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It's not the end of the world for Real Madrid fans

CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
1.75K   //    16 Aug 2018, 21:41 IST

On Wednesday, Real Madrid suffered a 4-2 loss to fierce derby rivals Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup final. Yes, any loss to cross city rivals Atletico is unfortunate for Real Madrid fans. And yes, this was Julen Lopetegui's first chance to get his hands on some silverware with Real Madrid, and it was a missed opportunity.

Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Super Cup
Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Super Cup

This loss is not however, as disheartening as it seems.

First and most importantly, Real Madrid are in a transition state at the moment.

Zinadine Zidane was hugely successful in his tenure as club manager and his decision to exit the club after a third consecutive Champions League trophy came as a shock to many. Julen Lopetegui, then Spanish National manager was hired to succeed Zidane a few days before the the beginning of the World Cup.

This then lead to the RFEF(Royal Spanish Football Federation) sacking him and appointing Fernando Hierro to take over temporarily. The point is, following Zidane was always going to be difficult, but taking over arguably the biggest club in the world from him, in such contentious fashion has made it incredibly hard.

Either way, Lopetegui has just begun his work here at Madrid and the both the players and the manager need some time to get adjusted to each other. While there were obvious deficiencies in their defending and sometimes, even in the midfield, there were a few bright sparks of play that could be an indication of good times to come.


Second, and this is an obvious one, Real Madrid have just lost Cristiano Ronaldo, their talisman for the last decade.

Sure, I wouldn't say that Real Madrid had been a team that passed the ball to Ronaldo and sat back waiting for the magic to happen. However, there is no doubt that in many tight situations they did look to Ronaldo for inspiration and more often than not, he came through.

And now, he's gone. Real Madrid no longer have a talismanic figure to power them through difficult situations. Of course Madrid still have some of the best players in the world, such as Bale, Modric, Kroos, Ramos and Marcelo. But getting accustomed to the absence of a player as prominent in their game plan as Ronaldo could take some time.

Real Madrid v AC Milan - Pre-Season Friendly
Not his night

Third, we can say that much of the Real Madrid squad were off their game on Wednesday, making mistakes they normally wouldn't.

There was a certain lethargy about the Real Madrid's defense for Atletico's equalizer. And of course, there was Varane's mistake for Atletico's third goal, giving possession away cheaply near the penalty box.

So, perhaps we can say that certain players simply under performed during the match and the result needn't be indicative of a larger systemic issue. There were also some brilliant displays of attacking play in the match, such as Real Madrid's first goal, that gave everyone much to hope for.

Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Super Cup
A performance to remember

Lastly, we can't deny that Atletico Madrid played brilliantly, taking advantage of Real Madrid's mistakes and putting them into the ground.

Diego Costa was brilliant, scoring two fantastic goals while players like Juanfran, Saul and Koke were also very good.

So, the point is, there's no need to go into a panic, criticizing Lopetegui for losing out on the UEFA Super Cup to Atletico and worrying about Madrid's season on the whole. This loss should be considered a singular drop in performance and so, yeah the future is still bright for Madrid under Lopetegui.

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