August is here, which means the 2019/20 football season for four of the biggest leagues in the world is just around the corner. In the case of LaLiga, it starts on Friday, August 16th, meaning less than two weeks are separating us from exciting matches of Spanish top tier football.
Ahead of the new season, the same old questions are getting asked, such as; which team will emerge as the champions, which players will prove are above the rest on the Iberian Peninsula and even what surprises we can expect to see in the upcoming 10 months. While there are a lot of questions regarding the 2019/20 season of LaLiga, the biggest one is without a doubt aimed towards the most successful European team, the Vikings, the Los Blancos, or simply known as Real Madrid.
A lot has happened during the summer transfer window. Some clubs went on a large shopping spree, others remained happy with what they have, and then there were clubs which were not allowed to participate in the transfer window at all. While there were some big moves and rumours which took over the media outlets, it was Real Madrid who seemingly remained under the spotlight throughout the last couple of months. And to be fair there were a lot of things to talk about regarding Real Madrid. The return of Zidane as a head coach, huge spending spree which has reached over €300 million as of today, the “drama” surrounding Gareth Bale and his future at the club and even the not-so-secret signing of a young Japanese footballer, which left the world wondering who is Takefusa Kubo. A lot of questions have been answered, however, there is still one that waits for an answer.
How will Real Madrid perform in 2019/20 and what can we expect from them?
The return of Zinedine Zidane in March started the talks of a complete restructure of Real Madrid, and while it remained a mystery how the former Los Blancos will “fix” the sinking Real Madrid ship, it became clear he has got big plans in mind.
The arrival of Rodrygo, Mendy, Militao, Luka Jovic and Eden Hazard and departure of Theo Hernandez, Railde Tomas, Marcos Llorente and Mateo Kovacic are only a tip of the iceberg of changes in Real Madrid, yet one of the most intriguing, especially the signing of former Chelsea star.
The arrival of Eden Hazard for €100 million is without a doubt the biggest change or shall we say the biggest addition to the team which is still searching for Cristiano Ronaldo replacement, who left them at the beginning of last season. Since CR7 left Real, the team has not been the same, which was seen in their less than impressive 2018/19 season. And while we cannot expect Los Blancos to even be the same without their former superstar, they aim to be even better, which under the guidance of Zinedine Zidane and with an arsenal of exceptional players does not seem that far-fetched.
First thing on the menu for Real Madrid ahead of 2019/20 season is to win LaLiga, which is a huge priority for Zinedine Zidane, as anything less than a title will be considered a failure. He has got the experience, the team and he has got the drive and desire to bring Real Madrid back to the top of Spain. On the paper, Real Madrid are more than capable of winning their 34th LaLiga title, especially if we take notice of how shaky Barcelona looked like last season. That is not to say there will not be a fierce battle between the two rivals, considering Real Madrid looks far better prepared to claim the title compared to last season and several improvements in arrivals in the Barcelona squad.
How about the most prestigious football title? A title that Real Madrid won 13 times already? When it comes to the Champions League, I have expressed it numerous times before and I’ll do it again. Winning the Champions League does not all come down to the clubs quality. While it’s true any team that wishes to claim the UCL trophy has to have exceptional players and manager in their squad, it’s not always the world’s best club that wins the title. The problem with UCL is that it’s not really designed to crown the best club. That is the issue for all competitions that utilize the knockout stage, as a single bad day, which any team can experience, results in huge negative effect for their campaign. While we could talk on and on about the topic, we have to return back and address Real Madrid, their quality and can they compete against the best and possibly win the UCL?
The quality is without a doubt there, and so is the experience. The return of Zidane will play the biggest boost in Real Madrid’s chances of reclaiming the UCL title. Bear in mind, he has won Champions League three times in a row while managing Real Madrid, so it’s safe to say that if there is any manager who can help Los Blancos win their 14th title it’s Zinedine Zidane. In the end, however, it will all come down to how well has Zidane restructured the team and how well will the “new and improved” Real Madrid perform.
In other words, Real Madrid have got the tools, now we have to wait and see if they know how to use them.