Zinedine Zidane’s golden touch at Real Madrid continued, as the Frenchman won his second La Liga title as manager of Los Blancos. That takes his total trophy haul up to a staggering 11 trophies already, in just over three seasons as manager, across two separate spells. Given the struggles that rivals Barcelona are undergoing at the moment, this could be the opportunity for Zidane to cement his legacy and create a dynasty of sorts at the club, one which can dominate domestically and in Europe for years to come.
Madrid’s loss to Manchester City in the round of 16 of this season’s Champions League was Zidane’s first in the knockout stages of the competition as manager. We all know how Madrid completed three consecutive wins of that trophy under his management, so the club will now need to back him as much as possible in the transfer market if they want a repeat of that dominance. There are quite a few players who are ageing and nearing the end of their careers at the top level, so Real do need some refreshment and reinforcement. Luka Modric is now 35 and age looks like it has caught up with him, as he is no longer physically able to compete against younger opponents. Toni Kroos has also just turned 30, and while he still has some time left, he has had a pretty average season by his standards. Captain and talisman Sergio Ramos shows no signs of slowing down, but at 34, he is also close to the end of his career, while Karim Benzema, who has had probably the best season of his career, will turn 33 in December. All of these players will need to be replaced sooner rather than later, but Madrid already have some of the tools in place to do so. It is no surprise that Madrid are already being billed favourites for the La Liga title on betting sites in Nigeria for 2021 and elsewhere.
Eden Hazard, who signed in the summer, is yet to show his true capabilities and suffered from injuries in his debut campaign at the Santiago Bernabeu. Even though he turns 30 in January, Hazard can still be one of the best players in the world on his day. Elsewhere, Madrid have the likes of Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo and Reinier – three young Brazilian wingers who are the future of the club. Marco Asensio returned from a long injury to show his best form towards the end of the season, while there are two youngsters out on loan who can potentially be world-class. Martin Odegaard is finally living up to all the hype which led to Madrid signing him as a 16-year-old back in 2016, and has another year of his loan at Real Sociedad to go before returning to the Bernabeu, while Takefusa Kubo was similarly impressive for Real Mallorca, and will spend the 2020/21 season on loan at Villarreal. Federico Valverde had a breakout season in midfield for Los Blancos, while Eder Militao is a defender of rich promise, even if he had a slightly turbulent debut season.
All of these youngsters can ensure that Madrid are the team to rule La Liga over the next decade or so.