Why Real Madrid will fall soon
Having retained the Champions League last term, the Spanish giants have started this season poorly - prompting an impending fall
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and they do not necessarily represent the views of Sportskeeda.
Real Madrid are perhaps the world's greatest club at present, by a reasonable distance. They have enjoyed several years of success at the top of their game, winning a multitude of trophies while also owning most of the records which currently stand across European football.
Previously home to superstars in previous years including Alfredo Di Stefano, Luis Figo, De Lima Ronaldo, Raul, Zinedine Zidane and Roberto Carlos to name just a few, the club's heritage and key values have been retained even to the present. Cristiano Ronaldo, who just won the Ballon d'Or award for world's best player for the fifth time, is among their ranks.
Crucially though, they have a wide range of fantastic players in the first-team squad including Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric - all of whom combined to make history last season by becoming the first side to retain the UEFA Champions League trophy since AC Milan in 1990.
Beating arch-rivals Barcelona to both La Liga and the Spanish Super Cup, they have recently been the envy of many top European sides.
This season's statistical breakdown
However if you look at this season's stats, it is obvious that Real have not started well at all. Following Saturday's 3-0 Clasico defeat, they are now 14 points behind Barça going into 2018 with the season already halfway complete.
That's never a good sign, with many suggesting the league is already in Barcelona's grasp. It's hard to argue against that.
However, their poor form in recent months is something that potentially could have been avoided if the club dealt with impending issues more efficiently.
Internal politics and manipulation are some of the heaviest factors which continue to pull Real down, as Florentino Perez's preferential treatments towards Karim Benzema have ultimately failed to succeed - the experienced Frenchman has struggled in attack for months but retains his starting berth.
In comparison, Álvaro Morata performed well when given an opportunity to do so and it's no surprise that Chelsea made a £70m move for his services this past summer.
Morata's departure was not the only significant loss that Real have felt recently, either. James Rodriguez's two-year loan move to Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich has only strengthened them in the final third, while Jese Rodriguez and Mariano Diaz are both attack-minded options that could have been utilised off the substitutes' bench, providing fresh impetus against opponents who manage to suss out Real's tactics.
The inconsistency of their frontline this term has been significant, to say the least. Cristiano Ronaldo and Benzema have both been regularly misfiring, while Gareth Bale is continually injured and rarely gets a good run of matches under his belt to establish some form of consistency.
Between the attacking trio, they've scored eight goals in La Liga this season. As one of the world's most feared combinations, it's simply not good enough.
If you have been following Real's progress in recent seasons, you will understand just how important Ronaldo is to the side. His goalscoring influence, especially in the Champions League last term, helped propel them from the quarter-finals to win - and retain - their crown.
The Portuguese international is heavily influential, but it's becoming increasingly clear that with age, he is declining and they need a new star to succeed the 32-year-old.
Another issue is the demanding nature of their supporters. Madrid players are expected to perform under heavy pressure and scrutiny from fans and critics - their supporters are regularly found whistling and jeering players, as opposed to motivating them toward victory in close games.
This criticism is not limited to one player, with Ronaldo himself a victim to the boo-boys in recent seasons when not on top goalscoring form.
Luck is another factor which has disappointed Madrid this term. For much of last season, it was regularly asserted that Zinedine Zidane was simply a lucky boss, one who earned success and plaudits alike from his side's undeserving victories.
The wheel has turned full circle, considering Los Blancos' inability to score from 27 attempts on goal during their surprise 1-0 home defeat by Real Betis in September.
We live in a world which is surrounded by many forces. The force of gravity ensures everything that goes up, eventually comes down. Perhaps this is what is affecting Real at present, with a potential fall from such dizzying heights an alarming possibility.