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Will This Real Madrid Team Be Considered an All-Time Great in Years to Come?

For many decades, Real Madrid have carried the nickname ‘Galacticos’.

It’s a nod both to the nationalism of their history – they have long been the Spanish club of the establishment, in bitter opposition to the separatist FC Barcelona – but also their frivolous spending in the transfer market, which over the years has brought them silverware and ridicule seemingly in equal measure.

But there’s a new approach in the Spanish capital, with Real tightening the purse strings (relatively speaking) and relinquishing themselves of their global stars.

And yet, their results on the pitch refuse to suffer…

real madrid statistics

Double Delight?

The La Liga title is already in the bag this season – it has been for many weeks, in fact, with Madrid romping 17 points clear of Barcelona with just a couple of games left to play.

There’s still the lure of continental glory too – the odds for Champions League 2023/24 make them a comfortable 6/10 favourite to overcome surprise package Borussia Dortmund in the final.

Although they couldn’t add the Copa del Rey trophy to complete a magnificent treble, Real are still very much on course for one of the most stellar accolades in European football – winning one of the ‘big five’ divisions and the Champions League in the same campaign.

All of this means that since the start of the 2021/22 season, Carlo Ancelotti’s team have won the Spanish La Liga in two out of the three editions and could do likewise in the Champions League.

The New Way

Don’t forget, this is a team lacking the Galactico approach of yesteryear, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Sergio Ramos, and Karim Benzema just some of those to have been shown the exit – willingly or, in the case of Benzema, with a hint of sadness.

Marco Asensio, Eden Hazard, Casemiro, Isco, Marcelo, Raphael Varane, Martin Odegaard… you could make a pretty handy team out of the players that Real have allowed to pass through the Bernabeu over the past couple of seasons.

But in their stead has come a gang of hungrier new recruits; each of whom keen to play their part in a new dynasty in the Spanish capital.

The average age of Real’s squad now is a shade over 27, but that drops to 25 and 26 respectively for their midfield and forward options. In short, Ancelotti and his recruitment team have created a monster – a winning machine that could stick around in Madrid for years to come.

But the Italian head coach hasn’t done away entirely with experience. Dani Carvajal and Federico Valverde remain lynchpins of the team, while the likes of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric remain key pieces of Ancelotti’s squad as they enter the autumns of their respective careers.

Curiously, one of their key figures this term has been a player who can be defined as anything but a Galactico. Joselu spent four seasons in the English Premier League with Stoke City and Newcastle United, scoring just ten goals.

The striker was shipped out to Alaves and Espanyol, before somehow landing on his feet with a loan move to Madrid – a deal that raised more than a few eyebrows at the club. But nine goals this term, five of which have come in the Champions League, have cemented Joselu’s cult hero status… if they go on to lift the trophy, his brace in the semi-final against Bayern Munich will forever be remembered.

So will this Real Madrid side be remembered as legends? It’s certainly not the most star-studded of squads in the club’s history, but they’re producing stellar performances where it matters the most all the same.

The published material expresses the position of the author, which may not coincide with the opinion of the editor.

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