Clarence Seedorf does not believe Real Madrid have been negatively impacted by Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit to Juventus.
This is despite’s Madrid goal average in La Liga dropping from 2.47 goals per game last season to just 1.65 this time round, with the club’s all-time record goal scorer now gone.
“I do not believe it, honestly,” Seedorf responded in an interview with El Mundo, when quizzed about the difference Ronaldo would make to Madrid’s fortunes.
“With all the respect for him, because he is a phenomenon and yes, maybe the team added a few more goals, but I've always said that Madrid wins when it plays as a collective.
“Cristiano scored because the team created chances. Although he is an excellent finisher, he did not generate them by himself.
“Karim Benzema is a great footballer, but he cannot play alone. During the final of Kiev it was he who made the difference. On Saturday he always worked hard for the team. Sometimes he is away from the area to score goals, but that is also part of his game.
“Then we want him to score all the goals, because he is a striker and that is what is expected of a number nine – do not forget the weight he has had on Cristiano's goals.
“Madrid in the Champions League? I see it as an opportunity, because if there is a place where Madrid feels at home it is in the Champions League.
“Although Ajax also has the DNA of this competition, it can be the necessary stimulus to continue fighting. Because Madrid is fighting. I have not seen a team that is walking and that everything gives the same.
“I've seen a team that wants to get out of this situation. On Saturday, in the final minutes, I was amazed by Benzema's pressure against Pique over 50 meters. This means that they do want to fight.
“Vinicius Junior is demonstrating a lot of personality, precisely in a moment where despair leads you to see in him the saviour of all ills, but that is not fair.
“The only thing is that he can grow, play free, make mistakes, miss goals …his way of playing football is very Brazilian. Over time some things will settle, but if your mind remains that way, it's better for everyone.
“Isco is a great player and these years are very important for him. The fans looked for hope in him. But he will not be the saviour of the entire team – nobody can be.
“That has to go for the entire team. It's normal for guys like Isco to hear whistles. The truly important players criticised more than the others.”