Real Madrid wants to reclaim their place in Europe by defying the shift in power.
Real Madrid have gone three years without coming close to winning the Champions League after winning it three years in a row. Carlo Ancelotti now has the burden of restoring the club to where they believe they belong.
Last season, Madrid advanced to the semi-finals but were defeated by Chelsea, who won the match 3-1 on aggregate and would have won it even more emphatically had they not wasted a slew of chances in the second leg.
Prior to that, Madrid had been humiliated and outplayed by Manchester City and Ajax, with a pair of humiliating last-16 losses serving as a brutal reality check after the euphoric years between 2014 and 2018.
Even if Barcelona continued to reign supreme in Spain, Real Madrid established itself at the peak of Europe with four victories in a half-decade, including three in a row.
However, an iconic generation has grown older, and several of the team’s core players have left, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos, and Raphael Varane. The coach, Zinedine Zidane, also left at the end of last season.
Ancelotti, his replacement, faces a difficult task in recovering La Liga from Atletico Madrid, who have kept all of their key players and have been buoyed by the return of Antoine Griezmann.
When compared to the trajectories of English rivals Manchester City, Chelsea, and Manchester United, as well as Paris Saint-Germain in France, the job of recovering the Champions League becomes even more daunting.
United, City, and Chelsea spent approximately 400 million euros ($472 million) on Ronaldo, Varane, Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish, and Romelu Lukaku in the summer transfer window, bolstering already-shiny rosters at the top of the Premier League.
Ramos and Lionel Messi, La Liga’s two last greats, were scooped away by PSG along with Gianluigi Donnarumma, Achraf Hakimi, and Georginio Wijnaldum.
Madrid, meanwhile, made a profit of roughly 20 million euros, with sales of Varane and Martin Odegaard more than offsetting transactions for Eduardo Camavinga and David Alaba.
While Florentino Perez put PSG’s resolve to keep Kylian Mbappe for at least the final year of his contract to the test, many believe Madrid’s president was happy to wait nine months when he could sign the France World Cup winner for free.
Ancelotti’s task now is to manage the year in between, a season without Mbappe to lead the next era and with the aging leftovers from the previous one – even if Luka Modric and Karim Benzema could plausibly start in any starting lineup. Brief News from Washington Newsday.