Real Madrid are one of the biggest clubs in the world, if not the biggest club in the world, yet in recent years they have had to live in the shadow of arch-rivals Barcelona at times.
The Spanish game has been dominated by the pair for a good while now, but Barca got the upper hand last season.
This summer boss Jose Mourinho has left and Los Blancos need to go through a recovery period to get over the ‘Special One’s’ reign at the Bernabeu. His time at Real Madrid brought the usual controversy that the Portuguese brings with him.
Mourinho did win La Liga with a record points haul, but winning the league once in three seasons at Real is not considered a success. Barcelona also went on to equal that record points haul last season. Real now need to take stock of the situation.
Mourinho’s seat in the Bernabeu dugout is likely to be occupied by current PSG boss Carlo Ancelotti. The French club are close to appointing former-Les Bleus head coach Laurent Blanc as their new boss, with Ancelotti expected to depart for Real in the next few days.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez confirmed the Italian’s expected arrival by telling Spanish paper 20minutos: “Hopefully everything goes well. My coach is Ancelotti.”
“That PSG reach an agreement with Ancelotti and announce their new coach, Blanc.” Was Perez’s reply to what the Ancelotti appointment depended on?
Ancelotti is a very different sort of boss to Mourinho. The Italian is a far less controversial character, but still manages to collect silverware. He fits in better with how Real sees themselves as a club. The Real Madrid hierarchy were known to dislike the way that Mourinho handled himself.
Ancelotti is regarded as one of football’s nice guys, but he is no pushover. The Italian has proven at AC Milan, Chelsea and most recently at PSG that he wins silverware and creates winning teams.
Ancelotti’s winning association with the European Cup will also help him at Real Madrid. Everybody at the club seems to be obsessed by winning the clubs tenth European Cup. Ancelotti has won the trophy as both player and boss with AC Milan.
The Italian is a very shrewd choice. He will create a winning team at the Bernabeu given the time and control over the team he needs. He was undermined at Chelsea by owner Roman Abramovich and treated poorly.
The Real Madrid job is a hard one, but Ancelotti is amongst a very small group of elite bosses that is capable of handling the job. I am sure that he is right man for the job and Los Blancos will be far closer to Barcelona in the title race than last season.
The Real Madrid squad is full of stars and it now looks increasingly likely that Spanish starlet Isco will be joining the club this summer from Malaga. The Andalusian’s are believed to have accepted bids in the region of £30million from both Real Madrid and Manchester City.
It seems that Isco has expressed his preference for staying in Spain and signing for Real rather than moving to the Premier League with City.
Real Madrid will face an even more dangerous Barcelona next season, after the Catalan giants acquired the services of Brazilian superstar Neymar earlier this summer. The former-Santos striker is rated as one of the best players of his generation.
The likes of Brazilian legend Pele have already lauded the youngster. Pele even claimed that Neymar could become better than Barcelona star Lionel Messi.
Next season will be the youngsters’ first taste of football in Europe and it will be a completely different kettle of fish to the Brazilian domestic league. It will no doubt be harder for the youngster, but he will have world-class teammates to play with and he will only benefit from that.
The Spanish top flight has been very topsy-turvy in recent years. Either team can claim the league crown next season. However, much will depend on whom both clubs manage to bring in this summer.
As always, the race for the title should be an entertaining one. Whether Real Madrid can overthrow their Basque rivals’ remains to be seen, but everybody connected with the club from the capital will be hoping that the La Liga crown returns to capital next season.
Is the signings of Ancelotti and Isco enough for Real to win La Liga next season?