Is it possible to transform a success story of three consecutive Champions Leagues -- and four in five years -- into a runaway crisis? Real Madrid are challenging all the laws of football and have somehow managed to do that, with their 13th European Cup opening a box of thunder.
Coach Zinedine Zidane left by surprise, leaving the club in a quandary as the search for a replacement. Days later, Cristiano Ronaldo raised his ton and leaked to a newspaper that he wants to leave and he feels betrayed by president Florentino Perez. The Portugal forward suffers an ego attack every summer. They form part of his understanding of football, a sport he believes is played by 10 plus one. But this time the crisis looks irreversible because of two factors diabolically intertwined: on the one hand, Perez doesn't want to take responsibility for, as CR7 hopes, his tax fine, which as to be paid if he wants to avoid a prison sentence.
And on the other, the player's comments one minute after winning the Champions League have allowed an important part of Madridismo to open their eyes. They're starting to see his departure as beneficial, keeping in mind his age and his insatiable capacity for generating problems.
But careful: Ronaldo's crisis is doubly dangerous because in the current context at Madrid, which is unheard of. The club are without a coach eight days after Zidane's exit. Curiously, Perez is facing a total revolution when common sense, after the success of the current squad, suggests keeping things as similar as possible for now. All of a sudden, though, Madrid are without a manager, their reference, and their franchise player has opened the door to an exit.
It's the first time that Perez had to face a perfect storm. It will be fascinating to see how he comes out of it.