Real Madrid has been at the center of a lot of press conversation since failing to win the 2014 2015 La Liga title-first with the controversial sacking of manager Carlo Ancelotti, and later with the equally controversial appointment of new coach Rafael Benitez. There were also rumors that Cristiano Ronaldo, unhappy with Benitez as a managerial choice, was considering a transfer to a new club. And now the question of who will be Real Madrid captain is hanging in the air. Luckily for fans in the Real Madrid home jersey 2015 2016, the Ronaldo rumors are dying down, following a press interview where Cristiano himself refuted the claims and claimed to be "very happy at the best club in the world."
Still, the period of tumult isn't over for the Vikings-at least not yet. With both captain Iker Casillas and vice captain Sergio Ramos rumored for their own departures from the club this summer, there could still be substantial shake-ups left to come at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium before the 2015 2016 season officially begins. The question is, if both Casillas and Ramos are on the way out, who will take up the mantle as the football club's on-pitch leader?
The End of An Era
Regardless of who takes the captain's armband in 2015 2016, there is no doubt that Real Madrid is currently at the end of an era. Iker Casillas has been goalkeeping for the Vikings since 1999, and has served as captain since the 2010 2011 season. He's also second in the Real Madrid record books in terms of all-time appearances, with 510 league apps and 725 overall. His predecessor in the captaincy department, legendary striker Raul, is at the top of the list with 550 league apps and 740 all-time. Casillas is the only current Real Madrid player ranked in the top 10 in terms of total appearances.
While Cristiano Ronaldo will look to dethrone Raul from the top of Real's all-time leading goalscorer chart in 2015 2016, it doesn't look like Casillas will have the chance to break the appearances record. Following a lukewarm 2014 2015 performance, Casillas is expected to be replaced in the goal for the upcoming La Liga campaign. Casillas only managed 12 clean sheets this past season, saddling the Vikings with a "goals against" tally of 38, and arguably costing them the title. (Barcelona ultimately edged out Real Madrid by just two points in the final La Liga standings.)
The 34-year-old Casillas is expected to be succeeded next season by Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea. Normally, the captaincy would pass to Real's current vice captain, Sergio Ramos. But Ramos has had a notoriously sour relationship with club president Florentino Perez for years now, and rumor has it that he wants out of his Madrid contract.
A New Captain
If rumors prove true and Casillas and Ramos head for Arsenal and Manchester United (respectively), then who will become the football club's new captain and vice-captain? So far, there haven't really been any rumors out of Bernabeu indicating who might take the lead-probably because officials aren't ready to let Ramos walk out the door.
There are plenty of potential leaders among the Vikings soccer squad, though. Don't expect the role to go to Ronaldo. While the world-famous striker captains the Portuguese national team, he's been far more effective at Real Madrid, and Perez and Benitez likely won't want to mess with something that clearly works so well.
Marcelo, who is currently Real's third captain, could take the position. Historically, the Vikings have favored seniority in assigning captaincy positions, and Marcelo has been with Madrid since 2007. As a left-back who can also play as winger, Marcelo also has the visibility on the field to inspire, elevate, and lead an entire soccer squad-from the goalkeeper to the forward and everyone in between.
Per seniority, fourth captain Pepe could also be waiting in the wings for captaincy. But Pepe, who also arrived at the Bernabeu in 2007, is 32-five years older than Marcelo's 27. He still made 38 overall appearances in 2014 2015 (Marcelo made 53), but he's definitely in the twilight of his career, and the Vikings are definitely scaling back their reliance on him. In other words, Pepe becoming captain is likely a ship that's already sailed.
Our bet? Either Ramos will stick around and accept the captaincy, or Marcelo will cover the role. Either way, we're excited to see what 2015 2016 will bring for the Vikings! Stop by Soccer Box to pick up a new Real Madrid jersey 2015 2016, or follow us on social media to keep updated on new transfer rumors, captaincy appointments, and other football news. Soccer Box is currently active on Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and several other social platforms.