The year gone by has had several Football teams play an exciting brand of football which has enthralled fans from all over the globe. Whether it was Manchester City & Chelsea in England, Juventus in Italy, Bayern Munich in Germany, The German, Argentine or Dutch National teams in World Cup Finals or the fiercest rivals in Madrid Atletico and Real, this year has truly been a treat to watch. Our selection went down to the wire and after much deliberation we chose a team which looks to be even more menacing in 2015 than it was in 2014. The team is from Madrid, and boasts of some of the best players on the planet, no prizes for guessing it is Real Madrid.
Few might be of the opinion that Carlo Ancelotti inherited the squad from Jose Mourinho after the Portugese exit, but Ancelotti delivered the La Decima in his first season, which Jose failed in his controversial stint. It has been observed that Spanish Football is a game of cycle where a one out of the two usual suspects (Barcelona or Real Madrid) dominate for a couple of season and then fade away for the other to take over with the likes of Valencia and now Atletico Madrid also making an impact. It looks like Real Madrid is getting in the grove to pile on more misery on their opponents.
In the first half of 2014, Real Madrid was in the mix for a treble and with a balanced squad and a threatening attack minded line up of Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale, Isco, Di Maria and others they were on course for winning some silverware at the end of the season. Their first piece of Silverware came in the form of Copa Del Rey where they defeated Barcelona 2-1, the night would surely be remembered for the breathtaking solo goal from Gareth Bale. After the Copa Del in April Real Madrid came up as the better team against Bayern Munich and the month probably took some steam out of the team as they had a few weak performances in La Liga, probably by then they had their mind focused on La Decima.
Four points out of a possible Nine in the last three games helped Atletico pip Real in the race of La Liga but Real Madrid did win the Champions League. The team surely was a delight to watch with Goals from Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale, Isco, the creativity and assists from Di Maria and Alonso backed by a rock solid defense in the form of Ramos, Pepe and Co. However with the FIFA World Cup looming large there was always an anticipation of new players coming in at Santiago Bernabeu at the start of next season.
The start of the second half of 2014 (the new campaign 2014-15) was nothing short of a circus with important players such as Di Maria, Alonso being sold. The stuttering start to the season didn’t help either, while they won the UEFA Super Cup they lost the Supercopa De Espania to Atletico Madrid coupled with their loses away at Real Sociedad and at home to Atletico Madrid did question the strange transfer policy of the club. The balance of the team was suspect and the spotlight was on Carlo Ancelotti and his men.
What followed the initial stuttering start to the season has been complete domination by Real Madrid in all competitions. They have been on a 22 games unbeaten run across all competitions which also include their recent triumph at the FIFA Club World Cup. The leading contender of Ballon d’or, Cristiano Ronaldo is in the form of his life with by scoring 30 plus goals thus far in the season and he is on track to break Lio Messi’s most goals in a season record (Messi holds the record for scoring 73 goals in 2011-12).
With Carlo Ancelotti cool demeanor marshalling his resources effectively, coupled with the fire power upfront, creativity in the midfield, settled defense and a goalkeeping hero who is getting his act together after a few indifferent seasons, there is no doubt Real Madrid will go in as favorites for more trophies in 2015. La Liga will be high on their priority list, but even in Europe there aren’t many teams which can stop Real Madrid from adding another Champions League crown in their trophy cabinet.
Image Source: telegraph, Guardian, Mirror