Real Madrid have failed to take into account the other-than-footballing reasons that come with a player like Cristiano Ronaldo. CR7 is not just a player who brings 50 goals and whatever number of assists to the team. He is a brand. In the modern world, branding is everything. Real Madrid, of itself, is one of the greatest clubs in the world - but add Ronaldo to that equation, and it becomes something more. Whether you agree with it or not, one of the main reasons for Madrid's army of international fans was Ronaldo - who have been following him since the Manchester United days, and when he switched loyalties, they took over Madrid as their second club. Another component was Ronaldo's natural charisma. Even the most staunch of Barcelona fans will agree that Ronaldo is probably the hardest working footballer in the world. It has always been like that - Messi was the skill, and Ronaldo was the perseverance in the yin-yang of modern football. Ronaldo was someone you respected, even if you hated him. Every time he scored and soared to the air, and pointed to his chest proclaiming just who he is, the world watched in envy - and to be honest, a sense that things were right with the world. That is the void that Madrid have to fill now. Not the goals and the assists, but the sheer impact one of the two greatest footballers of the century brings. They can buy a Neymar and bring in the goals. They can buy a Hazard and cover up their assists. But they are no Ronaldo. There is no other Cristiano Ronaldo here. One cannot help but feel that Florentina Perez has dropped the ball on this one. Sure, Ronaldo wanted a super-deal, and an alleged doubling of his salaries and Perez wanted to prove that he will not be held hostage. If Perez had yielded, Madrid would have lost their 100 million euros. But they would have instead had Cristiano Ronaldo. Who in their right mind would choose the money over the Portuguese? While we have to wait and let time answer this question for sure - because Ronaldo might just retire in one year or never score another goal on the pitch - but Ronaldo is not a player you let go of and leave things to chance.