Winning the Champions League may have come as no surprise behind the doors at Real Madrid, but there is every possibility that their 10th major European title may be the beginning of a new chapter for Los Blancos. Possessing arguably the strongest squad in world football provides Carlo Ancelotti to bring more success to the Santiago Bernabau, yet there are old scores to be settled during the upcoming season.
The Champions League final between ‘Los Blancos’ Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid promises a hugely exciting end to the Spanish football season.
Atletico have arguably had their greatest ever season, having beaten both Real and Barcelona to La Liga Primera title – their first since 1996 – despite the team’s total wage bill being a fifth of their local rivals. While despite finishing third in La Liga, Real won against Barcelona to lift the Copa Del Rey following an incredible 50-metre charge on goal down the left flank from Gareth Bale. Real also beat Atletico en route to the final of the Spanish cup. Real are priced as favourites at a best price of 19/20 for the Champions League, despite having failed to win the trophy in 12 years. Atletico are priced at a best price of 17/10 to become champions of Europe.
It is no great secret that the priority for Real Madrid, the fans, the players and the whole club, is to finally win that historic 10th European cup. But while the Champions League is the glamour trophy, Real Madrid also feel that they should be champions of Spain.
With Barcelona having a torrid season after an early start, that would normally have been wrapped up, but Atletico have really blown the two team dominance apart. But Real Madrid kept up the pressure on their city rivals with a good win over Osasuna.
Ronaldo’s Portugal: A One-Man Team?
Football fans around the world will be hoping that Carlo Ancelotti doesn’t rush Cristiano Ronaldo back onto the pitch, in order to play in the Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich. Any recurrence of his existing knee and hamstring problems could be a disaster for his – and Portugal’s – World Cup hopes.
That historic and record breaking 10th Champions League victory has been on the minds of Real Madrid for 12 years now, ever since Zinedine Zidane scored that peach of a volley to give Madrid the trophy in 2002. The pressure has been cranked up on every Madrid manager since, but despite regularly getting to the latter stages, `La Decima` has evaded them all.
So here we are at another El Clasico contest between Real Madrid and Barcelona to decide who lifts the Copa Del Rey in 2014. After their recent problems, this is probably more important to the Catalan club because it looks like their best chance of getting their hands on a trophy this season, but Carlo Ancelotti and his players are determined to stop that happening.
The bad news for Real Madrid is that our best player, Cristiano Ronaldo, has not recovered from the injury he picked up a couple of weeks ago against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League first leg. The second leg showed just how much Madrid can struggle without the Portuguese superstar, although this weekend’s La Liga win showed that we have plenty of quality throughout the side.
There have been stories circulating in the Spanish press that all is not exactly rosy in the Real Madrid dressing room. The trouble apparently flared after the disappointing and damaging derby defeat by Barcelona on Sunday and if it does not get sorted out soon then it could affect the team’s focus for the crucial final nine games of this La Liga season.
Carlo Ancelotti must have been dismayed to see that two of his most important Real Madrid players, Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo, had gone into meltdown after Sunday’s El Clasic defeat to Barcelona. The Italian manager is probably expecting both players to receive some sort of reprimand for accusing the referee of cheating and with every La Liga game now crucial, Ancelotti must be dreading that they will be punished with a ban.
As if Real Madrid losing El Clasico to Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu was not bad enough, Carlo Ancelotti and his team could be set for even further punishment. The refereeing technical committee, called the RFEF in Spain, is looking in to statements made by Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos, as an AS report explains, in the wake of the disappointing defeat and I cannot see any outcome other than both players being given bans.
Just when Real Madrid looked like taking control of La Liga, following shock defeats for Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, last weekend’s results went a bit wrong. Barcelona won and are now just a point behind Real, but Carlo Ancelotti’s men are still favourites for the title for a number of reasons.
If you are looking to put your money on them, it would be a good time and, I think, a good move. There are widely differing odds available so it is worth checking around and finding which the best are, according to a comparison and review site like SportsBettingDime.com. But anything around evens is a great price because Real Madrid are in great form and getting better, while the two rivals are stuttering.