Analysis: 4 Real Madrid stars who would profit from Cristiano's exit
"Gareth Bale is well-placed to be one of the chief beneficiaries of 'Crexit'; indeed, he could well be the man with the most to gain. The Welshman looks to have seen his opportunity to become a first-choice pick once more, having seemingly shelved the talks over his future with his representative. Cristiano's absence potentially leaves the way clear for Bale to establish himself as the spearhead of Real's attack: not only in open play and as a target for dead-ball deliveries, but also when it comes to free-kick and penalty-taking duties..."
Gareth Bale has now scored in two Champions League finals for Real Madrid:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 26, 2018
2014 vs. Atlético Madrid
2018 vs. Liverpool
Absolutely incredible. ? pic.twitter.com/fV6GIVwO2J
"For many, Marco Asensio is the ideal replacement for Cristiano. The quality that the young Spaniard boasts has seen him become a firm favourite of the Bernabeu crowd, but he is yet to nail down a starting spot in the first team. Having a nailed-on starter such as Cristiano in the squad has had a negative effect on the opportunities enjoyed by the forwards knocking on the door, chief among whom is Asensio.
3 - No other player has scored more goals as a substitute than Marco Asensio in the Champions League since last season (level with Morata and Ben Yedder). Impact. pic.twitter.com/G9ZSIJQ8yA— OptaJose (@OptaJose) April 25, 2018
"In 2017/18, the 22-year-old featured 53 times in all competitions - making him the team's joint-highest appearance-maker alongside Lucas Vazquez - but was only the 13th-most used player in the squad in terms of minutes played. In other words, he was an important part of former head coach Zinedine Zidane's plans, but struggled to translate that into starts. Cristiano's move to Turin is likely to help his chances of claiming a regular berth in the XI."
"Fielding the attacking trio of Karim Benzema, Bale and Cristiano or going with a four-man midfield was one of the chief selection dilemmas. Isco proved to 'Zizou' in the last two seasons that he was well worth a place in his line-up. The midfielder was in the team for the European Cup finals in both Cardiff and Kiev, in each instance getting the nod at the expense of Bale. With no Cristiano in the squad, there may well be room for both of them now."
14 - Isco was involved in more goals than any other Real Madrid midfielder in La Liga 2017/18 (seven goals and seven assists). Light. pic.twitter.com/ILiDLlEIkd— OptaJose (@OptaJose) May 21, 2018
Lucas Vazquez"During Zidane's Real Madrid reign, Lucas Vazquez was never anything other than a model squad player, snapping up any opportunities that came his way and never ever complaining or pulling a face, despite often meriting a more central role than he was given. Of the 53 games that he played last term, more than half were off the bench. Yet despite his exemplary attitude under Zidane, he will surely now feel that, having managed to supply 11 assists (more than any other member of the first-team group), win five penalties and chip in with eight goals in 2017/18, he has staked his claim to start more often next season."