Real Madrid on course for one of their best ever seasons

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Considering they are the most decorated club in Spanish and European football history, it’s perhaps surprising that Real Madrid have failed to register anything that might be classed as the “perfect season”.

Of their record 14 European Cup wins, only four have coincided with a league title win. Unlike rivals Barcelona, they’ve never won the treble which means their current campaign has the potential to rank amongst the club’s very best.

Head and shoulders above the rest in Spain this term, Real Madrid have a 76.7% chance of winning the Champions League according to the DraftKings Sportsbook with their showdown against Borussia Dortmund in London at the beginning of June.

Los Blancos have not lost outside of Madrid this season, with their only defeats coming at the Estadio Metropolitano against rivals Atletico in the league and in the Copa del Rey. It’s just one loss in 52 competitive matches if you exclude the Extra Time defeat in the cup, an extraordinary record which puts Carlo Ancelotti’s side on the brink of making this one of the club’s greatest ever seasons.

Jude Bellingham
Jude Bellingham in the derby against Atleti | Photo credit: depositphotos.com

A squad game – Unparalleled depth key to success at home and abroad

Real Madrid’s achievements have been all the more remarkable when you consider the back-drop to this season.

Long serving Karim Benzema left a big hole to fill in attack with his late decision to move to Saudi Arabia last summer. Los Blancos failed to convince Kylian Mbappe to swap Paris for the Spanish capital as his immediate replacement with the loan signing Joselu from relegated Espanyol a seemingly underwhelming stop-gap solution. 

To make matters worse, Real Madrid lost key men Thibaut Courtois and Eder Militao to ACL injuries in August with David Alaba also falling victim to the same fate later in the campaign.

Yet, their ability to maintain a consistent level throughout this season has ultimately been as much about the depth to the squad and the sense that virtually every base is covered, as it has been the brilliance of the likes of Jude Bellingham, Vinicius Junior and Toni Kroos.

From back to front, fringe players have stood up. Andriy Lunin has been a steady presence in goal throughout in the absence of Courtois to such an extent that loan signing Kepa, the world’s most expensive goalkeeper, ends the season as the clear third choice.

Despite the considerable defensive injuries, Antonio Rudiger has emerged as the leader of a back line that has conceded just 22 league goals with two games to play, leaving Real Madrid on course to better their best ever defensive effort in a 38-game LaLiga season (25 goals conceded in 2019/20).

In midfield, there is quality in reserve in every position with Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni jostling for one position while Luka Modric and Toni Kroos have done likewise. Even Dani Ceballos who has been used less frequently would surely be a starter for virtually every other side in the Spanish top flight.

real madrids best ever seasons
Brahim Diaz in action against Rayo | Photo credit: depositphotos.com

In the final third, the form of Brahim Diaz has been another huge positive. The 24 year old has exceeded all expectations and frequently filled the void left by the outstanding Jude Bellingham. 

Brahim and Joselu have chipped in with a combined total of 29 goals in all competitions. That includes some vital Champions League strikes with Brahim scoring the only goal in Leipzig in the Last 16 1st Leg while Joselu was the late hero with a brace against Bayern in the Semi Finals.

In the era of five substitutes and an ever expanding schedule, it’s very much a squad game and Real Madrid are doing it better than anyone else.

One of Real Madrid’s best ever seasons

It’s now nine straight league wins for Los Blancos with Carlo Ancelotti recalling his stars for the 5-0 demolition of Alaves on Tuesday, having effectively named his “B team” in the previous three LaLiga outings, all of which still ended with Real Madrid winning to nil.

While they do still have one massive game they need to win, this is now very much shaping up to be one of the most impressive seasons in Real Madrid’s history.

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The Real Madrid eleven that won at Getafe earlier in the campaign | Photo credit: depositphotos.com

Purely in terms of LaLiga, they have seldom been this dominant. Only in 1988/89 and 1968/69 have they finished a season losing just one game with their only unbeaten league campaign coming way back in 1931/32 when there were only 10 teams and 18 fixtures.

Should they win their final games, which won’t be easy against Villarreal and Real Betis, Los Blancos will end the season on 99 points, their second highest ever total after the 100-point 2011/12 title winning campaign under Jose Mourinho.

Wembley on the horizon

The focus is now firmly on maintaining the momentum whilst keeping players fresh ahead of the big showdown with Borussia Dortmund at Wembley on June 1st.

Los Blancos will head into the game as huge favourites against a Dortmund side that has already defied the odds by coming out of a tough group, before getting past PSV, Atletico Madrid and PSG to reach their third Champions League Final.

Real Madrid will be by far their toughest assignment to date though and assuming they don’t freeze on the big stage, the recently crowned Spanish champions for the 36th time have a wonderful opportunity to win their 15th European Cup, only a decade on from Lisbon and “La Decima” which was clinched in such dramatic fashion against rivals Atleti.

Ancelotti has already seemingly made one big decision ahead of the Final with Thibaut Courtois back in goal on his return from a long injury absence, despite the fine form of Andriy Lunin.

Eder Militao is also back from injury and could feature in London if he can prove his form and fitness but the rest of the starting eleven largely picks itself.

However such is the kind of season Real Madrid are having, the decisive contributions at Wembley could just as easily come from Brahim or Joselu, as they might Bellingham or Vinicius. 

In some respects, that would be an even more fitting finale to what would be an almost perfect season should Los Blancos leave London with the piece of silverware that they crave the most.

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About Mark Sochon 2079 Articles
Mark is a freelance writer based in Madrid. He has been writing about Spanish football since 2014 and regularly attends and covers matches across Spain. His work has also been published by various newspapers and websites including These Football Times, World Soccer and Guardian Sport. Freelance requests: marksochon (at) hotmail.co.uk