Ronaldo cannot be replaced by Hazard or Neymar - Salgado

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The former Real Madrid defender does not think departing superstar can be replaced by any one player

Cristiano Ronaldo is irreplaceable for Real Madrid and the club must build a new team without him, rather than expecting someone like Neymar or Eden Hazard to step into his boots, says former defender Michel Salgado.

Ronaldo, Madrid's all-time leading goalscorer, completed a €100 million (£88m/$117m) move to Juventus on Tuesday, signing a four-year deal.

Eden Hazard and Mohamed Salah are among the players touted as potential replacements for the Portugal captain.

And before Ronaldo's move went through, Madrid denied making approaches for Paris Saint-Germain duo Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

But former Madrid defender Salgado feels the club's new coach Julen Lopetegui needs to avoid the temptation to sign another global superstar to succeed Ronaldo, though he admits Hazard and Neymar could be part of a larger solution.

"Ronaldo is irreplaceable. It is a mistake try to replace him because, you cannot replace him individually," Salgado told reporters.

"You just have to try to build a team that works and the goals he scored, the team can score now some other way. Not just one player, but maybe through the system.

"Hazard has had a great World Cup, Neymar is a player that makes the difference, and I'm sure the Bernabeu would like him. Any of them could be very important."

Ronaldo said in an open letter published on the Madrid website that he was seeking to start a "new cycle" in his career.

Salgado has no problem with that decision and hopes for the best for the forward, though not when he squares off against his old team. 

"He marked an era at Real Madrid for nine years," Salgado added. "Really, there are two sides: all Real Madrid supporters are today sad after Ronaldo's leaving announcement.

"On the other hand, it has to be clear that it is a personal decision. Just thank 'El Bicho' for everything he gave. It is his personal decision, with his family. I wish him good luck, except when he plays against Real Madrid."

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