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Domestic Troubles at Real Madrid
07 March 2018, 12:15
Domestic Troubles at Real Madrid
ninopavisic / Shutterstock.com

If you cast your mind back to June 2017, Zinedine Zidane had just masterminded a second consecutive Champions League success for Real Madrid. A victory that came just a month after landing a first La Liga title since 2012.

It seemed as if Los Blancos were set for more domestic dominance this season especially after making light work of Barcelona in the Spanish Supercup just two months after their 4-1 win over Juventus in Cardiff.

However, that two-legged win over Barcelona now looks as if is the ‘Galacticos’ either peaked to early in this campaign or it was final act from this superstar squad that it is now reaching the end of its cycle.

Many felt that it was going to be Barcelona that were going to be in a state of transition this season as new manager Ernesto Valverde took over the reigns at the Nou Camp while also losing Neymar to PSG for a world record transfer fee.

But if anything, this Barcelona side have gone from strength to strength, they are currently unbeaten in La Liga and are heavy favourites to go on and wrestle back the La Liga crown from the clutches of Real Madrid.

If things are going so right for the Catalan giants, just why has this not been the case for the team from the Spanish capital. Many will point to the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo’s powers are slightly on the wane.

He may well be finally finding his feet in terms of La Liga goals this season after an incredibly slow start by his own high standards, but you could argue that these additions to his goal tally have only come once the pressure of a title race is non-apparent.

Critics will point to the fact that he was a mere footnote in the first La Liga El Clasico of the season as Barcelona won 3-0 at the Bernabeu, in a game which saw the home side finish the game with 10 men and Zinedine Zidane lauded with boos due to some baffling substitutions.

Perhaps it is a case that the former World Cup winner has pushed this group of players as far as he can, and they quite simply have nothing left to give, both physically and mentally. When you’ve reached the summit of Europe two years in a row then eventually the only way is down.

Looking at the Real Madrid squad you could accuse Zidane of being too loyal to some of the players who have delivered their recent success, while it is quite apparent that this squad will require an overhaul in the summer.

If the gap is already seismic between themselves and their arch rivals Barcelona then they can ill afford to stick with the same group of players for next season as the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema will be a year older with their powers already visibly diminishing.

The most pertinent question that must be asked is whether Zinedine Zidane will be the man to oversee the change in squad personnel. After the success he has delivered to the club over the past few years then he will be saved the ignominy of the sack but there may well be an amicable parting of ways at the end of the season.

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OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. FC Barcelona 31 15 9 4 2 41 19 22
2. Sevilla FC 28 15 8 4 3 27 16 11
3. Atlético Madrid 28 15 7 7 1 21 10 11
4. Real Madrid 26 15 8 2 5 23 19 4
5. Deportivo Alavés 24 15 7 3 5 18 17 1
6. Levante UD 22 15 6 4 5 27 25 2
7. Real Betis 22 15 6 4 5 16 17 -1
8. Getafe CF 21 15 5 6 4 16 12 4
9. Girona FC 21 15 5 6 4 17 17 0
10. RCD Espanyol 21 15 6 3 6 17 20 -3
11. Celta de Vigo 20 15 5 5 5 28 24 4
12. Real Valladolid 20 15 5 5 5 13 15 -2
13. SD Eibar 19 15 5 4 6 19 23 -4
14. Real Sociedad 19 15 5 4 6 18 18 0
15. Valencia CF 18 15 3 9 3 12 12 0
16. CD Leganes 17 15 4 5 6 15 19 -4
17. Villarreal CF 14 15 3 5 7 15 19 -4
18. Athletic Bilbao 14 15 2 8 5 15 23 -8
19. Rayo Vallecano 10 15 2 4 9 15 30 -15
20. SD Huesca 7 15 1 4 10 12 30 -18

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