Monday, May 20, 2019

Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois to Spark Real Madrid (R)evolution

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A new dawn has risen on the European champions Real Madrid following a summer of turmoil which saw Los Blancos suffer successive blows with both head coach Zinedine Zidane and the team’s biggest superstar Cristiano Ronaldo leaving Santiago Bernabeu.

And despite the gloomy horizon seemingly offering little hope for the Julen Lopetegui-led side it would be foolish and unsavoury to discard Real Madrid’s chances ahead of the new season.

Challenges Ahead

The Champions League winners are preparing to hit the road to North America where they will begin preparations for the 2018/19 season.

Having won their third successive European crown after beating Liverpool, Los Blancos have been shaken to their core with manager Zinedine Zidane announcing his resignation out of the blue.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s decision to leave for Juventus only rubbed salt into the supporters’ wounds and new boss Julen Lopetegui is facing a daring challenge to consolidate the ranks ahead of the new campaign.

Encouraged by fine performances from their playmaker Luka Modric who picked up the World Cup Best Player Award in Russia and world champions Raphael Varane, Los Blancos will still kick off the preparations in high spirits.

July 31 is the day Real Madrid play their first preseason match. It will be a clash of the titans against Manchester United at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida. Clashes against Juventus and AS Roma will follow at the beginning of August whereas it is on 15th August that Real Madrid will lock horns with city rivals Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup fixture in Estonia.

Squad Upgrades Pending

Cristiano Ronaldo’s shock move to Juventus will have surprised many but it is to be argued that Florentino Perez has already had a contingency plan in place.

A €100 windfall from Ronaldo’s transfer will have topped up the transfer kitty that will surely allow Real Madrid to pursue targets of the similar calibre to Portuguese star’s. A player expected to be introduced as a marquee signing this summer at Santiago Bernabeu is definitely Eden Hazard who is a paltry 1/3 bet to join the Madrid-based giants this summer.

The Belgium international has just helped Red Devils to third place at the 2018 World Cup and is backed to make a step forward in his career after a below-par season with Chelsea. Various European media outlets are reporting that Hazard has been made Real Madrid’s No.1 target to replace Cristiano Ronaldo, adding that Los Blancos are willing to go as far as to offer a mammoth £200 bid for the Belgian.

Caution: Hazard Ahead

Eden Hazard could be joined by his teammate and another high-profile name at Santiago Bernabeu as Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is also said to be a person of interest for Real Madrid. The Belgium shot stopper is on a contract which expires next year and Chelsea will have their hands pretty much tied in any decision making regarding his future.

Growing reports claim Courtois has already received a four-year offer in a transfer worth around £35 million.

Real Madrid are not expected to sanction any more departures this summer and it is highly unlikely that Gareth Bale or Karim Benzema would be allowed to leave Santiago Bernabeu despite growing links claiming otherwise.

With Ronaldo out of the picture, Gareth Bale is expected to be given a more prominent role in the team. Los Blancos remain his dream club and, now more than ever, it looks like he could finally embrace Santiago Bernabeu as his home, following a troublesome season in Madrid.

As for the French forward Karim Benzema – who’s been heavily criticised for his lack of goals – there is a possibility that a change of scenery could occur but only if Real Madrid manage to grab Robert Lewandowski, Harry Kane or Edinson Cavani as his direct replacement.

In either case, it would be foolish to assume that Real Madrid will let themselves be thrown off the tracks despite the seismic changes that rocked the Los Blancos ship.

It can only mark the start of the Los Blancos (r)evolution.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Milos Markovic


Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia Sportske.net, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently Soccernews.com and Futbolgrad.com. His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.

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