La Liga 2016/17: Zinedine Zidane targeting all-time Real Madrid record
Real Madrid president, Florentino Pérez’s decision to appoint Zinedine Zidane as the manager of the club has proven to be a masterstroke. Zidane led the club to European glory last season and he has lost only two matches during his reign.
The Los Blancos are currently on a 28-game unbeaten run and are on course to surpass the club’s all-time unbeaten record. The current record is 34 games, which was set by the Real Madrid side of the 1988-89 season, popularly known as La Quinta del Buitre.
Real Madrid are currently top of the La Liga table and are high on confidence, but extending their unbeaten run to seven more games looks really tricky on paper. Real’s first fixture after the international break is a trip to the Vicente Calderón to face local rivals, Atletico Madrid.
One of Zidane’s two defeats as Real Madrid manager was in the Madrid derby whilst the other was suffered at the hands of Wolfsburg in the Champions League. Atletico sits fourth on the table right now, six points behind Real and Diego Simeone’s men would be desperate to close the gap on their rivals to three points.
After the Madrid derby, the Los Blancos travel to Portugal to face Cristiano Ronaldo’s old club, Sporting CP in the UEFA Champions League. Sporting gave Real Madrid a firm test in the reverse fixture before surrendering to a 2-1 defeat.
Real then have a couple of home games against Sporting Gijon and Cultural Leonesa in the La Liga and Copa Del Rey respectively. Next up is the big one, the El Clasico. Real travel to the Camp Nou on the 3rd of December to face arch-rivals Barcelona. The 11-time European champions won this fixture last season which made Zidane the first Real Madrid manager to taste victory on his first El Clasico since Bernd Schuster managed it in the 2007-08 season.
If the Los Blancos salvage at least a point in the Camp Nou, they would have extended their winning streak to 33 games. The El Clasico is followed by the visits of Borussia Dortmund and Deportivo La Coruna.
The away games against Barcelona and Atletico Madrid hold the key and if the reigning European champions can at least come away with a draw from these two games, they will probably surpass the 26-year-old record. Zidane and his team will be determined to take maximum points from these fixtures and breaking the record will be more than a bonus.
However, Real Madrid have already been dealt a blow as midfielder Toni Kroos has fractured the metatarsal on his right foot, sidelining the German international until the new year. Kroos will also miss the FIFA Club World Cup.