Real Madrid conquered a historic La Liga-Champions League double, one they hadn't achieved since 1958. They also successfully defended the Champions League title they won last season, becoming the first team to do so since UEFA changed the competition in 1992.
Here are three reasons why that happened:
- Zinedine Zidane's rotation policy. The French coach trusted his whole roster and played away from the Bernabeu without key players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Toni Kroos or Karim Benzema many times. He decided to rest his stars quite often and that ultimately kept them fresh enough to dismantle Bayern Munich, Atletico de Madrid and Juventus while earning good results in La Liga.
- The players bought into Zidane's plan. Cristiano Ronaldo accepted it and saw that Zidane's rotations paid dividends. Every single player on this roster had an iconic moment throughout the season, no matter if they were reserves or not. From Lucas Vazquez playing as a starter during the first half of the campaign to Mariano scoring a decisive goal against Deportivo while James and Morata also contributed as starters when given the chance. It's clear that these two players might feel like it's time to leave and play more minutes elsewhere but they were crucial at some point.
- Florentino Perez built the best squad in the history of the club. Remember the galacticos? That squad had an impressive starting lineup but the reserves were unproven players from the academy. Mateo Kovacic, Morata, Asensio, Lucas Vazquez, Nacho or Danilo are quality reserves capable of making an impact when given a chance to start. Zidane had a brilliant roster at his disposal and he used it to perfection, writing history in the process.