Saturday, August 19, 2017

Are Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid team underrated?

Real Madrid have won the Champions League in three of the last four seasons, but are they underrated?

On Saturday night in Cardiff Real Madrid hammered Juventus 4-1 in the Champions League final. The win means that Los Blancos have now won Europe’s elite trophy in three of the last four years.

That is some achievement. However, it seems the men from Madrid never get the credit that they deserve for their stellar performances in Europe.

Many of those same players have been in the team for at least two of their last three European triumphs.

They play exciting, attacking football and never seem to shut-up shop. So why are people not hailing them as one of the best teams ever? Here are a few possible reasons:

Divisive characters

Maybe one of the reasons that Zinedine Zidane’s team do not get the credit is that they have a few players in their midst that are considered divisive. Fiery centre-back Sergio Ramos could cause an argument in an empty room.

The Spanish international always seems to be having an on-field spat with somebody. The experienced defender is never too far from the headlines, as his overreaction to Juan Cuadrado’s challenge in last night’s final proved.

Ramos is a quality player. However, he is the sort of player you would love to have on your side and hate to play against. Then there is a certain Cristiano Ronaldo.

A fantastic player, no doubt, but has the ability to irritate the hell out of people. Once again he was one of the keys to Los Blancos winning a big trophy scoring twice in the final.

For some reason, though, he can come across as very unlikeable. Maybe it is a touch of jealous. I mean who would dislike somebody who is world famous, is worth a fortune and can pick and choose which beautiful woman he dates next?

No matter what he does, some will still dislike Ronaldo. It’s a fact a life. He is just a divisive character and always will be.

Team has cost a lot of money to assemble

In terms of spending big money, Real Madrid like to get their wallet out and wave it around. Targeting Galactico’s is what Real Madrid does and probably always will do. It is just now in the DNA of the club.

Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Isco, Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane all cost relatively big fees when they were signed by the Spanish champions. Some will say they have bought success, but that is the name of the game in modern football.

Not many clubs build winning teams without spending big money. In terms of money spent Real Madrid have always been at the forefront, but their spending is no different to English clubs splashing out fortunes on players every summer.

Some sceptics would say anybody could win a big trophy with that set of players, but history has shown us otherwise. Money does not always guarantee success.

Real had failed to win the Spanish title in five years before this season. Previous teams full of Galactico’s had failed to win trophies or flattered to deceive.

Boss Zinedine Zidane deserves credit for helping recapture the Spanish league title and winning the Champions League in consecutive seasons.

Not favourites to win next season’s trophy

Despite the massive achievement of winning the Champions League in three of the last four seasons, Real Madrid are still behind arch-rivals Barcelona in the betting at odds of 9/2 to win the trophy next season.

The Spanish giants are also the same odds to win the trophy as German giants Bayern Munich. Now that is strange, as Real knocked Bayern out of this seasons at the quarter-final stage.

Even as somebody who sides with their arch-rivals, I feel that the current Real Madrid team are underrated. They do not get the credit that they deserve.

Maybe the reason is political, or because of their rivalry with Barcelona, who have lit up the Champions League so many times in the last decade that Madrid do not get as much credit as other teams, who knows.

However, one thing I do know is that the current team is one of Real’s better vintages of recent years. They deserve more praise, so well done Zizou and co. you thoroughly deserve to retain your European title.

Are Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid team underrated?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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