It’s that time of the year when Real Madrid have their annual crisis. The news that Ruud Van Nistelrooy will miss the rest of the season will only add to the doom and gloom in Madrid.
Van Nistelrooy underwent surgery on his troubled right knee in the United States earlier this week and will be sidelined for between six and nine months.
The Colorado surgeon who operated on Van Nistelrooy, Richard Steadman, is widely seen as the best in the business. But there must be doubts as to whether Van Nistelrooy, now aged 32, will ever be the same player again.
Madrid’s problems have been compounded by the dramatic defeat (6-6, losing on away goals) to third division Real Union in the Spanish Cup on Tuesday night. The three goals scored by Real Union in the second leg at the Bernabeu took to eight the number of goals conceded by the champions in three home matches over the last seven days.
Coach Bernd Schuster insists he is not worried about his position but he acknowledged that others may not feel the same way. “I am not worried but I understand others are and they have doubts over the team and my work.”
The biggest problem Schuster has is that Barcelona are starting to play some mightily attractive – and winning – football under new coach Pep Guardiola.
The two sides meet in Barcelona on Saturday December 13. Unlucky for some, but Schuster will be lucky to still be in charge by then.