March 6 could signal the dawn of a new era at Real Madrid.
That is the date of the return leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain and, anything but a triumph will mean the end of the road for Zinedine Zidane.
However, the Frenchman won’t be the only Bernabeu icon to shown the door should they leave the Parc des Princes with their collective tails between their legs.
Karim Benzema, 30, and Cristiano Ronaldo, 32, are coming towards the end at Real Madrid and are in danger of not getting the glorious send-off their commitment has deserved.
The pair both signed in 2009 as Florentino Perez kicked off his second term as president with a summer of revolution.
It’s difficult to remember this now, but Real Madrid were in freefall.
Yes, they’d been champions only 12 months earlier, but there was a chasm between themselves and a Barcelona side who had won the Treble and humiliated Los Blancos 6-2 at the Bernabeu.
Under Pep Guardiola and Co, they would storm to the subsequent two La Liga titles — and looked set to dominate for the entire decade.
But Real Madrid were champions once again in 2011-12 and would win their first European title for 12 years two seasons later.
Incredibly, with two more in the next two years, they won as many as Barcelona have in their supposed golden age, and could now argue to have been more successful in this recent period.
Ronaldo has been their main man, winning the Ballon d’Or on four occasions, but Benzema’s contribution has been every bit as important.
With 185 goals, the former Lyon striker is Real Madrid’s seventh-highest goal scorer of all-time.
Under Zidane, they have been European champions for the past two seasons — but the decline has been rapid.
Last season, the Frenchman was able to utilise his squad to the fullest.
Whenever, they were in danger, someone would pop up with a late goal.
Usually, it was defensive stalwart Sergio Ramos, but it was Ronaldo who turned up with hat-trick after hat-trick at the business end of the campaign.
However, this season, that man is nowhere to be seen. The contributions of Ronaldo and Benzema in La Liga have been pitiful.
Between them, they have contributed just nine goals, and they have been spread over just four matches throughout the season. It is far from good enough.
The dismal defeat to Leganes in the Copa del Rey means the Champions League is all that’s left to fight for this season.
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Regardless of what happens, Perez is expected to make serious changes on the pitch, with Neymar, Harry Kane and Eden Hazard among the big-names he wants to bring in.
And defeat at PSG would serve to speed up the process. Zidane would be unlikely to see the season out and big-name transfers would be negotiated in advance.
Ronaldo and Benzema are likely to leave regardless, but the longer they are in the Champions League, the better their chances of leaving on their terms.
Should the campaign end with yet another open bus parade, well the pitiful seasons of Benzema and Ronaldo would be completely forgotten and they can leave as heroes.
While, for Zidane, he will have the option to decide whether he wants to manage Neymar or Kane.
Lose to PSG, however, and their Real Madrid careers will be over before the spring of 2018.