Actual Madrid’s Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard look dejected. (Reuters Picture)
MADRID: Actual Madrid have lengthy prided themselves because the kings of the Champions League however their resounding defeat to Chelsea in Wednesday’s semi-final second leg laid naked the necessity for a rebuild to reclaim their place among the many continent’s elite.
Zinedine Zidane’s aspect might solely have misplaced 2-0 on the night time however there was no hiding from the actual fact they’d been outplayed in each legs by Chelsea and had gotten away flippantly with a 3-1 mixture defeat.
Newspaper Marca described Actual as “exhausted and out of types”. Day by day AS talked of Chelsea “deservedly demolishing” the 13-times European champions.
Actual might nonetheless finish the season successful the La Liga title however they’ve all the time judged themselves on how they fare on Europe’s greatest stage and recently they’ve fallen nicely quick.
Final season they have been overwhelmed 4-2 on mixture within the final 16 by Manchester Metropolis whereas the earlier yr, when Zidane was not on the membership, they have been sensationally overwhelmed 5-3 on mixture by Ajax Amsterdam.
Actual introduced in no new gamers final season as a result of monetary difficulties exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, with Zidane insisting via gritted tooth that he didn’t need to add to his squad.
It will likely be tougher to justify one other shut season with no recruits regardless that the membership’s funds are in an much more dire state after an entire 12 months with no ticketing revenue whereas prices have elevated as a result of 800-million-euro ($963 million) renovation of their Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
Actual’s precedence within the switch market have to be in assault, the place Karim Benzema has been answerable for greater than a 3rd of the workforce’s targets in Europe and La Liga with 27 strikes.
Fellow forwards Marco Asensio and Vinicius Jr have six every, whereas document signing Eden Hazard has solely three after a second season hampered by accidents, whereas his angle after the sport left Actual followers unimpressed. Rodrygo has only one.
Paris St Germain ahead Kylian Mbappe is Actual’s dream goal however president Florentino Perez admitted final month that touchdown the France striker this summer time was virtually not possible as a result of monetary restraints, notably after the membership’s hopes of forming a profitable European Tremendous League have been ended.
Actual are anticipated to spice up their defence with the signing of Bayern Munich’s David Alaba and an enormous choice awaits on the way forward for captain Sergio Ramos, 35, who’s out of contract in June and has spent most of this season injured.
Ramos’ lack of sport time got here residence to roost with a poor show towards Chelsea which had many within the Spanish media questioning why Zidane picked him for such a demanding match.
The French coach’s future can be removed from set in stone. He has admirably stored the workforce aggressive in a season riddled with accidents however has been left combating for his job twice within the final two seasons whereas there have been few examples of thrilling, flowing soccer for which the membership are normally famend.