26th of May 2018. Real Madrid lifted again the Champions League trophy in the Olympic Stadium of Kiev, Ukraine, after beating Liverpool (3-1) in another magic European evening. Karim Benzema, Karius, but especially Gareth Bale stood up in the day Los Blancos conquered their 13th European crown, the third in a row. It was the end of the era, although many people didn’t know yet.
Only one year after that milestone, Real Madrid are torn apart. Los Blancos have finished one of the worst seasons of their history, only positive for the FIFA Club World Cup trophy and the Barcelona defeats in both Champions League and Copa del Rey. Three managers weren’t unable to improve the pace of the team.
On the grass in Kiev we could suspect the end of the era. After the final whistle, Cristiano Ronaldo hinted about his future saying that “it was a pleasure” playing for Real Madrid. One month later, he will sign his contract with Juventus despite all the charming songs from the Real Madrid supporters in the celebrations of the trophy in the Bernabéu stadium.
At that very same moment, also Gareth Bale expressed his anger for not having minutes with Zinedine Zidane. The Welshman, man of the match, said that he would have to think about his future if things didn’t change. They actually changed, but Bale couldn’t improve his performance this season and now he is about to leave the club.
And more importantly, Zinedine Zidane saw it coming. The manager knew that the end of the era was about to happen and he was not able to show the door to same players that made him unbeatable in Europe. Therefore, he decided to resign and leave the club one week later. 9 months after his decision, he had to come back to rescue the team and the club.
In this long and painful year for Los Blancos, the supporters had lost his star, Cristiano Ronaldo. But also many players were unable to keep their level after the Champions League and the World Cup. Although the terrible season in La Liga suggested that the team needed some refurbishment, Florentino Pérez didn’t sign many players in the summer.
Marcelo, Varane, Casemiro, Modric, Toni Kroos, Asensio, Isco or Gareth Bale showed us terrible performances during this year. Their level and market value have decreased in only 365 days. Luckily, they have the whole summer ahead to improve their physical attitudes and give everything next year to put again Real Madrid in the place the club deserves to stay.