Is Real Madrid Ready for UEFA Champions League Defense?

Author: Raphael Minter


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Real Madrid C.F. are the defending champions of the UEFA Champions League, have a 100 percent record in the opening three games of La Liga and have the Best Player in Europe in Cristiano Ronaldo to rely on but after an abysmal performance against Sporting CP, are the white angels ready for a title defense?

On Wednesday, it took the individual brilliance of Ronaldo to curve home a free kick with Alvaro Morata connecting a James Rodriguez cross in the last minute of added time.

Real Madrid has not been the team they were under Zinedine Zidane when he took charge in January 2016 and led them to 12 straight wins in the league.

Either due to majority of their players participating in the UEFA Euro 2016 or the team having won the UEFA Champions League twice in three seasons, the urgency to win has so far been missing.

The display of the trio tagged BBC has been in a far worse shape as compared to the MNS who were responsible for six of Barcelona’s seven goals in their game against Celtic on Tuesday.

Karim Benzema was one of the five players on the pitch who did not represent their country in any major competition this summer with the others being Kiko Casilla, Daniel Carvayal, Marcelo and Raphael Varane. As a forward Benzema should be Real Madrid’s best summer signing since he has had a great deal of recovery time from last season as compared to his contributing strikers who faced each other in the last four of the Euros.

Real Madrid’s Lack of Summer Transfer Hurting the Team

A manager like Zinedine Zidane has been at the pinnacle of world football for over two decades and therefore failing to strengthen his squad to supplement the efforts of the current squad has caused some upsets in the football fraternity.

Real Madrid’s 2014 UEFA Champions League win was attributed to Angel Di Maria but the player who made all the headlines was Gareth Bale because of the zeal and enthusiasm he brought to the Madrid setup and also justifying his price tag.

The two goals he scored in either finals of the Champions League and Copa Del Rey settled the matches with Marcelo and Ronaldo’s third and fourth goal in the former just adding up to the celebrations.

James Rodriguez came into the squad in 2014 and helped the team reach the semi-finals of the competition. Casemiro has followed suit and after his loan spell at Porto ended, he has helped Madrid in interceptions and tackles and this contributed invaluably to Madrid’s win in the El Clasico as well as the equal combative display in the final against Diego Simeone’s soldiers.

Real Madrid in Great Difficulty of Making Champions League Record

The 2016/17 UEFA Champions League had Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich as favorites. Atletico Madrid is always a silent observer but a new name is gradually emerging and that’s Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. After seven wins in all competitions, Guardiola’s English journey is on course and after three semi-final failures he would love to get it right in the fourth time. With a keen eye on the other favorites, Barcelona and Bayern Munich notched up a combined twelve goals.

Luis Enrique and Barcelona are aiming to make up for all the wrongs last season with their squad depth while Carlo Ancelotti aims to be the first man to win the Champions League with three different clubs since Ottmar Hitzfeld and Jupp Heynckes are retired whiles Jose Mourinho manages Manchester United who are contenders in the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League. Would Carlo Ancelotti Be Able to Win UEFA Champions League With Three Different Clubs?

Zidane has seen it all in football after winning numerous titles in his career but faces an uphill task in defending this season’s title.

Real Madrid is the biggest club in Europe but if the abysmal performance against Sporting CP continues then the curse of being defending champions would catch up with them early in the competition.

 


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