Cristiano Ronaldo causing Real Madrid slump, says Fabio Capello
By Jack Wilkinson
Last Updated: 06/10/16 2:16pm
Real Madrid's slump in form is down to Cristiano Ronaldo's ongoing fitness issues, according to former head coach Fabio Capello.
Zinedine Zidane's side have not won a game since equalling Barcelona's 16-game La Liga winning streak record with victory over Espanyol in September.
Instead, Real have been held to four frustrating draws against Villarreal, Las Palmas, Borussia Dortmund and Eibar - a feat last achieved in Capello's second managerial spell at the Bernabeu in 2006.
Ronaldo has been nursing the knee injury he sustained in the Euro 2016 final, restricting him to just six appearances for Los Blancos so far this season.
And Capello feels Real are crying out for their talisman to return to the first-team fold fully fit.
Speaking on Spanish radio station Onda Cero, the former England manager said: "The problem for Real Madrid now is Cristiano Ronaldo.
Cristiano Ronaldo is Real Madrid's best player but he is not well physically.
Former Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello
"Because he is not well physically and is their best player."
Ronaldo's three-goal return so far this season is evidence of battle for fitness - at the same stage last term he had hit the net on 10 occasions.
In light of his current form, Sky Sports' Spanish football expert Guillem Balague believes Ronaldo's diminishing influence could see his role at the Bernabeu alter under Zidane.
"Against Las Palmas we saw something unique," he said, speaking in his column after that game. "It's the first time Ronaldo has been replaced at Real Madrid for tactical reasons. It's never happened before.
"Only Zidane could do that, because nobody else is brave enough to do so, but Ronaldo is not in good form.
"Ronaldo should only be upset at himself. He's peaked physically, and now I think Zidane is responding to that.
"Rotation is the name of the game for the top three teams in La Liga, it appears Ronaldo is going to be a part of that."
Real, who currently sit second in the Primera Division behind city rivals Atletico Madrid on goal difference, will be hoping Ronaldo can fire them back to winning ways at Real Betis on October 15.
Watch Real Betis v Real Madrid live from 7.30pm on October 15, Sky Sports 5 HD