It’s hard to say that Real Madrid’s season has been anything other than an abject failure. After plummeting down to ninth following a string of bad results the club’s ambitions to take the La Liga trophy were already over by October.
To make matters worse Los Blancos succumbed to a superior Barcelona side not once but twice, bringing an end to their Copa del Rey campaign, and costing them three points in the league. It was an embarrassment experienced in front of a steely Santiago Bernabéu home crowd no less.
Crashing out at the Last 16 stages to an inexperienced but ultimately impressive young Ajax side fuelled by academy talent compounded the misery of many a Madridista. That final nail in the coffin served to show the difference in desire, attitude and composition of the two squads.
The club has gone through two managers in quick succession this season, ultimately turning back to its iconic leader Zinedine Zidane.
Despite Zidane stepping back in Real could be on their way to finishing with their lowest points total for some years. On top of that it could be the first time they’ve finished outside the top two in La Liga for two consecutive seasons since the mid-1970s.
It’s looking likely that Real will fulfil that feat, currently trailing to cross town rivals Atlético by four points with only five games left to play. During the course of the 1972/73 and 1973/74 Real finished fourth and eighth respectively, but that stat belies the true nature of what took place during those years of mixed fortunes.
That Real was in a process of rebuilding, just like its modern equivalent. The two consecutive seasons where they finished out of the top two in the league were sandwiched between three league winning seasons and two Copa del Rey victories.
To turn things around Real will need to look to the experience of their antecedents and summon their spirit in order to move forward.
Real have had the standout honour of being crowned Europe’s elite team with an incredible four Champions League victories in the space of five years. During that time Barcelona have built a solid side that has run away with seven La Liga titles in the last decade and could well likely win the treble this season.
If Zidane’s Real can refocus on becoming kings of their own backyard they stand the chance of building an enduring team that can challenge for years to come. In recent years Real have been the champions of the sprint, often pulling winning results out of nowhere in their never ending thirst for European success. That instability even within title winning campaigns has seen cracks appear that have brought the ceiling down on their season this time round.
History has shown that Los Blancos always bounce back to overcome adversity. The appointment of Zidane is a start. Something has enticed the Frenchman back into the hot seat, something that wasn’t offered last summer. It’s likely that promises of significant investment in order to rebuild is what swung it.
Real have already made gradual but bold investment with a number of young talents making their way into a squad to add to a number of experienced players who still have time on their side.
If Zidane gets even some of the funds he needs to bolster a squad that is ageing in key areas he will have all the ingredients he needs to build an era defining team.
It’s looking highly likely that Real will qualify once again for the Champions League this season. They currently sit in third place, respectively ten and twelve points adrift of 4th place Getafe and 5th place Valencia respectively.
Real stand a solid chance of bouncing back next season. To stake them on matchday or across a tournament make sure to visit a betting expert that consistently delivers the best betting offers on the market to make the best for your bets.