A heavy defeat to Barcelona has inevitably piled a massive amount of pressure on Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez and although club President Fiorentino Perez might back the Spaniard for now, Guillem Balague insists the Madrid-born manager will not be seen on the Santiago Bernabeu touchline next season. Balague is also certain that Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been largely anonymous this season, will be shown the door in the summer.
A 4-0 defeat by Barcelona on home turf, will perhaps hurt Real Madrid and the fans more than losing a Champions League final. A press conference was called on Sunday and much to the fans’ disgust, Perez backed his manager.
Rafa will be sacked at the end of the season
Rafael Benitez’ current contract will keep him at the club until 2018, but Balague thinks it is highly unlikely that the Spaniard will complete his tenure.
“If you are talking now, then I am pretty sure that Florentino will think of something different,” said Balague on this week’s La Liga Podcast.
“And I think it will be unfair as given the chance, time and confidence, then he can improve pretty much any side in the world, as he showed with many teams in the past.
“But there are other things going on here, there is pressure being exerted from people outside the club, so he gets kicked out, and Florentino is doubting.
“And so I do not see Rafa being there next season.”
Time up for Ronaldo?
Along with Benitez, Balague suggests Real Madrid will offload Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer, and los Blancos are smartly making it look like Ronaldo wants to leave.
“With the case of Cristiano, we have said many times there is a strategy for him to go to another club next season,” he said.
“Very cleverly Real Madrid are trying to make it look like he wants to go, and that he deserves to go.
“And what Florentino is going to do now is listen to fans. So he likes to do polls with fans, he is going to meet them in little groups, in big groups, and he wants to gather the opinion of fans.
“Why? Because he wants them to say what they are going to say now, which is: ‘Get rid of Cristiano and get rid of Rafa.’
“Perhaps names will be mentioned of future players, and make a list of the best players in the world and they will be linked to Real Madrid in the next few months – Sergio Aguero, Eden Hazard – because they are going to be looking for the next big thing now.”
Ronaldo has been facing heavy criticism this season due to a dip in his form, something that people are not used to seeing as he always raises the bar every campaign. Some pundits suggest that the Portuguese’s best is behind him, and it looks like Real Madrid are on the same page with the experts’ opinions.
Like Benitez, Ronaldo’s contract expires in 2018, and he too, might have to change colours next season.