After Real Madrid’s short-term future was wiped away at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday night, the club has little choice but to turn its attention to long-term issues.
Sportsmail looks at what the Ajax annihilation will end up meaning for the club’s big names at the end of this campaign.
Santiago Solari is a club man hired from within and could well now try to steady the ship through to the summer.
He has no chance of staying in charge after overseeing what many have called the worst week in the club’s history – two defeats to Barcelona and one to Ajax in seven days leading to elimination from three competitions.
He needed to win something to stay on into next season. He has not even come close.
Santiago Solari looks certain to be sacked by Real Madrid before the start of next season
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is Real Madrid’s No 1 target to replace Solari
The Real Madrid captain will regret forcing that yellow in the Johan Cruyff Arena three weeks ago.
He might also regret allowing Amazon into this private box on Tuesday night so they could film part of an eight-part documentary on him.
The image of him shooting a film sat in front of the big SR4 branding on the wall behind his seat maybe sends out the wrong message.
He is still adored by almost all Madrid fans but there will be competition for a place in the centre of defence next season with centre back an absolute priority in the summer window.
If Jose Mourinho comes back things could get even worse. He has gone public over not wanting the Portuguese manager to return.
If it happens, the two are likely to pick up where they left off six years ago – at loggerheads.
Sergio Ramos was in the stands as Real Madrid were stunned by Ajax on Tuesday evening
Games in charge: 31
Goals scored: 67
Goals against: 36
He has been the scapegoat in the last few weeks, but the blame is now about to be shared around far more evenly.
He will still be on the receiving end of plenty of it, with most supporters wanting him gone in the summer. Selling him might be easier said than done, however.
He has a contract until 2022 and is earning wages that few clubs in world football would be able to match.
He is one of football’s great survivors. If the fan abuse keeps up and Madrid drop his price dramatically, he could go to China or Japan for a huge pay day.
But don’t entirely back against him keeping his head down between now and the summer and kicking off pre-season with his sixth different Real Madrid coach.
If that sounds outlandish, ask yourself: ‘Where will he go? Who will pay the transfer and wages?’
Gareth Bale could leave Real Madrid this summer if a club are willing to match his huge wages
Another who despite all the criticism could still be there in the summer. He has not been the worst this season, even carrying the team at times.
That said, the days of him being first choice with no competition for his place in the team have to be over.
Madrid will buy forwards in the summer and his new role, if he wants it, will be as guardian to the youngsters.
Like Ramos, he probably will not welcome any Mourinho return. He does, however, remain one of the president’s favourites.
Karim Benzema is unlikely to be Real Madrid’s first choice striker when the new season begins
He went down fighting on Tuesday night and that will not be forgotten.
It’s still not completely clear if he has actually signed the much-heralded new contract at Madrid.
His future might depend on who comes in for him. But Madrid supporters will be happy for him to stay.
As the team dropped to its collective knees on Tuesday night, he stood tall. They need his character as they attempt to go forward.
Luka Modric still has a place in Real’s midfield despite interest from Italian side Inter Milan
The handful of supporters still left outside the player’s exit at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday night had very different reactions towards Courtois and Keylor Navas when they drove away.
They see one as hard-done-by and the other as the undeserving inheritor to the shirt he has taken from the Costan Rican.
Many supporters want Navas back in the team. Courtois has had an awful first season at Real Madrid.
‘Go to Atletico’ shouted one fan as he drove away. He is a long term investment from the club, however, and you can expect him to start as first choice goalkeeper next season.
Thibaut Courtois looks on after conceding a fourth goal to Ajax at the Bernabeu on Tuesday
THE YOUNG ONES
Vinicius Junior, Sergio Reguilon and Marcos Llorente have all been superb under Solari and will be part of the new Madrid.
Llorente’s injury has been key to the implosion, with Casemiro far less effective in holding midfield.
The presence of these, and other young talents, will be used as an argument by those who do not want Mourinho back next season.
There are other coaches with a greater record of developing youngsters – king among them Mauricio Pochettino, who would also have former Manchester City kid Brahim Diaz and Brazilian 18-year Rodrygo Goes if he decides to accept the challenge at the Bernabeu.
Vinicius Junior and Madrid’s other youngsters will be given more playing time next season