What went wrong for Real Madrid last season?

    09 Jul 2019 | La Liga | Opinion
    What went wrong for Real Madrid last season?
    1184

    3 managers, 19 points behind Barcelona and 1 man sorely missed.

    For a club so used to success and so accustomed to winning trophies on an almost seasonally basis, Los Blancos massively underachieved last season.

    They finished the campaign a staggering 19 points behind La Liga winners Barcelona and 8 points behind runners up Atletico Madrid.

    A 3rd placed league finish coupled with a round of 16 exit in the Champions League meant the 2018/19 season was undoubtedly one of the worst in recent times for the club.

    A number of obvious factors contributed to Real Madrid’s wretched season but there really is only one place to start.

    Life after Ronaldo

    There was a gaping Ronaldo-shaped hole at the Bernabeu last season and no one could fill it. It was always going to be difficult losing the 5-time Ballon d’Or winner, but no one at the club was prepared for just how hard it would be.

    He scored a ridiculous 450 goals in his 9 seasons with the club, managing 50+ goals in 6 of those campaigns and twice reaching 60 in a single season.

    Last season, Karim Benzema was the club’s leading scorer in the league with 21 goals whilst Gareth Bale managed just 8. These numbers prove just how much Ronaldo’s goals were missed.

    It would be unfair on the other ‘galacticos’ to say that Real Madrid were a one-man team when Ronaldo was at the club. Without him however, they aren’t nearly as much of a threat.

    The managerial merry go round

    The exit of manager Zinedine Zidane also had a profound effect on the club. In his two and a half seasons with the club, the Frenchman won an unprecedented 3 consecutive Champions League trophies.

    Ex-Spain boss Julen Lopetegui replaced Zidane in controversial style but only lasted just 10 league games in charge. 3 defeats on the spin, the last of which a dismal 5-1 El Classico loss, cost Lopetegui his job.

    Former Madrid player Santiago Solari was promoted to caretaker manager from his role as youth team coach but was subsequently sacked in March after little improvement.

    Zidane decided to return as manager after less than a year away from the club, but even he struggled for results following his re-appointment.

    An aging squad

    It’s fair to say many of Real Madrid’s stars are past their best. Left-back Marcelo (31) and club captain Sergio Ramos (33) both looked like shadows of their former selves last season.

    Despite a standout year on a personal level, Luka Modric is now 33 and Karim Benzema, the club’s main source of goals, is 31.

    They will all argue they have a few years left in the tank yet, but if Real Madrid are to get back to winning ways quickly, they will need to address this issue.

    Next season

    The club will be looking forward to a full season back under the guidance of Zinedine Zidane, but the fans’ favorite will know there is a lot of work to be done.

    Signings have to be made and a clear out of current players could well be on the cards.

    It’s hard to imagine Real Madrid performing as poorly as last season and everyone at the club will be doing their best to ensure they aren’t humiliated once again.

    Predictions for La Liga

    Home team - Away team Tip
    flag_5 Es1
    Granada CFCA Osasuna
    18/10/2019 20:00
    X
    flag_5 Es1
    SD EibarFC Barcelona
    19/10/2019 12:00
    2
    flag_5 Es1
    Atlético MadridValencia CF
    19/10/2019 15:00
    X
    flag_5 Es1
    Getafe CFCD Leganes
    19/10/2019 17:30
    1

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