‘A s*** season’: Real Madrid players react to Ajax humiliation as fans lament Ronaldo absence
Real Madrid full-back Dani Carvajal laid bare his team’s failings after they were humiliated by Ajax and saw their reign as Champions League holders come to an ignominious end, admitting Real are enduring a “s*** season.”
A rampant Ajax battered Real to win 4-1 in their last 16 second leg at the Bernabeu on Tuesday, overturning a 2-1 first-leg deficit and relinquishing the grip that the Spanish giants have held on Europe’s biggest club trophy for the past three seasons.Also on rt.com Inspired Ajax dump holders Real Madrid out of Champions League
The shattering defeat came after Real were dumped out of the domestic Copa del Rey by arch rivals Barcelona last week, before seeing any hopes of a late charge for the La Liga title extinguished by the same team at home at the weekend.
Speaking after Tuesday’s hammering at the hands of Ajax, an emotional Carvajal said: “It's hard to put into words. In the space of a week, we've dropped out of contention on every front. And tonight there can be no excuses. They were better than us and deserved to go through."
Ajax ran riot in the Spanish capital, racing into a three-nil lead thanks to goals from Hakim Ziyech, David Neres and the superb Dusan Tadic.
While Marco Asensio pulled one back for Real, Ajax’s Lasse Schone smashed home minutes later to put the scoreline at a comprehensive 4-1.
"It's never easy when you're coming into it on the back of two home defeats to Barcelona, but we were focused and had our sights set on victory. But two mistakes left us 2-0 down, and the third goal killed us," said Carvajal, AS.com reported.
Real have won the Champions League in the past three seasons – a reign at the top of European club football extending more than 1,000 days.
When asked whether Tuesday’s exit was the end of an era for the current iteration of the Spanish giants, Carvajal said: "I don't think so. We have a young squad, with plenty of scope to get better.
"It's clear that our season's over, though. We'll keep on working hard in the league, because that's our task. We have to be professional and keep on fighting, [but] we can't get away from the fact that it's been a shit season."Also on rt.com ‘He’s taking lives out there!’ Internet drools at Tadic magic as Ajax stun Real
One man who Real have clearly been missing is Cristiano Ronaldo.
The prolific former star striker – who departed for Juventus in the summer after helping Real to four Champions League titles during his time in the Spanish capital – was a man Real had turned to time and again to dig them out of holes.
As Real slumped to defeat against Ajax, the Portuguese star’s name was trending on social media as football fans exposed the gaping hole his departure has left in the Real frontline.
When Perez asked Bale to step into Ronaldo's shoes pic.twitter.com/9MyTS5EU3k— Chidiebere Ogu ™️ (@chyngyozil) March 5, 2019
The managerial mastermind behind Real's Champions League treble was, of course, club legend Zinedine Zidane, who left the club in a shock departure during the summer.
Many saw that as a shrewd, prophetic move, given what has unfolded this season.
Zidane unreal tactician, left Real Madrid as soon as Ronaldo left because he carried the whole team and could already foresee this outcome. Legacy still intact.— Mod (@CFCMod_) March 5, 2019
There's a reason Zidane walked away and so many big names turned the job down. Real Madrid need an overhaul. They weren't great last season either, CL aside. It was a thankless task trying to overachieve once again with a squad that lost its spark - and record goalscorer.— Andrew Gaffney (@GaffneyVLC) March 5, 2019
Underfire current boss Santiago Solari, meanwhile, has vowed not to quit the Bernabeu despite sitting in the hottest of hot seats.
"I did not come to the club in such a difficult moment to give up," Solari said after the defeat.
"What we must do is remain as calm as possible in such a difficult moment and take it on with the best character.
"Madrid is bigger than any of us - it always returns - and returns even stronger."
Few would doubt that Real will be back, but it could well be later rather than sooner.