What will this summer hold for Real Madrid?

There was no stopping Real Madrid after the resumption of the Spanish football season. Indeed, Zinedine Zidane’s side won 10 straight games following lockdown to take control of the title race at the top of La Liga. Los Blancos head into the summer as Spanish champions for only the second time in the last eight years.

But for all the success Real Madrid have enjoyed this season in wrestling back the Spanish title from Barcelona, this is a group of players that still finds itself in the midst of a generational transition. The likes of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and even Sergio Ramos will have to be phased out of the Real Madrid starting lineup over the next few years and so there is no time for Los Blancos to rest on their laurels.

However, there is a suggestion that the Santiagio Bernabeu club won’t have much money to spend this summer. The coronavirus pandemic has hit most clubs across Europe, but the noises out of Real Madrid are that they have been hit harder than most. Spanish football in general seems to have been hit harder than most.

Reports claim Real Madrid will have to sell players before they can buy anyone this summer. There is fortunately, for their sake, a lot of deadwood for them to shift. James Rodriguez, for instance, is now seen as surplus to requirements at the Santiago Bernabeu. The Colombian has struggled for game time this season and has been linked with a move to the Premier League.

Mariano Diaz is another who could be moved on, with the striker barely featuring for Real Madrid this season. Then there’s Gareth Bale, the Welsh winger who become something of a sideshow with his antics in the stands as Los Blancos marched their way to the Spanish title. If Real Madrid could find a buyer for Bale, significant funds could be freed up for new signings.

But selling these players in this depressed transfer market is going to be tough. Clubs are being more creative in the way they are strengthening this summer and so this might make it more difficult to sell their players in orthodox transfer deals. They might have to enter the loans and free agents market like everyone else if they want to reinforce their squad ahead of next season.

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Will Real Madrid be able to shed their deadweight this summer?

Zinedine Zidane knows how to get the most out of a squad. The Frenchman returned to the Santiago Bernabeu last year and was handed a Real Madrid team lacking in identity, direction and confidence and in just over 12 months he turned them into Spanish champions. Zidane proved his worth as a coach and a manager this season.

Indeed, by revitalising the likes of Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos, Zidane was able to squeeze more out of a squad most had assumed was past its expiry date. Of course, a generational transition will still need to happen at Real Madrid, but for the time being their current team is delivering.

And yet there is still some deadwood weighing them down. With the summer transfer window set to open soon, it’s highly likely Real Madrid will have to move on some players before they can buy anyone. It could be a frustrating window for Los Blancos if they are unable to find buyers for players they don’t need.

James Rodriguez is almost certain to leave the Santiago Bernabeu this summer. The Colombian was recalled by Zidane last summer having failed to earn a permanent move to Bayern Munich after a loan spell there, suggesting that he would be used by Real Madrid. Barring a few sporadic appearances, though, James has been a peripheral figure.

A move to the Premier League has been mooted, with Arsenal and Manchester United among those interested, but offloading James in this economic climate might prove difficult. Dani Ceballos is another whose future at the Santiago Bernabeu is far from certain. The midfielder has impressed at times on loan at Arsenal this season, but is expected to return to his parent club once that loan agreement has expired.

Then there’s Mariano Diaz and Brahim Diaz, both of whom have played a bit part role for Real Madrid this season. But Real Madrid’s biggest chunk of deadwood is undoubtedly Gareth Bale. The Welshman is still the club’s highest paid player, but has barely featured for Los Blancos since the restart of the season.

Real Madrid tried to move Bale on last summer, with the winger coming close to a switch to a Chinese Super League, but there is no suggestion that he will leave the club in this window. That means a significant chunk of cash remains tied up at the Santiago Bernabeu, making it much tougher for Real Madrid to get anyone in this summer.

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A matter of time for Gareth Bale’s exit from Real Madrid

Gareth Bale knew how it would be seen back in the Spanish capital, he just didn’t care. Made a scapegoat and a punchline over the past couple years, the Welsh winger has been pushed to the edge at Real Madrid. The provocative flag he waved after Wales triumphant Euro 2020 qualification win over Hungary was just another episode in what has become an unsalvageable relationship.

“Wales. Golf. Madrid,” read the flag held in front of Bale by his Wales teammates as the player himself grinned mischievously. This has prompted an entirely predictable reaction back in Spain. There has been no shortage of faux outrage and condemnation from pundits who are too aware of the audience they are playing to.

Of course, the majority of the reaction has skipped over the nuance of the message Bale sent by waving the flag. It referenced the way the winger has been characterised by the Madrid media in recent times, putting his love for golf ahead of his commitment to his club. It was surely a barb in the direction of such media figures rather than at Real Madrid and their supporters.

Nonetheless, the drama of this week is just another sign that Bale’s exit from Real Madrid is just a matter of time. Of course, the Welshman came close to leaving the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer only for his move to the Chinese Super League to be called off at the last moment. January will surely see him walk out the door for good.

A return to Tottenham has got a lot more likely with the events of this week in North London. Mauricio Pochettino’s sacking has created an almighty disconnect between Spurs’ decision-makers and those in the stands. Daniel Levy will see Bale as a way to get fans back on-side and so there is a scenario in which the Welshman goes back to Tottenham, either on loan or on a permanent deal.

Jose Mourinho would also welcome the addition of a ready-made superstar as Tottenham’s new manager. Indeed, the pieces are falling into place for Bale to return to the Premier League, finally bringing an end to his tumultuous time at Real Madrid. In truth, he should have left before now, but the point of no return has this week been well and truly passed.

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Zidane’s Real Madrid rebuild not just about attracting new ‘Galacticos’

The speculation started swirling almost as soon as Zinedine Zidane walked through the Santiago Bernabeu door again. The Frenchman’s return as Real Madrid manager was a shock, not least because of the way he’d left the club just nine months previously. His relationship with Florentino Perez, it was said, had broken down over direction and transfers, or a lack thereof, so Zidane surely got what he wanted in being lured back.

Indeed, Real Madrid are expected to make big moves in the transfer market this summer. Zidane will be afforded the freedom to mould his team as he likes, with a deal for Porto defender Militao already secured. But other, more illustrious names have been linked – the likes of Eden Hazard, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar etc.


Zidane’s rebuild should be about more than just attracting a new generation of ‘Galacticos,’ though. This was demonstrated by the performance of three players in particular as the Frenchman got off to a winning start in his second stint as Real Madrid manager with victory over Celta Vigo last weekend.

Having been ostracised by previous manager Santiago Solari, Marco Asensio, Gareth Bale and Isco were all handed starts by Zidane and all three repaid that faith, with the latter two scoring. It was a reminder of the under-utilised talent that remains at the Santiago Bernabeu. Neither Santiago nor Julen Lopetegui made the most of that.

Questions remain over Bale. The Welshman’s relationship with Zidane wasn’t the warmest, leading him to make comments after last season’s Champions League final suggesting a move away from Real Madrid was on the cards. Bale only stayed because Zidane left, so the return of the former Ballon d’Or winner rakes up old questions.

Asensio and Isco, on the other hand, were seen as the future of Real Madrid by Zidane in his first spell. Asensio, in particular, flourished under the Frenchman, when he looked like one of the best young players in the European game. Since then, Asensio has lost his way, but his performance against Celta Vigo suggests confidence is flowing back into his game.

It’s certainly true that Real Madrid need rejuvenation. They need a new direction and new players in the transfer market this summer. But they also need to make the most of what they have got. They haven’t done that this season, but Zidane might be the man to change this.

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Is Zidane the right choice for Real Madrid?

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No one could’ve predicted a scenario that saw Zinedine Zidane take over the Real Madrid hotseat just 10 months after he left it, but that’s precisely what’s happened in the aftermath of Los Blancos sacking their second coach this season, Santiago Solari.

The reasons could be many and though he’s not short of a euro or two, financial considerations will surely have played a huge part.

A promise from Florentino Perez that certain players will arrive or that Zidane will have a war chest of cash to go out and buy the very best is likely to be another. Continue reading

Madrid surrender two goal lead in final game of campaign


With an exciting La Liga season drawing to a close, we bring the spotlight onto our Game of the Week for one last time.

Our final Game of the Week saw Real Madrid surrender a two goal lead away from home in a thrilling tie at Villarreal that will live long in the memory of those present at Estadio de la Cerámica.

Having tested Fernandez’s handling twice early on, Madrid took the lead on 11 minutes through a driven effort from Gareth Bale – the winger captalising on some sloppy defending to give his side the lead.

The goal marked the Welshman’s 16th in 26 appearances for Los Blancos this season, a respectable return considering the run of injuries that plagued the early months of his season.

Madrid then doubled their lead in the 32nd minute when Marcelo picked up the ball on the left-hand side of the box before finding Cristiano Ronaldo with an outrageous outside of the foot cross, who duly headed home.

The header put the Portuguese striker on 26 goals in 27 games, a record that saw him land on 115 points for the season.

Madrid appeared to be on their way to a comfortable three points at the break but were to once again fall foul of the inconsistencies that have damaged them over much of the season.

Having put pressure on young Luca Zidane’s goal for much of the second half, the Madrid defence was breached on the 70 minute mark when Roger Martinez blasted home what was his first and only goal of the season to breathe life back into the tie.

The game was then blown open just five minutes before time when Samu Castillejo sprung the Madrid offside trap before calmly rounding Luca and sliding the ball into the offside trap.

The young keeper will undoubtedly believe he could have done more in the one-on-one situation but will have been more aggrieved with the manner in which his back line switched off at such a critical moment.

The goal saw Samu end the season on six following what has been a bright campaign that has yielded 50 points.

Despite a late flurry of activity from a stung Madrid side that peaked with a fine Benzema effort that forced a fine save from Fernandez, Madrid were unable to reinstate their lead.

The draw will have been a disappointing end to the domestic campaign for a Madrid side who would have liked to have finished on a high ahead of their prestige match against Liverpool in the Champions League final.

Failure to win in Kiev could see Zidane senior’s position as head coach at the Bernabeu come under considerable threat.

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La Liga Team of Week 37


Following an exhilarating penultimate round of fixtures in which Barca waved goodbye to the prospect of an unbeaten season, we look at the team of the week to arrive from the fallout of the action. 

Jan Oblak, Atletico Madrid – seven points

The Slovakian goalkeeper has been exceptional between the sticks for Atleti this season, earning plaudits from across the footballing world.

With his side seemingly set to finish in a more than respectable second position, his 22 clean sheets with just 20 goals conceded is a truly excellent record.

José Gayá, Valencia – five points Continue reading

La Liga Team of the Week


In the week that Barcelona won the title, it is of little surprise that Messi hs found a place in our team of the week – but who joins the Argentine?

Norberto Neto, Valencia – seven points

His 32nd start of the campaign was complemented by a 10th clean sheet, to, as Valencia battled out a frustrating 0-0 with Eibar.

The Bats seem set to secure European football however, with Neto playing a valuable role in their campaign. Continue reading

The star La Liga performers over the international weekend


No La Liga action from the week just gone but here are some of the star performers to have emerged from Spain’s premiere division from the international break!

Kaylor Navas, Costa Rica

The Madrid goalkeeper has been put under immense scrutiny over a tepid campaign for Los Blancos but secured a clean sheet for his national side in their 1-0 victory over Scotland.

Continue reading

La vida sin la BBC


Desde 2013, la BBC es el tridente letal del Real Madrid. La ofensiva marcada por Bale, Benzema y Cristiano es una lluvia de goles. Sin embargo, este año no solo no ha coincido, sino que tampoco está marcando la lluvia de goles a los que nos tenía acostumbrado. Los motivos son diversos, pero los tantos ahora los marcan otros.

La sanción liguera a Ronaldo ha supuesto que se haya perdido el inicio del campeonato nacional. Ya ha jugado, pero todavía no ha estrenado casillero. Por su parte, Bale y Benzema han quedado relegados por diversas lesiones. El francés, que lleva casi un mes de baja, apunta a regresar tras el parón de Selecciones. Y el galés no volverá hasta noviembre. En los partidos que han jugado, apenas han marcado tantos y es el peor registro goleador desde que existe la BBC. Continue reading