It took 2,582 days, 74 players, nine coaches, five presidents, and a Special one, to finally take Real Madrid past the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions league. On March 16th, 2011, the Whites comfortably defeated French giants, Lyon, by three goals to nil, after a first leg away match that ended in a draw with one goal apiece.
It was Real Madrid's most important match yet, as going through the round of 16 was necessary to finally defy the ghost that had hunted them at that stage of the competition for seven straight years. Under the guidance of Jose Mourinho, Marcelo, Karim Benzema, and Angel Di Maria were able to repay the Bernebeau for their support, and send a warning to the rest of Europe—Real Madrid is back.
However, our qualification into the quarter-finals means a lot of things. First of all, it means that we'll play a lot more matches than we've been used to for the past six years (seven matches to be exact), and it means that there is a chance that we'll witness three Clasicos in the month of April.
In the month of April, Madrid's season could be made or effectively broken. Almost everything the team has done this season, has led up to April. Battles and wars could be won and lost in that one important month. It's like the last fight in the second part of the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. And this is, of course, independent of the fact that I've never been able to watch all three parts of the trilogy at once because each time I try to do it, I end up fast forwarding to the last fight in the two towers when the elf, Legolas, slid down a staircase with his shield while shooting down a couple Uruks in a move that was brimming with shear awesomeness and artistry.
That said, here's a look at the matches to expect in April, but be warned, there's a touch of pessimism to this piece.