Prior to this season, Real Madrid were quite easily considered to be one of the two best clubs in world football alongside rivals Barcelona. Barca had been able to win La Liga and Real won three Champions League titles in a row, so when it comes to the balance of play, you could even argue that Madrid were clearly ahead. Then, after Zinedine Zidane took it upon himself to leave the club, everything changed.
They cycled their way through two managers, both of whom weren’t able to keep the momentum of Zinedine’s great work going. They fell out of the title race, and worst of all, they fell out of the Champions League in pretty unbelievable fashion at the hands of Ajax. It was clear to see that changes needed to be made in order to restore this club to where they once were, and in one quick move, everything seemed to come back into focus.
Eyes on the prize
Zidane is back at the club after spending some time away to, it seems, recharge his batteries. He’s still easily one of the most exciting managers in world football today, and the mind boggles when thinking about how much more he could accomplish in the future. Right now, though, one of the biggest question marks is what do Real Madrid need to do in order to ascend to the top again? Reports from Metro and Daily Express continue to throw around a series of possibilities when it comes to transfers, but in reality, it’s not just about that.
This is about taking advantage of a wounded animal in the form of Barcelona. For the second year running they’ve been unable to take that next step in European competition, and when we say failed to take that next step, we mean that they’ve been embarrassed. Roma and Liverpool both overcame three goal deficits to knock Messi and company out of the Champions League, and when you have something like that happen twice, you’d have to imagine it has some kind of lasting impact.
We aren’t suggesting that Barca are going to fall apart overnight or anything like that, but what we are saying is there is a big opportunity on the table for Real Madrid here.
Can they do it?
We aren’t sure how, when or even if they’re going to go about doing this, but there hasn’t been an opportunity like this for them in a long time. What do we mean by that? Simple: we mean Barcelona are incredibly vulnerable, and they don’t look like themselves whatsoever.
Zidane is a master at consistency, and perhaps if he can build the squad he truly wants this summer, he can finally figure out how to maintain the balance between Europe and domestic football. He has always struggled to combine the two in a manner that would see them rule over Spain, but maybe, just maybe, everything he has been able to learn in the last year or so has prepared him for next season.
Watch out, Barca.