Barcelona crisis gives Real Madrid shade for their own problems

There is no other talking point in Spanish football at this moment in time. The crisis Barcelona have been plunged into after their humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the quarter finals of the Champions League, with the Camp Nou club seemingly crumbling a little more with every passing day.

Quique Setien paid for the loss with his job, with Eric Abidal also sacked from his role as Sporting Director. The way forward isn’t clear for the Catalan club. Most agree, despite the looming appointment of Ronald Koeman as their new manager, that nothing will change until there is a change of regime in next year’s presidential election.

This has provided Real Madrid with some shade for their own problems. Los Blancos might have finished the 2019/20 season as La Liga winners, putting together an extremely strong run of form after lockdown to beat Barcelona to the Spanish top flight title.

Zinedine Zidane still has issues to solve before the start of the 2020/21 campaign, though. Real Madrid’s wage bill is hindering them as a club. High paid players like Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez have been deemed surplus to requirements at the Santiago Bernabeu and yet the capital club will struggle to move them on this summer, leaving an incredible amount of money tied up in their bumper contracts.

Real Madrid’s current squad is an ageing one. Zidane managed to get that little bit more out of the likes of Toni Kroos, Marcelo, Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos last season, with Karim Benzema arguably the most important player at the Santiago Bernabeu. A generational transition is coming.

Zidane is already preparing for that, with Martin Odegaard recalled to his parent club for next season after an extremely impressive campaign on loan at Real Sociedad. The Norwegian is seen as the natural heir to Modric, with the Croatian midfielder’s Real Madrid contract set to expire next summer.

There’s a sense that Real Madrid still haven’t moved on from the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo and a sense that Zidane has only succeeded in patching up his team to keep them moving forward in the short to medium term. A greater transition will have to happen at some point in the near future and just because Barcelona are in a bigger mess doesn’t mean Real Madrid don’t have their own problems.

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