After winning the Champions League for three consecutive years, Real Madrid have spent three years without getting close to embracing the cup again, and the task is now entrusted to Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti to restore the royal club to the right place in the prestigious continental battle.
Real Madrid made it to the semi-finals last season, but were eliminated from Chelsea, which won the match 3-1 overall, and could have won a big advantage if their strikers hadn’t missed many opportunities in the second match.
Prior to that, the Royal Club was eliminated from the final price by Manchester City and Ajax Amsterdam, painfully stepping out for a team that dominated the competition in five years, specifically winning four titles between 2014 and 2018.
In half a decade, Real Madrid has become the leader of Europe under four championship titles, including three consecutive legends and former midfielder and coach Zinedine Zidane, even though its archive rival, Barcelona, still dominates the local league title.
But a creative generation has grown old and now many are gone, with Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo, legendary captain Sergio Ramos and French defender Raphael Varane leaving the team’s backbone with Zidane.
His replacement, Ancelotti, who returned to technical control of the club after 2013-2015, faces a difficult task to regain the Spanish league title from his neighbor, Atletico Madrid, who retained all his key players and even strengthened his team with the return of French national team winger Antoine Griezmann on loan. from Barcelona.
However, the task of reclaiming the Champions League seems more difficult if the Meringue gets in the way of English teams like Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United or Paris Saint-Germain, all of which are strong candidates for the title this season.
Clubs from Manchester United, City and Chelsea spent around € 400 million over the summer transfer period, with the former Ronaldo, Varane and Jadon Sancho, the second Jack Grealish and the third reinforcing their ranks with the return of a Belgian national team player. striker Romelu Lukaku.
For its part, Paris Saint-Germain has penetrated the transfer market from all sides with international contracts, namely the legendary Barcelona international star Lionel Messi in a free transfer contract and the Dutch national team midfielder Jorginho Wijnaldum and the royal club’s defensive pole, Ramos, in addition to his contract with the Moroccan national team Ashraf Hakimi, and the Italian national team goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
In contrast, Real Madrid made a profit of around € 20 million and offset two contracts with Rennes international midfielder Eduardo Camavinga and upcoming Austrian national team defender David Alaba in a free transfer contract from Bayern Munich, selling Varane to Manchester. United and Martin Odegaard of Norway to Arsenal.
And while the PSG’s determination to keep Kylian Mbappe for at least the final year of his contract has been tested by Florentino Perez, many suspect the Madrid president wasn’t too happy to wait nine months for him to sign the world champion for free.
Ancelotti’s job now is to lead the season without Mbappe, and he will lead the next era, led by veterans of the French gold generation, Karim Benzema, Croatia’s Luka Modric and Germany’s Toni Kroos.
The Italian coach expects such promising and talented players as the Brazilians in Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo attack and the young Miguel Gutierrez in left-back. The 18-year-old unveiled for the first time on Sunday at his new clubfield when he scored just six minutes after entering the pitch as a substitute that could help Real Madrid return to the podium sooner than many think.
Also, if Ancelotti is able to restore Belgian national team Eden Hazard to his normal form after falling due to the many injuries since he moved to Real Madrid from Chelsea, the Royal Club may have the best new deal in the group.
However, the chances have piled up against Ancelotti as the power base – in terms of wealth, talent and tactics – is definitely moving away from Spain, towards Manchester and Paris.
Perhaps Ancelotti’s appointment has accepted this shift: a popular coach who can get the most out of his players and is confident he won’t ask for more.
This was evident at the start of the season as the Royal Club scored 13 goals in their first four matches. “Football has changed over the last five years: it has become stronger, more combative, more organized, and even some rules have changed,” Ancelotti said.
“But the idea is always the same at Real Madrid: offensive and wonderful football, because that’s what the club’s history and the fans demand.”
But as recent years have shown, winning in La Liga is not the same as winning in Europe, and Inter Milan in San Siro on Wednesday will be Real Madrid’s first test in the race this season.