Soccer / scorum-africa
Whatever The Outcome At The Bernabeu, Real Madrid Are Still On Course To Win Their Fourth Successive European Crown
Real Madrid take on CSKA Moscow at the Santiago Bernabeu, the last round of the Uefa Champions League group stage. The previous first leg encounter between these teams saw Real Madrid fail to pick up threee points for the first time in this season's Uefa Champions league competition as they lost 1 nil at Moscow. Having won four and lost one, racking up 12 points out of a possible 18 in the process, Real Madrid are already through to the knockout stage and would be approaching this match against CSKA Moscow in an unpredictable way. INJURIES, A SETBACK. Injuries has been a problem for Real Madrid this season, as they are currently without any pure left back available in the team. Marcelo and Reguilon are both sidelined with injury and right back, Carvajal has covered that position in their last two games. Midfield Anchor Casemiro was injured in the league encounter against Celta Vigo and luckily for Solari, he learnt a hard lesson and has Marcos Llorente to fill in the void, a task the youngster has handled beyond expectation. Other positions see injuries of lesser concerns as the team appears to be recovering in shape for the crucial second half of the season. REAL MADRID GUNNING FOR REVENGE? This weekend see Real Madrid face Rayo Vallecano. Without doubt, Solari would be looking to rest his players for the weekend clash as it is apparent the league encounter is more important but he will most likely have the first loss issued to his team by the Russian team at the back of his mind. Avenging the 1-0 loss at Moscow will be the only thing giving Solari the impetus to go all out at the opponent as he will also be looking to put smiles on the faces of fans and cement his place as Real Madrid's next Zidane. CAN REAL MADRID WIN THEIR FOURTH CONSECUTIVE UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE CROWN? It goes without doubt that Real Madrid's chances of attaining success both internationally and domestically has statistically depreciated on paper, but, write off Real Madrid at your peril. In the past summer, they not only lost the one coach that gave them what they so desire and did not expect, an 11th Uefa Champions League crown and three consecutive successes alongside a league trophy and a double since 1952, they also lost one of the best players in their history if not the best. That coach being Zinedine Zidane and the player being Cristiano Ronaldo, these two, alongside super, technical and matured players went on to show the world that winning trophies goes beyond playing good football. Real Madrid under Zidane never played a kind of football that sees the opposite fans shivering on their seats or their own fans on their feet for the whole 90minutes chanting, rejoicing and echoing the names of their players, they just knew how to scrap out a win when it is most needed. At a point in Zidane's first season in charge, after he took up the mantle half way through the season, they looked set to exit the competition in the knockout stage after losing 2-0 in the first leg to Germany's Wolfsburg. They returned like angry pack of wolves led by a ferocious Lion in Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese would go on to score a hat-trick and push them over to the quarterfinal. He also dragged them to the final and eventually won the trophy. The next season would see the same players and coach battle it out to the final and lifting the trophy against all odds, breaking the jinx and answering the question surrounding the trophy ever since it was renamed as to why no team has ever retained it. Well, Zizou and his team not only retained the trophy, they went on to drop their own record of lifting it three consecutive times, a feat unlikely to be achieved until after a century must have come and gone( I am exaggerating though, lol). With luck(a factor that has chosen to remain with them in Europe competition in recent years), resilience, determination and togetherness, the Los Blancos team has the most number of the prestigious European trophy in club football. A total 13 and are gunning for the 14th this season.. WILL THEY PULL IT OFF??? THANKS FOR READING Note: All Images are Google sourced.