Sunday, May 26, 2024

What have been the secrets behind Real Madrid’s charge for the history books this season?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, La Liga, UEFA Champions League 11 May 2024

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Eventually falling 10 points adrift of defending their La Liga crown last season, Real Madrid certainly faced a real backlash around the Spanish capital.

However, while it might have appeared last summer that Carlo Ancelotti would be leaving the Bernabeu, Los Blancos have come roaring back in a remarkable fashion.

Mounting an iconic European comeback on Wednesday night as they booked their spot in this season’s Champions League final, Madrid will be heading to Wembley on June 1st when they meet Borussia Dortmund.

Officially claiming a history-making 36th domestic title last weekend as they stormed their way to a routine 3-0 romp against Cadiz, Ancelotti’s men are now 90 minutes away from completing a famous double-winning campaign.

Enjoying what has been a stunning flurry across all fronts this season, we have taken a look at some of the key factors behind Madrid’s success.

King Jude

Making a £115million move from fellow Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund last summer, Jude Bellingham has only continued on a record-breaking fairytale since arriving in the Spanish capital.

With some even tipping the former Birmingham starlet as a Ballon d’Or contender this year, Bellingham has already cemented his spot as the new post boy for Los Blancos.

With the 20-year-old’s stock at a red-hot high and many billing the England international as Europe’s Signing of the Season, Bellingham has continued to spearhead Madrid’s charge for a famous double-winning campaign.

Recording 18 La Liga goals in his 26 appearances this season and still battling it out in the chase to claim Spain’s Golden Boot, Ancelotti’s new talisman has been a vital part of Madrid’s success.

With the world at his feet and expected to play a leading role when the Three Lions arrive in Germany this summer for the 2024 European Championships, Bellingham is certainly one of the leading new faces of the modern era.

The Bernabeu – Europe’s ultimate fortress

Mounting another iconic Champions League comeback against Bayern Munich on Wednesday night as they eventually snatched a 2-1 victory on home soil, Madrid have continued to gain a fearsome reputation for their success in the capital.

With something special about European nights at the Bernabeu, Ancelotti’s side have turned their iconic stadium into a real fortress.

Along with astonishing semi-final turnaround in midweek, the former AC Milan boss has seen his superstar squad win all of their previous six La Liga showdowns in front of their own supporters by an aggregate score of 17-2.

Likewise, Los Blancos have remarkably not suffered a single competitive defeat at the Bernabeu across all competitions since a 3-2 loss against Villarreal back in April of last year.

Although the Spanish giants might travel to Wembley on June 1st when they meet Borussia Dortmund for this season’s Champions League final, Madrid will certainly be followed by an emotional Los Blancos fanbase.

Lunin leads defensive steel

Watching Thibaut Courtois suffer a long-term knee injury during the final days of Madrid’s pre-season preparations, it was no secret that Ancelotti had a huge headache on his hands when opening up the 2023/24 campaign.

With fellow ex-Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga failing to make any kind of impact after completing a shock season-long loan switch last summer, Andriy Lunin has certainly enjoyed an astonishing breakout year.

Keeping 12 domestic clean sheets this season and producing a hero’s performance as Madrid sent Manchester City packing out the Champions League last month, it is no surprise that Madrid are desperate to sign Lunin down to a bumper new deal.

With the 25-year-old’s current contract at the Bernabeu set to expire next summer, many are hoping that the former Leganes loanee has officially dethroned Courtois between the sticks.

Conceding just 22 goals in their 34 La Liga appearances this season, the newly-crowned Spanish champions have also shipped 11 goals fewer than any other club among Spain’s elite.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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