Fabio Capello believes Real Madrid mistakenly thought they could cope without Ronaldo after the player jumped ship.
“Maybe Real Madrid will be going into this worse in terms of form,” he told La Gazzetta Dello Sport.
“They are paying the price for thinking that it would be easier to win without Cristiano Ronaldo and that the results would be the same.
“When Cristiano was at Real Madrid, their rivals were frightened, and his teammates felt more liberty.
“He can create problems at any moment. But having said that, Madrid still have a lot of quality. And Marcelo and Carvajal are now back from injury.”
Cristiano Ronaldo quit Real Madrid for Juventus back in July in a huge £105million transfer deal that was considered a shock move by many.
Both teams, however, have experienced different fortunes so far, with Juventus on course to win the Serie A title again and Real Madrid toiling in Laliga.
Ronaldo ended up as the record goalscorer for Real Madrid, scoring 450 goals in 438 games prior to his move to Juventus and after Madrid failed to sign a replacement, many expected the European Champions to struggle.
Real Madrid had already gotten rid of Julen Lopetegui back in October and appointed Santiago Solari in order to fix their slump.
But in the absence of the 5-time Ballon d’Or winner, Gareth Bale, Benzema and Asensio have all failed to step up.
Capello thinks Solari has as many problems at the back as he does going forward.
“The directors don’t make these decision based on charm, although there has to be a group of players who listen to the president,” he added.
“I’m not too worried about the most recent defeat, but more about what they’re doing well and doing badly.
“We know they’re not defending well in their area, but they do have Courtois who gives them security.”