Real Madrid towards other ambitions / C1 / Gr. F / Celtic-Real Madrid /

This second week of September, Celtic Park will see Real Madrid release their fourteenth European champion star and make way for a fifteenth. The Meringue So, like every season, they will start their continental campaign with presumed favorite status. However, amid minimalist recruitment, a reduced workforce and an established sporting era, Madrid’s ambitions for this 2022-2023 vintage retain some mystery.

“This season, more than before, I will try to play as many players as possible. The races will be closely watched and with the World Cup I will need all my elements. A small group doesn’t bother me. It even facilitates communication. The connection between veterans and youngsters was crucial last year and should be even more so this season. » It was signed by Carlo Ancelotti, the first coach to have four C1s on his list of words. So, at a press conference in Helsinki to prepare for the European Super Cup (a victory over Frankfurt, 2:0), the Italian technician soberly revealed the contours of his team, knowing that he had to work without rhinestones. or to shine. And for good reason. At the end of the irritating soap opera “Kylian Mbappe”, which ended in failure since May board madrileño Based on the main achievements of the previous edition, he changed the cards in his own way based on the functional group. Unlike their European counterparts and leaders, Real Madrid did not experience any major concerns in this summer’s transfer window. In the arrivals department, the files of Antonio Rüdiger and Aurelien Tchouameni were completed at the beginning of June to compensate for certain significant departures.

Reduced workforce

The transfer of Casemiro, which has been mentioned for several months, gave Florentino Perez, the master of expectations, the opportunity to justify the signing of the French midfielder. Without saving the means (100 million euros). In the degreasing operation, Real Madrid did not hesitate to unload their furniture: Marcelo (Olympiacos), Isco (Sevilla), Gareth Bale (Los Angeles FC), Luka Jovic (Fiorentina), Takefusa Kubo (Real Sociedad) or Borja Mayoral (Getafe), among other things, rocked the ship left (fifteen departures in total), answered the desire for minimalism dear to Ancelotti, now at the head of 23 players (in 21)e During the century, only Rafael Benítez and Zinedine Zidane managed a smaller Madrid squad: in the 2015-2016 season it was a group of 21 players). Carletto and his son Davide’s will, who recently assured that he will hang up the phone after his mission at Real, may seem legitimate, with a desire to retain the magical dynamic of the previous campaign and involve everyone. of their men. There are no new players in attack, Mariano Diaz and Eden Hazard are named as replacements for Karim Benzema. In midfield, it is up to the versatile Federico Valverde to fill the gaps. In defense, the equally mobile David Alaba, Nacho or Rüdiger will play Swiss Army knives. 19 of the five games held since the beginning of the season have already appeared. Substitute goalkeeper Andriy Lunin and four players on the field in Alvaro Odriozola, Jesús Vallejo and Mariano (to which we can also add third interim goalkeeper Luis Lopez, who got on the scoresheet against Betis last Saturday). Effective collective therapy, proven by the maximum success seen since mid-August, will therefore confirm or dismantle this curtain-raiser in the Champions League.

Inflated ambition

In Madrid, time is insurance and management anyway. “Six trophies are at stake and we want to win all six trophies. It will be difficult, but I trust this team. I even think this squad is better than last year. , supported Ancelotti. Of course, it is difficult to confirm the opposite when driving a winning car, but it is as complicated as projecting oneself on the viability of these records. Indeed, the probability of seeing Real Madrid in La Liga is 36e crown is high, it seems difficult to detect reciprocity in C1. At the domestic level, only FC Barcelona, ​​with their solid recruitment and digestible rebuilding, can really tickle the likes of White House, Atlético or Sevilla as they celebrate a bit of time.

On the contrary, the Champions League can become a “bonus” for Shamartin. Enemies will be killed, Meringue An army of revenge, traumatized by last season’s romantic disappointments, will rise up against them. The armadas of Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, Bayern and Liverpool have thus programmed their summers for what appears to be the last chance for some of these teams. Finally, the antithesis of Real Madrid, who must work in reserve until next June. Between fixed positions and repairs, the physical condition of certain elements also raises questions, such as Karim Benzema or Vinícius Junior, who seemed too fast and weakened against Betis (the Frenchman played in all five of Madrid’s matches, the Brazilian missed only twenty minutes). A local proverb to be sure “al menos, a trofeo” (at least one trophy in the VF) who wants the club to win at least one title every year, so it will definitely appear again in the coming months. And if this hood was decorated with two large ears, it would only be more satisfying.

By Adele Bentaha

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