Jose Mourinho has backed his former club Real Madrid to cope with the shock exit of Cristiano Ronaldo, claiming that Los Blancos are bigger that any one player.
The Portuguese tactician managed his compatriot for three seasons during his time in the Spanish capital and it was widely reported that two of the biggest draws in world football fell out towards the end of Mourinho’s reign.
Despite the fact that both of them are managed by super agent Jorge Mendes, Mourinho’s taken a number of potshots at the five-time Ballon d’Or winner over the years.
And after masterminding Manchester United’s 2-1 win over his former employers in the United States, Mourinho spoke about Ronaldo’s blockbuster move to Juventus.
“Everybody knows what (Cristiano) Ronaldo is but everybody knows what Real Madrid is, so I believe that of course you always miss a player like Cristiano but Real Madrid is bigger than any player and will have to cope with it.”
So far, Real have not made any marquee signings to replace their former talisman.
The fact that triple-UEFA Champions League winning manager Zinedine Zidane stepped down from his post at the end of the season and Ronaldo then switched to the Bianconeri has led many to suggest that Los Blancos should be braced for a difficult period of rebuilding.
Eden Hazard is one name that has repeatedly been linked with a move to the Santiago Bernabeu but Chelsea are reportedly reluctant to accept a bid below £200 million.
New manager Julen Lopetegui has put his faith in Gareth Bale and Isco to shine in Ronaldo’s absence and the former Spain manager is said to be happy with the squad at his disposal.
The 13-time European champions next face Juventus on Saturday night, but a reunion with Ronaldo is not on the cards as the Portuguese has only just reported back for pre-season and is in Turin.