Last season, Zinedine Zidane masterminded Real Madrid to a record eleventh European Cup triumph as they emerged victorious on penalties against city rivals Atletico. But now Los Blancos will turn their attention to the upcoming La Liga campaign as they look to break Barcelona’s grip on the Spanish title. Luis Enrique’s men have finished top of the tree in six of the last eight years but Zidane’s Real could pip Barca to the crown next season if they can maintain momentum throughout the summer.
Real will be looking to build on their recent Champions League success and Zidane will be quietly confident ahead of what could be a very positive year for his Madrid side. At the time of writing, Betway Bookmakers are offering 5/4 on Zidane’s men to win a 33rd league title next season – an achievement that would see Los Blancos extend their record as Spain’s most successful club. If nothing else, Real have the potential to challenge on multiple fronts in the 2016-17 campaign and it is certainly an exciting time to be a Madrid supporter.
The Spanish giants have been very quiet in the transfer window so far but it is only a matter of time before Florentino Perez and Zinedine Zidane start making moves. Los Blancos still haven’t given up on signing Juventus midfielder and Manchester United target Paul Pogba and the Frenchman would be the perfect addition to Real’s squad. The youngster is widely regarded as one of Europe’s top prospects and Madrid should do everything in their power to convince Pogba to move to the Bernabeu before the transfer window slams shut.
If Real manage to sign Pogba, they suddenly become favourites for the La Liga title – that’s how good the Frenchman is. Zidane’s side are still capable of winning the league without him but the Juve man would give them a completely new dimension in midfield. Just imagine Pogba lining up next to Luca Modric and Toni Kroos in midfield? It’s almost unfair. Real’s aspirations don’t lie purely on whether they sign the dominant Juventus star or not but he certainly couldn’t hinder their chances of pipping Barcelona to the crown.
Reports in the media suggest that Real have pulled out of the race to sign Pogba but you can never be too sure with Perez – he’s a wily old fox. Having said that, Real’s current crop of midfielders are competent footballers and they are all capable of playing a crucial role for Madrid as they hunt yet another major crown. There are plenty of emerging stars coming through the ranks and Zidane may look to trust his younger players – especially as he trained with a handful of them during his tenure with the Real Madrid B team.
But Zidane’s men cannot afford to slack in the Champions League. Madrid have an obvious affinity with the European Cup and their supporters view this competition above all others. Whilst it would be nice to finally get their hands back on the La Liga title and end Barcelona’s era of dominance, defending the Champions League crown has to remain the number one priority next season. The board and club hierarchy may think differently but for Real Madrid’s fans and entire ethos, European success is absolutely vital.
The La Liga title is within touching distance and Real are well set to challenge Barcelona once again but Los Blancos should be wary of slipping up in the Champions League. After all, a 12th European Cup triumph would almost certainly keep Madrid at the summit of world football…