Real Madrid and the golden generation change for the third time | Long reading | Al Jazeera


“At Madrid, winning is an obligation, not a goal or a goal, but an obligation. When we win, I don’t feel happy or happy, I feel relieved.”

(2006-2009 Real Madrid President Ramon Calderon)

Fans can’t help but succumb to sadness and criticism when they lose, but nothing beats cheers when they win. After a long period of confusion, we couldn’t find a better word to put before the “Meilinger” fans than the former Real Madrid president, lest they describe us as party spoilers.

Yes, Real Madrid won La Liga and the Champions League with the help of the remaining golden generation, but the fact that these greats are having their final days cannot be changed. Real Madrid fans see victory as a creed, not a goal, but they must stop celebrating and look to the future as the journey of replacement and renewal has entered its final chapter.

The first hit

The journey began at the end of the 2017-2018 season, when Real Madrid ended the season by winning their 13th Champions League title and third in a row. During the celebrations, the shock news of the departure of star and scorer Cristiano Ronaldo and coach Zidane Zidane reached the club and fans in a mandatory and surprising substitution and the renewal stage.

Real Madrid’s management decided not to renew the huge offensive deal with the Portuguese star, but to be content with the youngster “Vinicius Junior” from Brazil, as well as buy back “Mariano Diaz” from Lyon and put the number “7” is assigned to him. Management also want Gareth Bale to get more space alongside Benzema, Isco and Asensio. As for the coach, management turned to Spain coach Lopetegui, who lost his place in the national team after announcing his contract with Real Madrid just days before the 2018 World Cup, a rare scene of chaos.

Given his career between Real Madrid’s second-team Castilla and Spain’s under-19s, 20s and 21s, Lopetegui’s option is to increase his reliance on Real Madrid’s young talents, including Martin Odegaard, Theo Hernandez and Lunin (goalkeepers), Marco Asensio, Federico Valverde, Marcos Llorente, Dani Ceballos, Cova Cic, Odriozola, Vallejo, Rodrigo, Vinicius Junior, and Takeshi Kubo, nicknamed the Japanese Messi, from Manchester City’s “Ibrahim” in the winter of 2018-2019 Diaz” joined them.

According to Spain’s “Aspen” report, Real Madrid spent about 217 million euros to recruit these young people, which seems to be a fundamental change in the thinking of chairman Florentino Perez, who is famous for forming the Galaxy battleship. In October 2018, Lopetegui left the team and Santiago Solari took over as technical leadership, and it seemed that the planned transition was finally over.

“Barcelona has plans and ideas, but that doesn’t happen at Real Madrid. We go from coach to coach without any criteria, without any plans.”

(Former Real Madrid President Ramon Calderon)

second attempt

Solari’s humiliating exit from the Champions League did not last long after leading Real Madrid to a humiliating defeat under a young Ajax, so Perez decided to return to his homeland and use Zidane again. It was clear that Real Madrid could not give young talents a chance to develop, and there was no plan to do so gradually from the start.

“The price of teaching young players is losing points. I know putting in a 20-year-old defender will cost me points, but I have to accept it. If I bring in a 28-year-old, maybe a less talented defender , won’t let me drop points like I used to, but then I can’t give young players another chance.”

(Arsenal legendary coach Wenger)

Zidane, who didn’t use his wand from the start, averaged 1.7 points per game in 11 La Liga games for the remainder of the season, compared with 2.3 in his first term. “Meilinger” finished third in the league. The coach took advantage of this time to check the status of the team and players to prepare for the second substitution attempt. Most of the news reports at the time believed that “Zizou” was able to put conditions on the chairman and control the transfer market at will.

“These players have accomplished great things over the past five years, it’s heart-wrenching (to replace them) and it’s time for a change. We assure our fans that we will return with great ambition and a great season.”

(Real Madrid coach Zidane said after the 2018-2019 season)

The French coach put pressure on the use of experienced players to make Real Madrid rise rapidly. The team is associated with several big names such as “Hazard”, “Neymar”, “Pogba”, etc. It seems that Zidane will come A direction contrary to the chairman’s desire to develop young talent. In the end, the transfer gains were balanced between this and that, with Real Madrid adding ‘Hazard’, and the young trio of ‘Luka Jovic’ (Frankfurt striker), ‘Eder Militao’ ( The heart of Porto’s defence) and “Phelan Mendy” (Lyon left-back) were brought in.

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Do you remember the changes Zidane talked about? The French coach completely forgot. He guarded the old defender at the last minute, joining them in a five-point victory over Barca to end the 2019-20 season with a La Liga title and postponement of substitutions and contract extensions until further notice.

The third time

Forgot to tell you, the summer of 2019 saw a massive exodus of many of the young players we mentioned in the first substitutions and extensions, as Odegaard, Sergio Reguilon, Kovacic, Marcos Llorente, Theo Hernandez, Odriozola and Takehide Kubo have all left, either sold or loaned out, with only Ashraf Hakimi the summer before them left.

Zidane tried to hold on with the help of his old defenders, who had the help of Valverde, Mendy and Militao to varying degrees, but a disappointing end to the 2020-2021 season forced Zidane to leave, And forced Real Madrid to enter the third substitution and renewal, while the expert “Carlo Ancelotti” was selected for the stage.

Due to Zidane’s second term, “Meilinger” has lost most of the genius it was trying to bet on. Given the financial constraints, as well as the principles of Financial Fair Play and the transformation of the Santiago Bernabeu, the safe solution is to rely on an expert coach who is good at running the business and able to help the young remaining, as well as updating the incentives for the remaining golden generation.

“Of course, Ancelotti was fortunate to inherit a group of top international players who already knew their roles and responsibilities. But when he returned to the Bernabeu last summer to start a second term (having coached 2013-2015) They), the thing that surprised Ancelotti the most was how weak his players such as Kroos, Marcelo, Casemiro and Luka Modric were and how little they had a desire to succeed.

(Jonathan Liu, columnist for The Guardian)

Luckily for Ancelotti, defending duo Sergio Ramos and Rafael Varane left in the summer of 2021, under duress to begin a third and final process of substitutions. And “Meilinger” just kidnapped the expert “David Alaba” by way of free transfer, and recruited the talented French midfielder “Camavinga”, allowing the Italian coach to start work calmly and achieve The surprise season of winning the La Liga and the Champions League also allowed Real Madrid to complete the substitution process more calmly.

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final touches

In the 2021-2022 season, Real Madrid has a new look at the back line, relying on the doubles of Militao and Alaba and the stable Mendy, while the midfield remains unchanged, relying on the trio of Kroos, Modric and Casemiro. As for the offense, the surprise was that Benzema turned into Messi, Vinicius broke out, Rodrigo developed, and found that Real Madrid successfully continued two of the three offensive lines.

In terms of midfield, the first step in preparing for “Camavinga” was also successfully completed. Ancelotti pushed him forward patiently. It took him a month to play for the first time and play in the 2021-2022 season. 40 times (24 of which came off the bench). Real Madrid fans will not forget him as a substitute against Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City, showing extraordinary quality and speed (he played 125 minutes, Real Madrid scored 8 goals and conceded 1).

The French talent is expected to gain more time next season to prepare for taking over the flag from Kroos or Modric. As for Casemiro, he is very likely to fall victim to Real Madrid’s new contract “Aurelion Chiwameni”, who will join Real Madrid in the summer of 2022.

In the 2021-2022 season, “Chiwameni” is the footballer with the most tackles in the Ligue 1, showing an extraordinary defensive quality accompanied by an acceptable passing quality. His former coach at Monaco, Robert Moreno, said Aurelion had a good opportunity to learn from specialist Cesc Fabregas, which helped him improve his cognitive skills and, in turn, his decision-making skills.

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Ancelotti will have a patient strategy with Chiwameni as he has with Camavinga, but since he is targeting Casemiro rather than Kroos and Modric, expect patience to be shorter, especially It is to consider that the stability of the support backcourt will increase the defense line with Germany international Antonio Rudiger as the core.

Rudiger, 29, is expected to add a lot of defensive power to Real Madrid’s backline. The former Roma defender tops the list for most appearances in the top five leagues in 2021-22, with 5,645 minutes for Chelsea and Germany. In addition to the long pass, he has other strengths such as: fighting spirit, man-marking acumen and cover.

The market may look perfect if ‘Meilinger’ brings in the right, but it seems to depend on where ‘Marco Asensio’ is. Ultimately, the whole picture looks better than it did two years ago, as Real Madrid managed – at least in part – to overcome the chaos of a failed young talent program and bring itself to a more dispassionate finish to replace the greatest generation in franchise history the final touches.


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