After the fastest-ever goal of the UEFA Super Cup, there were handshakes, pats on the back and the neck, and also words of encouragement.
For some, it was a familiar circumstance, a new terrain for others. For a few it was reality check; of where they were and the work they had to do.
You see, it was so necessary to see Real Madrid’s first game without the cornerstones of their recent successes; Zidane and you-know-who.
Mind you, Zinedine Zidane was the first manager in a long time at Real Madrid to ‘leave the club‘ (it’s okay if you thought it was Jose). There is a time for everything truly and while it was time they left, it was naive of Madrid to think they won’t miss a piece of that equation.
No team sells it’s top scorer of nine consecutive seasons and record goalscorer and not replace him.
Ronaldo went out through the front door.. 18-year old Rodrigo, 19-yo Lunin and 18-yo Vinicius came in through the back. (Hard laugh eh?). They are Madrid, no one is bigger than the club. They have football heritage and Gareth Bale.
The UEFA Super Cup game in itself told one tale, a tale of false dawns for Real.
It took only 56 seconds for them to concede in the post-Zizou and CR7 era. This may sound scathing but, they only found a way back into the game because Atleti allowed them too.
The Rojiblancos were happy to cede possession and play the Simeone-way. It backfired spectacularly, Bale crossed Benzema headed, Boom! Only then did Atleti wake up.
Thomas Lemar looked like he would have been worth the 92m Monaco asked Arsenal to pay as he was at the centre of everything they did.
Costa was classic Costa. Angel Correa’s introduction was the key to changing everything. Ramos made it 2-1… Then Costa made it 2-2. Marcelo, is probably still wondering why he saved a ball that was intent on going out for a throw-in.
Once the intricacies of extra time began, Atletico were the only winners. With a value of €858m, Atletico Madrid’s squad was worth more than Real Madrid’s (€775.7m) for the first time in their history. Sounds like it’s going to be a big season for Atletico this year.
Co-labourers in a fixture they were definitely losing.
The substitutes? Uninspiring.
Ceballos is a good youngster but is not yet at the levels he was at Betis, Mayoral is well… Mayoral. Modric and Vazquez were good but not match fit.
It didn’t hide the failings of the team. Lopetegui must open his eyes to where he is at. This is Real Madrid, not Porto or the Spain Youth teams. Here, winning is a habit and a way of life. It’s their DNA.
It is good he knows the players. One thing that is certain is the improvement of the young players.
However, he needs players. The views from the bench in Talinn reflected a thinning. A proven goalscorer is needed.
They will regret not getting Aubameyang now. Bayern have closed the door on Lewandowski, Daniel Levy was swift to renew Harry Kane’s contract, and Mo Salah has already given Liverpool assurance.
One available option is Mauro Icardi. And they need to get him before Inter renew his contract. They may need a left back too. Pushing Marcelo up to the wing will make logical sense, it will eradicate incidences like the one which led to the Costa’s equalizer. David Alaba must be available, no?
Madrid may have won four of the last five Champions League titles, it is important to note however, that staying at the top is harder than getting there.
It might seem too early to judge the Blancos, but for a club so invested in winning and in the heat of a rivalry with FC Barcelona. More is needed. Madrid’s solution isn’t Hazard nor Neymar but goals. They have the tools to create and innovate, they need what Ronaldo was, the Ruthless finisher. Perez needs that finisher.
Do you think Real Madrid should rely on those youngsters? Is it about time Real break the bank… and the news, for the umpteenth time? Share your thoughts with us and leave us your comments.
Author: For The Goal
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