games will be impossible for Los Blancos.
But Madrid president Florentino Perez knows he must sign one big name to appease the club’s fans. Various names have been linked over the past week including Eden Hazard, Kylian Mbappe and Harry Kane.
With Ronaldo in their ranks, Real Madrid won two La Liga titles, two Copas del Rey, two UEFA Super Cups, three FIFA Club World Cups and, of course, four UEFA Champions Leagues.
The £80 million Madrid paid Manchester United for Ronaldo back in 2009 looks like one of the steals of the century in retrospect.
Madrid's last XI before Ronaldo signed in 2009
A look back at Madrid’s last starting line-up before Ronaldo arrived at the Bernabeu - against relegation-threatened Osasuna on 31 May, 2009 - shows just how much things have changed during the CR7 era.
They had the legendary Iker Casillas in goal followed by a back-four comprised of Michel Salgado, Christoph Metzelder, Gary Kagelmacher (more on him in a minute) and Miguel Torres.
In midfield: Lassana Diarra, Rafael van der Vaart, Arjen Robben and a young Marcelo.
And then Gonzalo Higuain and club icon Raul upfront.
What happened to Gary Kagelmacher?
Madrid lost the game 2-1 - not a huge shock after seeing that line-up - and Manuel Pellegrini took over from Juande Ramos the following day.
You will probably recognise all of those names with the possible exception of Kagelmacher, who many football fans may never have heard of.
This turned out to be his one and only appearance for Madrid - perhaps unsurprisingly given the result - following several years with the club’s ‘B’ team.
A former Uruguay Under-20 international, Kagelmacher went on to have a fairly underwhelming career for a player who once lined up alongside Raul and Casillas in the famous white of Real Madrid.
He moved on to Belgian side Germinal Beerschot before a two-year spell with AS Monaco in Ligue 2.
He then joined Valenciennes, 1860 Munich and Maccabi Haifa before ending up at K.V. Kortrijk in the Belgian first division, where he still plies his trade today.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms