Real Madrid: Wheeling, Dealing, and Ducking Their Defensive Duties

Matt BargerCorrespondent IJune 22, 2009

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 02:  Lionel Messi of Barcelona beats  Cristoph Metzelder of Real Madrid during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on May 2, 2009 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

As a Manchester United fan, you have to love this. You just got 96 million euros for a player who did not want to stay with you. This is in wake of the incredible 68 million euro signing of Kaka (In your face, Man City!), and reports speculate that they are first in line for striker David Villa, right in front of next-best suitor Chelsea (a team that actually needs him).


These three cavalier blockbuster moves can stand to revolutionize Real’s already strong attack...but what does it do for their defense?


As far as strikers and midfielders go, Real were already stocked.  Spanish legend Raul, Gonzalo Higuain, and most of the Dutch National Team (Huntelaar, Van der Vaart, Sneijder, Robben) spearheaded an attack that scored 83 La Liga goals last season, second to only Barcelona in goals scored. 


Real’s backline, where there were enough holes for 52 goals last season (not the worst in La Liga but certainly poor for a team which considers itself part of Europe’s elite), will have even more holes to fill with the exodus of Italian legend Fabio Cannavaro to Juventus.  


Neither Christian Metzelder, Pepe nor wing back Marcelo have shown the quality in defense to stop the bleeding, and Sergio Ramos, for all his efforts, can only do so much.


So the answer, obviously, is to bring in two attack midfielders not known for their tackling and a possible fourth striker. 


But just imagine that incredible offense at work: Ronaldo receiving the ball from a beautiful one-two from Kaka, dribbling through defenders along the wing, then missing high and wide from a forty-yard blast, while an open David Villa screams for the ball in the box.


Meanwhile, Raul and the Dutchmen are left scratching their heads on the bench (not because they could do better, but because they just lost 4-3).


It’s almost like the Galacticos are oblivious to their 6-2 embarrassment at the Bernabeu to Barcelona, or the 4-0 thumping they suffered to Liverpool in the Champions’ League.


Or maybe the Madridistas are so enamored by the stars they sign they forget the mantra so true in any sport played in any part of the world: defense wins championships.


Real Madrid, with their epic signings, has become a team that resembles their Cristiano Ronaldo centerpiece: incredible but selfish in attack, absent-mindedly average on defense, and the emotional faith and fortitude of a petulant brat.


And, as a Manchester United fan, I must say I will enjoy watching the Madridistas throw up their hands in despair while they come up second-best in La Liga and anonymous in Europe for yet another year.