Real Madrid, Spain’s most successful club, is burdened with a glorious purpose. They can’t afford a trophy-less rebuilding period, and they can’t afford to play a drab brand of football. They must always find a way to be relevant, to entice major trophies to the right side of Madrid.
Real Madrid are in their most vulnerable state yet, thanks to an aging squad and the departures of Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos. It will be fascinating to see how the Whites handle the immense pressure and unexpected challenges of the La Liga season.
Without further ado, here are the top five predictions for Real Madrid’s upcoming La Liga season.
#5 Real Madrid to play an attractive brand of football
Real Madrid won an absurd number of trophies under Zinedine Zidane – 11 in two spells, to be exact. They were not, however, always the most dominant team on the field. Real Madrid rarely looked like the menacing side of old; it was their determination and grit that propelled them to unrivaled heroics.
Following the premature end of Zidane’s tenure, Real Madrid have turned to someone familiar — someone who kept fans on the edge of their seats the last time around with his brand of football. Carlo Ancelotti, who led Real Madrid to their elusive tenth Champions League title ‘La Decima’ in 2014, has returned to the Santiago Bernabeu. The Italian is determined to re-establish the Whites as a free-scoring team.
It will be interesting to see how the 62-year-old deploys a number 10 to add a dash of flair to Real Madrid’s often unimaginative front line.
4 David Alaba is expected to settle in as a center-back.
Real Madrid have lost their preferred center-back pairing ahead of the 2021-22 La Liga season. Of course, they’ve brought back Jesus Vallejo from loan, but the Spaniard is unlikely to be at the heart of Real Madrid’s defense. Instead, new signing David Alaba could start as a center-back, possibly alongside Eder Militao.
The ex-Bayern Munich left-back is best known for his ability down the left flank, but he has also shown promise as a centre-back. His speed and anticipation should give him an advantage when defending against counter-attacks, which could be crucial in must-win situations.
Alaba, like his predecessor Sergio Ramos, is an excellent set-piece taker, and we expect to see the Austrian stand over the dead ball on a regular basis. Real Madrid did not require a left back this season, but the experience of the two-time Champions League winner will be welcomed in their often vulnerable back line.