Another enthralling La Liga season is reaching its climax. The UEFA Champions League is down to the last 4. A mouth watering El Clásico in the Copa del Rey final awaits us. One thing that’s common to all these competition is the coming of age of Real Madrid. Will they end the season on a high by completing a treble of trophies or will they go out with a whimper from all 3 competitions. No matter what happens, one thing is for sure, we’re gonna see some helluva good football.
It is no surprise that Real Madrid is competing for the top honors in domestic league football as well as in the European arena. They are at the top end of the La liga table fighting it out with their local rivals Athletico Madrid and long standing rivals FC Barcelona. The Galacticos will meet the latter in the Copa del Rey final which promises to be an all action affair. If this were not enough, they are drawn against the reigning European champions Bayern Munich in the semi finals of the UEFA Champions League which will be their 25th appearance in the premier European competition. This promises to be a clash of epic proportions with both teams having star studded attacking lineups.
There are reasons to believe that this is the season that Real Madrid shed the tag of also-rans and actually go on the win the treble. Similarly there are reasons to believe that they may not win any of the three competitions that they are currently competing in and have a not so successful end to their season which is showing so much promise. Let us take a look at both the scenarios and reasons.
Everything to their hearts desire – the Treble
Let’s agree on one thing. This is one of the most attacking and exciting line ups that we have seen at Real Madrid. A starting lineup that can instill a sense of apprehension or even fear in the opposition ranks. Opposition managers will have had sleepless nights seeing the trio of Ronaldo, Benzema and Bale charging at their defenders. If that were not enough, Real Madrid also possesses the trickery of Di Maria, the pass-masterclass of Alonso and Modric and the bombing runs of the full backs Carvajal & Marcelo. They have a variety of weapons in their arsenal which can dismantle, destroy, disorganize and disorient any defence in world football.
There are no two ways about the attacking prowess of the team and the ability to make goals out of nothing. Ronaldo is having the season of his life and scoring goals for fun. Bale is slowly starting to settle into the team and Benzema has started to look more lethal as the season has worn on. With so much to offer on the forward line and the midfield to make all the chances, they look the team to beat in all 3 competitions but then, there is always the flip side of any coin.
Nightmare – No Sliverware
We should have a plan of attack – Captain America
We have a plan, attack! – Iron Man
Well this is pretty much the philosophy of this Real Madrid team. This said, make no mistake about the world class players they have in defence. Sergio Ramos, Pepe and two great goalkeepers in Diego Lopez and Iker Casillas can suffocate any attack but their form throughout the season has looked suspect. When they are good, they are exceptional but more often than not there has been a complete breakdown in communication among the back 4 and the goalkeeper, the defending has seemed school boy like and marking has looked out of place. The disciplinary record of the back 4 has also not helped their defensive cause. It came to light in the quarter final against Borussia Dortmund. It has been like that for pretty much the major part of the season. The goals scored at the other end have covered up some of the lapses in defence but Bayern Munich in the semi final and Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final may not be that forgiving.
The League or the Champions League?
It is welcome problem of priority that every manager across Europe would love to face. Carlo Ancelotti is a seasoned veteran and he will definitely know where his team’s priorities lie. With 6 games to go in the league and just 3 points separating the top 3 teams, it is no forgone conclusion. Real, currently are in third position but have a reason to a little more than helpful. Atletico Madrid and Barcelona have to play each other in the last game of the season. One of the two will definitely drop points and Real Madrid can hope that the result is in their favor. However, for them to stand a chance, it is imperative that they win all their remaining games.
The champions league trophy has eluded Real Madrid for 12 long years now and the belief inside the camp is that this might be the year that the trophy with big ears comes once again to Santiago Bernabéu. They need no further incentive to go at full throttle for the trophy with the defending champions lying in wait. What’s more interesting is that should they win the semi final, they will not only have defeated their nemesis in the form of Pep Guardiola but it would mean they would set up a final clash with either their local rivals or their controversial manager Jose Mourinho. Whatever happens, the next couple of months promise to provide us with quality football.