La Liga: 10 Reasons Real Madrid Will Be Champions of Spain
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol is the most successful club in world football. The illustrious history of this prestigious football club speaks for itself.
The quintessentially Spanish team, based in the country's capital, Madrid, boasts the largest fan base in the world and is essentially the most celebrated team in football.
The legendary Los Blancos have bagged more La Liga and European Cup titles than any other club in history, having won a record 31 La Liga titles, 17 Copa del Rey Cups, eight Spanish Super Cups, nine Champions League trophies, two UEFA Cups, one UEFA Supercup and three Intercontinental Cups.
This season, Real Madrid's brilliant performances were somewhat overshadowed by Barcelona's dominance in all competitions. Following the 5-0 drubbing at the hands of the Catalans, a copious number of journalists, pundits and supporters dismissed Los Blancos' title hopes.
However, one bad performance by Real Madrid favoured an excellent Barcelona display. Hence that one El Clasico match has by no means written off Madrid's chances of clinching the La Liga title.
It is without question that the white outfit of Madrid has a strong hold in the title race. With 15 matches remaining in La Liga, Real Madrid are just five points behind Barcelona.
The race to the finish has seldom been closer, and the team from Madrid has developed a strong case to lift the Spanish title.
Now is the time for the Los Blancos faithful to believe in the team, for one Madrid principle will stand strong: "Together we can, together we stand."
Here are 10 reasons the new Galacticos of Madrid will triumph this season.
1. Team Harmony
Real Madrid have long been criticized for not being able to play football as a team. Players in previous teams were described as selfish and were accused of individualistic contributions.
Nowadays, however, Real Madrid are far from a team comprised of self-centred footballers. Jose Mourhino has developed a squad that plays beautiful passing football, depicting perfect football and all that it proudly entails.
With Ricardo Kaka coming back into the first team, and coincidentally into top form, the Real Madrid team effectively possess a solid line-up from all fronts of the pitch.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil are instrumental wide players, constantly cutting in and out of the opposition's defense.
With these two players causing havoc on the wings, the central areas of the field are left open for the likes of Kaka and Adebayor to exploit.
The centre of the field is dominated by the midfield maestros Xabi Alonso and Sami Khedira. These two holding midfielders combine majestically with one another and constantly feed the attacking players.
The Madrid back four are world class, to say the least. Marcelo and Ramos relentlessly work their way up the wings to support Ozil and Ronaldo, consequently opening up play in Madrid's favour.
Carvalho and Pepe, on the other hand, sit back and ensure no one gets past them—ball and player.
In effect, with every player on the squad helping the team's cause and constantly working for each other, one can only wonder the heights this team would be able to reach.
The team harmony displayed by the current squad is worthy of winning them the La Liga title this season.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo. The Name Says It All.
When it comes to the main man, Cristiano Ronaldo, the statistics speak for itself. Having already scored 34 goals in 36 games this season, the Portuguese International has broken all sorts of records at Madrid.
Ronaldo is the fastest player in the white outfit to score 50 goals for Real Madrid, having done the unprecedented feat in only 51 games.
Yes, it is truly beyond this world.
Ronaldo will be spearheading Los Blancos' attack from all fronts. He is not only a proven goal scorer, but also an expert producer of goals for the team.
He has made an astonishing 77 assists this season in all competitions, more than any other player on the team. He is undeniably the epitome of Real Madrid's attack.
The beauty of Ronaldo is that he can score goals with either foot, firing in shots from either flank. He is a lethal header of the ball and is a threat from corners and set pieces.
When it comes to free kicks, he is the best in the world. The trademark stance he so famously performs before he executes a free kick is simply delightful.
With Cristiano Ronaldo firing on all cylinders, and seemingly at the top of his game week in and week out, there is little doubt Real Madrid are strong favourites for the title.
3. The Genius That Is Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho is a genius of the game—hands down. The man who fluently converses in five languages had previously lead Porto and Chelsea to glory. Now the Portuguese magician has once again waved his wand, this time with Real Madrid.
The illustrious manager has revamped the team and has duly fashioned one of the deadliest outfits the world over. Mourinho had made several influential signings over the summer transfer window, including Ozil, Di Maria, Khedira, Carvalho and Pedro Leon.
As a result, Mourinho has created a Real Madrid team that are a far superior team this season as opposed to previous years. Although it can be argued the Galacticos era were of a different class to the current squad, Jose Mourinho's team possesses an instrumental advantage over the former—youth.
With young players on the squad who are already showing levels of maturity and ability far beyond their age, the squad is extremely motivated to achieve great things.
Jose Mourinho has a knack to come out on top during gloomy periods.
For instance, when Mourinho's Chelsea squad slumped to a shocking 3-0 defeat to Middlesbrough towards the end of the season, the Portuguese manager analysed his team's performance, and eventually his team bounced back stronger than ever to clinch the title.
In many ways, Mourinho has done the same this season. When Real Madrid lost to Osasuna a fortnight ago, he immediately drilled his players to improve their performances.
In effect, Jose Mourinho will always uphold the world class standards expected of him and his team, and will successfully lead Real Madrid to glory this season.
4. Alonso's Contributions
Xabi Alonso is essentially the most overlooked player on the Real Madrid squad. Alonso does not score many goals, however, his contributions reach far beyond that. Alonso cannot be compared to the likes of Ronaldo or Kaka, since these players play in different positions and have differing roles for the team.
Alonso is a defensive midfielder, and his main responsibility is to hold up the play and more often than not carry out the dirty work for the team. The Spanish international is always in on the action, lunging in for tackles and intercepting opposition plays.
His passes are made with deadly accuracy, and he constantly switches the ball across the field, opening up Madrid's attack and hence enhancing the chances of scoring.
Alonso thus plays the elusive Makelele role in Madrid's midfield, something the white outfit have been missing in recent years.
If Xabi Alonso remains fit for the greater part of the remaining games, Real Madrid will have a great chance to win the Spanish League.
5. Kaka's Return To Form
After a career-threatening knee injury that had sidelined Ricardo Kaka for around six months, the pin-up boy of Brazilian football has returned in Real Madrid colours—and in style.
In Real Madrid's recent encounter in the Bernabeu against rivals Real Sociedad, Kaka put in a Man of the Match performance and rounded off the great night with a goal to his name.
Even Jose Mourinho came out to commend Kaka's efforts, and the latter duly vindicated the faith his manager laid in him throughout his tenure on the operation table.
In fact, Kaka's return to form could not have come at a better time for Los Blancos, as they look to face Lyon in the Champions League and Barcelona in the Copa Del Ray finals.
However, more importantly, Kaka will be fit to play a crucial figure in Real Madrid's push for the La Liga crown.
The involvement of Kaka through the remaining half of the season could prove priceless.
6. The Consistency Of Iker Casillas
Iker Casillas is considered by many of the Real Madrid faithful as the heart of the team. He is a product of the Real Madrid youth system, and has been a reassuring figure between the sticks at the Bernabeu for a good 12 years.
Casillas has been regarded by many as the best goalkeeper of recent times. Not only is the Spanish keeper a world class shot-stopper, he is also a leader and role model for many of the younger players in the Madrid squad.
Having captained Spain to victory in the Euro 2008 and the recent World Cup in South Africa, Casillas is a true leader within the ranks.
However, it is Casillas' consistency that plays a major part in Real Madrid's success. Casillas may have lost his place in the side to reserve keeper Cesar Sanchez after a patch of bad form during the 2001–02 campaign, but redeemed himself when Sanchez suffered an injury in the last minutes of 2002 Champions League final match.
Casillas came on and pulled off several brilliant saves to lead Los Blancos to victory. Casillas has deservedly maintained the No. 1 shirt since then.
With Iker Casillas hurling instructions and leading strong from Real Madrid's back lines, the Spanish international goalkeeper will have a big say in securing the Spanish league crown.
7. Madrid's Back Line
Real Madrid boasts one of the best defensive line-ups in club football with Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Ricardo Carvalho and Marcelo. These four defenders complement each other wonderfully and the understanding between them is top-class.
The central defenders of Pepe and Carvalho will put their body on the line to prevent an opposition from scoring. The Portuguese centre-backs are rated highly by Jose Mourinho and thus far have not disappointed the Madrid faithful.
Left-back Marcelo is an extremely athletic Brazilian with honed close control skills and great speed. Marcelo links well with Ronaldo during periods of attacking play, and duly tracks back to defend when the opposition fashions a counter-attack.
Similarly, Sergio Ramos bosses the right side of the pitch, linking up beautifully with either Ozil or Di Maria on the right flank.
Ramos not only possesses a real threat going forward on the break, but also defines Real Madrid's defensive capabilities.
He is strong, fast and reads the flow of the game wonderfully; thus, he is the perfect defender Real Madrid could have in its ranks.
The fantastic four, or so one could call them, have a pivotal role to play in Real Madrid's title charge.
8. The Madrid Faithful
The Real Madrid supporters are perhaps the most loyal football fans around.
Real Madrid has the highest average all-time attendance in Spanish football and regularly attracts over 65,000 fans to the Santiago Bernabeu.
This portrays the loyalty shown by Madrid supporters through the good and bad times.
With such massive and passionate support, the team would be greatly motivated to perform at the highest level and live up to expectations.
The belief shown by the Madrid faithful would inevitably play a key factor in Real Madrid's success in clinching the La Liga title.
9. The Reliability Of The Bench
Injuries to the top players are a part and parcel of the game. As such, Jose Mourinho would have to deal with such calamities. This is where the Real Madrid would have to rely on the services of the reserves.
Jose Mourinho masterfully created a team whereby not only are the starting eleven is world class, but also the backups to an extent.
With the likes of Angel Di Maria, Pedro Leon, Raul Albiol, Alvaro Arbeloa and Ezequiel Garay, the risk of injuries to the first team players are minimised as a result.
Therefore, the reliability of the bench at Real Madrid will play a big factor in determining Los Blancos' title chances this season.
10. Hala Madrid
Every Real Madrid fan is familiar with this phrase: "Hail Madrid."
Being the most decorated club in world football history, Real Madrid have everything to play for. Numerous supporters around the world, be it Madrid residents or international fans, put their faith in Real Madrid every time the players run out onto the field.
The Los Blancos of Madrid carries with it not only a unique culture and heritage respected by millions the world over, but also a sense of hope and elation. Hope when seeing your favourite player mesmerise on the field, and elation when Real Madrid comes out of a match victorious.
Many heroes of football have donned the white shirt of Real Madrid, such as the likes of Alfredo Di Stefano, Ferenc Puskás and Fernando Ruiz Hierro. The beauty of the Real Madrid culture is that in every generation, a new legend is written into football's history books. More recently it was Raul Gonzalez.
Real Madrid have established themselves as a soubriquet of football, almost a second name for football. For everything they stand for, and everything they have grown to be, Real Madrid Club de Fútbol is worthy of being the champions of Spain.
Hala Madrid, indeed.