Real Madrid’s Nacho has confessed that he would love to see Cristiano Ronaldo continue to strut his stuff at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Ronaldo left the Spanish capital for Juventus in the summer, amid reports he felt under-valued by those in charge at Madrid.
He has since settled nearly into life in Turin, while Madrid have struggled for goals in his absence.
And the Merengue defender recognises that they would welcome the Portugal forward back in a heartbeat.
“It is a difficult subject for us. I’ve said it several times. If it were up to us we would love to have Cristiano in the squad because we had him for many years and he is a player who makes a difference,” Nacho said.
“But it is a situation where we cannot feel sorry for ourselves because of Cristiano. He chose to leave.
“We are grateful for everything he did for us and we wish him the best of luck. But we cannot feel sorry for someone who is no longer with us. It isn’t our fault he left, nor was it up to us to make him stay.
“I hope he has the best of luck and we have to work through the present and future in the best way we can with what we have.”
Madrid’s decision not to splash out on an elite replacement seems to have backfired, as the team have fired blanks for the last four games.
But Nacho insisted that the Blancos have enough quality to break out of their current malaise.
“Well, Cristiano left and the club decided not to sign anybody. We have a lot of faith in the players we have,” he added.
“You win titles with the players you have in the squad. To start with, when we were winning everything looked rosy and now it doesn’t. But we have to keep our cool in this sport, and save our analysis for when the season finishes. But we have a lot of confidence in the players we have.”
Madrid will be back in La Liga action on October 20 at home to Levante, with the Clasico away to Barcelona looming the following Sunday.
Ernesto Valverde’s men have also endured mixed fortunes so far this season, all of which points to an open Clasico with everything to play for.
“Clasicos are Clasicos. In the end, when the ball starts rolling, it doesn’t matter what position you are in, or how many points separate each team,” Nacho affirmed.
“We saw that last year. They are special games. First we have to beat Levante and Viktoria [Plzen, in the Champions League] to get there with more confidence, but the Clasico always comes at the right time.”