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Ranked! 11 potential replacements for Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo replacements

Ronaldo turns 33 today and can’t go on forever. With Real struggling, Michael Yokhin looks at the players who could fill the void that CR7 will one day leave

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11. Leon Bailey

The 20-year-old Jamaican would be a huge gamble, but he is definitely worth looking at. His potential is incredible and his style is quite similar to the young version of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Bailey has started his Bundesliga career with eight goals and six assists in 17 matches for Bayer Leverkusen this term, and his lightning speed and trickery make him unplayable when on-song. Naturally, he's extremely inexperienced and it’s impossible to expect him to replace the Portuguese immediately, but touches like his backheel goal against Hoffenheim show that he can become a world-class player.

10. Robert Lewandowski

Robert Lewandowski

Bayern Munich’s Polish superstar has been the best centre-forward in the world over the past six years. Though a true penalty area predator who is strong and powerful, Lewandowski is also elegant and capable of scoring exquisite goals. His record for Borussia Dortmund and Bayern speaks for itself: he's not scored fewer than 25 goals per season since 2011, and is especially prolific in the Champions League.

Real Madrid know that better than anyone – he netted four times past them in the 2013 semi-finals. There's one significant problem, though: Lewandowski will be 30 in August, and therefore hardly a player you can build a future around. He would be an extremely costly short-term solution, and it's doubtful los Blancos need that.

9. Paulo Dybala

The Argentine has a lot appeal – not only is he an outrageously talented and versatile striker, but the Juventus attacker is also extremely charismatic. His smile and looks can sell shirts by themselves, even without his mighty dribbling skills and shots.

There are significant doubts, though, whether Dybala can really be a true big-game player. Granted, he put in a brilliant performance against Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals last season, and that is always a plus as far as Madrid are concerned.

Yet he often tends to disappear when it matters most, as in the 2017 final against Real. The 24-year-old has scored five Champions League goals in 24 matches, and is yet to prove himself for his national side.

8. Neymar

Neymar

Obviously, given the quality of the player, this is a very tempting move. To bring the former Barcelona idol back to La Liga, to play for their biggest enemy, would be a phenomenal PR move by Real Madrid. They could hardly think of a deal that would bring more coverage. Neymar knows the league well and is certain to perform, making El Clasico hotter than ever.

The downside is that the Brazilian would be an extremely expensive purchase. Even if Paris Saint-Germain are persuaded to sell their star, they would want to make a profit on their €222m investment. In addition, Neymar might not make life easy in the dressing room. As his difficult relationship with Edinson Cavani shows, the idyllic MSN relationship at the Camp Nou was perhaps one of a kind.