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Real Madrid's season of resurgence

CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
Timeless

Real Madrid had a disappointing 2018-19 campaign
Real Madrid had a disappointing 2018-19 campaign

When you talk about successful teams in sporting circles, chances are you might hear the name Real Madrid being spelled more often than once.

The level of successes that the side from the Spanish capital has accumulated in the club adorns its historic existence with a bulging trophy cabinet.

Be it the trophies, the staff or the players on the pitch, Real Madrid has never settled for second best and the fans have been witness to some of football's famous "Galacticos" don the famous white kit.

The 2018-19 season

Despite the star quotient on show, the past campaign has been one to forget for the capital side and has garnered all sorts of negative reactions from the press and fans alike.

Madrid started off by losing their record goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo who switched to Juventus in the summer and from there the problems started.

With no activity in the transfer market to ameliorate the forward's output, the team was low on confidence and certainly low on personnel which was evident on the pitch.

Real were fortunate to finish third in La Liga considering their position during the first half of the season.

They were eliminated at the hands of the young Ajax side from the champions league round of 16 and the campaign rounded off with the exit from Copa Del Rey at the hands of FC Barcelona. Their only success was the Club World Cup triumph in December.

Inconsistent performances, lack of work rate, lack of winning mentality and managerial problems all contributed to their disappointing campaign, which brought all sorts of criticism and despair for the players and the club.

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The only positive signs were the performances of striker Karim Benzema who ended the league season with 22 goals behind Leo Messi and young Vinicius Jr. who impressed the Bernabeu faithful with some robust displays.


Luka Modric won the Ballon d'Or but had a season to forget
Luka Modric won the Ballon d'Or but had a season to forget

The steps of the resurgence

Prioritizing the league

Real Madrid's domestic dominance has taken a beating in the past decade at the hands of their Clasico rivals FC Barcelona. The side has won only two league titles in the past decade (2011/12, 2016/17) despite having dominated the continental circuit winning, four out of the last six Champions League editions, including a hat-trick of titles.

Real Madrid lifting their 12th Champions league title in Cardiff
Real Madrid lifting their 12th Champions league title in Cardiff

Real must reiterate their domination in domestic competitions as they did in the years before. The club has to be more competitive in the domestic phase and must seriously challenge for every trophy they participate and not just in the Champions League which has been their forte over the past few seasons.

Winning some domestic accolades might also go a long way in instilling confidence in the squad for bigger aspirations in the future.

They certainly have the squad to do the same and it is the sense of patience and longevity that must be instilled in the current crop of Galacticos which will be the challenge for Zidane, who was the last manager to win a domestic title for Real when they won the league title in 2016/17 under his stewardship.

Transfer business

Club president Florentino Perez's "Galactico Model" has meant that the Bernabeu crowds have always been witness to football's best in the white kits as mentioned before. Having endured the ignominy in the close season would mean that the side would scour the market for top-class talent.

The club have learnt the lessons from last season's transfer mess and splashed the cash bringing in top-class prospects like Luka Jovic from Eintracht Frankfurt (£52 million), left-back Ferland Mendy from Lyon (£50 million), Santos' starlet Rodrygo Goes (£40 million) and the statement signing of the world-class Eden Hazard from Chelsea for a reported fee of £88.5 million.

The club signed Eden Hazard from Chelsea for almost €105mn.
The club signed Eden Hazard from Chelsea for almost €105mn.

Provide more game time to youngsters

Despite not being known for blooding youngsters, Madrid currently have an excellent crop of young players who can easily slot into any team in the world. From Vinicius Jr to Dani Ceballos, the club is abundant with budding young talent, with more coming through the famed La Fabrica academy.

One of the major problems highlighted last season was the fact that Real possessed an aging squad and young, fresh legs were needed to push the club forward.

Performances from players like Vinicius Jr, Fede Valverde, and January recruit Brahim Diaz augurs well for the future, but the experience that these young players gain through by playing more minutes will be a huge boost to their confidence and will help to keep the squad on their toes hungry for more success.

The future

The roadmap has already been laid by Real for the new season with some great signings and the return of Zinedine Zidane at the helm of the Bernabeu.

But the club still faces a long road to recovery and must once again rekindle their top levels if they want to compete for more success that a club like Real Madrid deserves.

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