For the first time in 18-years, Real Madrid lost a continental final. The Spanish giants have won 13 continental finals that they have participated in during these defining glorious years.
While losing to a strong Atletico Madrid side is acceptable, it sounds strange that Los Blancos actually lost the match in a final, a fete that they posses the formulae of winning.
The A. Le Coq Arena, Tallin in Estonia provided unexpected events. The men in white instead of their default celebrations with photo taking sessions with WAGs and kids were gloomy and watched as another team perfected in their art of celebration.
It might sound strange to bring this argument now, but the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo was both metaphorical and prophetic of end of an era at Bernabeu. What remains in Madrid is going to be a period of change that will not be yielding the needed success. Zinedine Zidane might have seen that this team had exhausted its energy shells and would no longer be productive and left.
Julen Lopetegui has inherited a team that needs major reinforcement in critical positions. Most of their main men are aging and may not give it their best like in the past. Benzema, Modric, Marcelo, Ramos are all in their thirties while others like Bale and Kroos are nearing the bracket. These have been the main men in Madrid and arguably the success indicators.
Los Blancos lack depth. While their starting XI is have most big names but tired, their bench and reserve team are not convincing. They are a team likely to finish this season trophiless as teams with more depth such as Barcelona and Atletico Madrid continue to reign in La Liga and domestic tournaments.
It is within my opinion that Real Madrid’s dominance in Europe has been put at halt. It will take time to get back.
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