Real Madrid are faced with their own legend this weekend. Beat Liverpool and the Spanish giants will become the first team in Champions League history to win the competition in three successive seasons. This comes after they become the first team to win the Champions League in two successive seasons last year.
When this era of Real Madrid success is looked back upon, it will be defined by three players more than any others – Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo. Dubbed the ‘BBC,’ this trio have led Real Madrid to trophy after trophy over the past few years and they could all start against Liverpool in Kiev this weekend.
“Those three for me are the best, by a long way, as they have shown many times they are very good,” Zinedine Zidane said in an interview ahead of the Champions League final this week. “But then I must give others a chance, too, be true to my message that everyone in the squad is important. That does not mean that those three are not going to play again. They did against Barcelona. We are all ready, but I will not say who is playing until the game starts.”
Zidane has options ahead of the clash with Liverpool. Marco Asensio, for one, has contributed to Real Madrid’s Champions League campaign this season, proving to be a deciding factor in the last 16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain. Lucas Vazquez is another who has come up big for Los Merengues this season, giving them something different in the final third.
Then there’s Isco, who has become something of an enigma over the past 12 months or so. At his best, the playmaker is capable of opening up any opponent. However, there’s a certain inconsistency to his performances and that has seen Isco drop in and out of the Real Madrid side in recent weeks.
Both Bale and Benzema have also had their struggles this season, with the former in particular struggling in front of goal. But Benzema tends to bring the best out of Ronaldo, with Bale hitting form at just the right time, scoring in his last four La Liga appearances leading up to the Champions League final.
There’s a good chance that Bale and Benzema could leave the Santiago Bernabeu at the end of the season, with the Welsh winger reported to be on the radar of several Premier League clubs including long-time admirers Manchester United. Benzema, it has been speculated, could end up at PSG.
And so these might be the final days of the so-called ‘BBC’ at Real Madrid. This a club that seems to be on the brink of a transition, regardless of whether they beat Liverpool in the Champions League final or not. This might be Bale, Benzema and Ronaldo’s last chance to cap an era they have come to define together. Zidane still believes there’s nobody better than the trio. That opinion could be justified this weekend.
How well do you know European Football? Want to challenge the best Spanish Fantasy Managers? Play www.liga-fantasy.com now.