For years, Real Madrid has been a club engulfed by success. With 64 domestic trophies and 26 international trophies, there is no doubt that they have produced some of the best teams in European football.
But aside from constructing a powerhouse team on paper, a club can only be successful if the roster has a good, solid relationship with the coaching staff as well as the fans. In everything is in good standing, the club can operate with ease.
Not having this crucial trust in each other can cause irreparable damage at a club. So with the beginning of a new season, it is extremely important Real Madrid secure that relationship across all three parties.
Finishing off the 2018/19 campaign with zero trophies and a third-place standing in La Liga left an unfamiliar feeling at the club for those involved. With tensions running high across all three parties, Real Madrid looked almost unrecognizable.
Now the club approaches this upcoming season with the hopes of once again retaining that winning feeling they know all too well.
Starting by bringing back head coach Zinedine Zidane and then spending over 300 million euros in signings, everything looks set for the club to achieve that goal, right? Well not quite. The eerie lack of trust still lurks deep within the Santiago Bernabeu despite the attempted improvements.
Looking at this year’s preseason campaign, players were on the pitch with their heads down, shoulders slumped and hands on their hips visually explaining the strained relationships and communal frustration.
What’s important here is that all players find ways to lead each other and trust in each other’s talents. They all know what they can do and how they can perform, heck, they wouldn’t be at Real Madrid if they weren’t top footballers.
The lack in trust amongst the players on the pitch, however, might be a result of the tensions growing in the locker room. Within recent months several media outlets have been reporting on issues between Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez and Zidane.
Over the summer, Zidane and his coaching staff made it look as though the Welshman and the Colombian were on their way out of the club and had no intentions of keeping the players but now, things are changing.
Regarding Bale, the Frenchman expressed to the public that the sooner he leaves, the better. “He is very close to an exit. We hope he can leave soon” said Zidane back in July.
Yet just last week, another press conference had Zidane change his mind.
“It seemed he was leaving and now he’s with us. The dynamics and thing change but I will count on him. He has a good record and is an important player,” said the head coach.
As for the situation surrounding the Colombian things were similar to Bale’s. Rodriguez was supposedly going to leave Real Madrid after being an outcast since coming back from his time at Bayern Munich but Zidane now says he is “happy to have him in the squad.”
After being slanted in the media, it’s uncertain as to whether or not the relationships between Zidane and Bale and Rodriguez can be rebuilt. For the sake of the team, both the players and coach must make attempts moving forward.
Once everything in the locker room settles down, Real Madrid will be able to put on the performances that fans around the world know and love, especially at home.
Under the bright lights of the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, local fans in Madrid and others from around the globe come to support the LaLiga giants with the hopes, well rather the expectations, of seeing them win. And when they don’t win, fans stop coming.
Last season Real Madrid was often playing in front of a half-empty stadium even set a record low-attendance rate against Leganes with only 54 per cent of fans showing up.
Acting as the thirteenth man during a match, the fan support for a club is extremely important and without it, a team can feel as though they have nothing to play for.
Real Madrid has one of the best fan bases in the world but they also have one of the most critical, so when a team performs poorly Madridistas don’t accept it. They want more, they want better. They expect better.
With the season home opener just two days away, the turnout at the stadium may have an impact on the result of the game as well as the attitude of the club moving forward.
Dynasties aren’t built to live forever and all teams experience some kind of depreciation at one time or another. But if the club wants to move out of this treacherous state, they need to make sure all relationships are mended before disaster appears in the near future yet again.
Real Madrid will take on Valladolid in their home opener on August 24th at 7:00 p.m. CET in Madrid, Spain.