The pressure is on Real Madrid this season after a disappointing time in the previous one. They have gone out and spent millions of euros during the summer but just how high can they finish in La Liga? Will another Champions League title be won this season?
Real Madrid did win the World Club Championship last season, so it wasn’t a total write-off. However, by the end of the season, they weren’t even the top club in Madrid, let alone the world. Real finished third in La Liga, eight points behind Atletico Madrid and 19 adrift of champions Barcelona.
Those are statistics that just don’t satisfy anyone associated with the club. The previous season had seen Zinedine Zidane resign his job. Julen Lopetegui only lasted until October and his successor Santiago Solari left in March with Zidane back in charge. If you are a punter that bets on statistics, then you can see all the Spanish football stats online to help you place your bet.
They lost five home league games last season and seven more on their travels. Real hadn’t lost 12 league games in a season since 1998/99. Yet, they won 21 league games, only one less than in the previous season but eight down on their last La Liga title win in 2017. With only five league draws, Madrid became a team that blew hot and cold with little in between.
Their dreams of winning a fourth straight Champions League ended in the last sixteen. They won away in Ajax but then lost at home and their title was gone. Something was seriously wrong at the club.
The summer has seen Real Madrid make plenty of changes. Not all their transfer targets were achieved though. The ambition of bringing Neymar back to Spain but to Madrid rather than Barcelona failed to reach fruition. Any dreams of signing Mbappe from PSG also met with no response. Perhaps they can have a little chat when taking the French side on in their Champions League group.
Madrid did land Eden Hazard though in a £90m move from Chelsea. Hazard is a player who can create chances and score goals, though 50 in a season isn’t quite within his reach.
In all, Real made five signings that saw them spend at least £40m. Luka Jovic, Eder Miltao, Ferland Mendy and Rodrygo are the others who Real hope will get them back into title contention at home and in Europe.
The new season has seen Madrid unbeaten in their first three league games but with a win and two draws. Their only home game saw them held to a 1-1 draw by Valladolid and already they have had Modric and Bale sent off in three games.
Karim Benzema has made a good start to the new season with two goals in his first three league games. Gareth Bale looked on his way out of the club but ended up staying. He scored twice against Villarreal but then came the last gasp dismissal.
Eden Hazard has yet to play in the league due to a thigh injury -at least he already made his debut- so it’s hard to judge them at this stage. The impact he makes will determine what part they will play in the title race. The only bonus so far is that Barcelona have also made a slow start. A title challenge is likely but there are still signs of inconsistency in Madrid.