Real Madrid are behind Barcelona in La Liga title race with a game in-hand and are also in the Champions League semi-finals as the they set one foot on the finals with a win last night.
By all evidence, they’re having a pretty sensational season so far. Things could round off remarkably for them if they get a little luck from here until the end of May. How about next season? How can Real Madrid turn this season’s success into a dominion, much as the one Barcelona have enjoyed since 2004?
Well, in the most Los Blancos way conceivable, definitely: signing new players. Influential new players. Spectacular new players. Looking for the biggest and the best names around the game today (never mind if they’re actually available or not) and conveying them to the Santiago Bernabeu, whatever the cost.
Clearly, Madrid like to sign forwards. And of course, that actually pans out for once. Two of their much-bragged B-B-C forward line will be 30 or older next year, so it becomes clear for them to refresh that area. So, given all the players they’ve been linked with, how possibly would Real Madrid’s front-line appear next season?
Cristiano Ronaldo has played 388 games in nearly eight seasons at Real Madrid. That in itself is very outstanding but when you consider that he’s also scored 396 goals then the accomplishment just moves beyond comprehension and into the realm of absolute absurdity. The kind of thing you could only dream of happening on Football Manager or may be FIFA.
Of course he’s also 32 and very much on the downslope of his career. His influence on games was always built around goal netting and flare for dribble and take-ons but now he can barely manage anything but sticking the ball in the back of the net. So why not play to that? Put the Portuguese at the front of a brilliant young attackers from behind.
Primarily, to sign Antoine Griezmann from city rivals Atlético Madrid. It would be a hugely contestable move, and they’d have to pay his buyout clause, but Griezmann is a magnificent footballer whose scoring prowess and creative efforts are often wasted by an Atleti midfield that can struggle to get him the ball in dynamic areas.
Eden Hazard is a superb architect of chances and dribbler of defenders. Having him on the left of a 4-4-1-1 (alongside Asensio mirroring his inverse winger routine on the right) would ravage Madrid’s opponents and provide the goal beast Cristiano Ronaldo, with chances galore.
Of course, a mix of young and old is always good. As is unites young players with their heroes. For that logic the final idea is Los Blancos lining a 4-4-2, with the midfield taking any shape Zidane feels like but crucially two strikers are at the head of the system. It’s a decidedly archaic approach but with Zidane’s focus on crossing, it could favour.
That striker is obviously Cristiano Ronaldo. 396 goals in 388 games, I mean, says it all. So he plays the role of the main striker, the lead guy, the aerial pro. Playing alongside him is 18 year-old Kylian Mbappé. The teenage sensation is one of the hottest assets in Europe and can relish the chance to play next to his idol Cristiano.
Mbappé has displayed that he is a supreme talent despite his young age. He proved he can handle the big pressure and can deliver; with five goals in his first four Champions League knockout matches debut, taking Monaco to the semi-finals. He’s a Madrid fan, a Cristiano fan, and if the Portuguese is willing to do a bit of the behind the fame job as a supporting striker, then he and young Mbappé could form an incredibly deadly duo.