After Spain, Europe! The title of champion of Spain in his pocket, Real Madrid is now preparing to walk on the Champions League.
For its part, the sworn enemy FC Barcelona saw its national hegemony and its dynamics shattered, and its pride stung by captain Lionel Messi.
Where will Real de Zidane stop? After having put an end to the blaugrana domination on the national level, causing mini-crises in cascade at the Catalans throughout the season, and after having affirmed its control over Madrid by relegating Atlético to 17 points behind him at the classification, Real Madrid is heading towards C1 in an ideal dynamic.
After this domestic title gleaned thanks to the 2-1 victory against Villarreal Thursday for the 37th day of Liga, the thirst for coronations of Zinédine Zidane is not quenched.
The French coach, who had already achieved the feat of combining a national and continental title in 2017, hopes to renew this performance this season, despite the schedule truncated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Thursday, the evening of his second coronation in La Liga, we also thought we saw this Real from 2017 at times, especially on the first goal of Karim Benzema (29th), who followed a recovery from Casemiro and an assist from Luka Modric .
“Blessed by the gods”
Zidane “is blessed by the gods,” elated Real president Florentino Perez on Thursday evening. “He turns everything he touches into gold. He stays here very long, he is unique,” said captain Sergio Ramos.
With ten wins in a row in ten games since the La Liga resumption on June 11, the Merengues have achieved an impressive flawless finish. Perfect momentum before their Champions League round of 16 return on August 7 against Manchester City, who beat them 2-1 in the first leg in February at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
A big challenge, before an even more intense poster: if they qualify, the Galactics will face Lyon in the quarterfinals or Juventus Turin of the ex-hero of the White House, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Inevitably, when everything is rosy for Real in Spain, it is that Barça turns pale. After his 10 domestic titles in the past 15 years, Lionel Messi gave in to the impression of power released by Real this season.
“I said it a while ago, but if we continue like this it will be very difficult to win the Champions League. We will have to change deeply if we want to fight for the League champions, because if not, the match against Naples (in the round of 16 of C1), we will also lose it, “thundered captain blaugrana on Movistar + on Thursday.
Barça, “weak and irregular” according to Messi
A rare outing for the Argentinian taciturn, who described his training as “a very irregular team, very weak, beaten to the intensity or the urge, which collects easily”.
After losing the particular goal-average to their rival on March 1 during the classic return from Liga (0-0, 2-0), Barça no longer managed to raise their heads. The Blaugranas have totaled three draws and a loss (Thursday against Osasuna, 2-1) since the resumption of the championship on June 11, when Real did not leave a single point on the way.
They will quickly try to turn to their knockout round of Champions League return against Naples on August 8 at Camp Nou (1-1 to go), before a potential big quarterfinal against Chelsea or Bayern Munich in Lisbon.
Will their future be brighter, in Europe and in Spain? Hard to believe, as the coach Quique Setién, appointed in January, is already criticized and questioned to lead the rebirth of Barça, whether it is next season or, already, in August for the C1.
Despite his titles, despite Zidane, and despite the fact that there will be “no great recruits this summer” according to Florentino Perez, Real will also have to start considering an overhaul. Its aging executives aged over 30 (Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema, Marcelo) will still be able to last until August … but after?