Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure has been keenly felt by Real Madrid, according to goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, but the Santiago Bernabeu dressing room is not lamenting the loss of their former talisman.
Courtois arrived from Chelsea a month on from Ronaldo’s exit and the Belgium international insists the spectre of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner does not linger over Madrid’s season.
“He is not being talked about in the locker room,” Courtois said in an interview with Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad.
“It is mainly the press that drops his name. There were matches that we lost in which we got 10 chances but did not score.
“At the same time he scores two for Juventus. Then it’s easy to talk about him.”
Despite the best efforts of Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale – the latter amid persistent injury struggles – Courtois concedes the void left by Ronaldo is an obvious one.
“If Ronaldo leaves and there is no real top attacker in his place, you know that it will be a difficult year,” he said. “You take 50 goals away.”