Before the return of La Liga, multiple Real Madrid players emphasized a familiar mentality needed in the locker room as they approached the last eleven games of the season. Treat each one as a championship final.
Being three-peat UEFA Champions League winners, the team is full of senior players who know how to get the job done and this amount of experience will bring something positive to the squad just as it has all season. Now add in the pressures of the final games of the season and it will act as the spark Zinedine Zidane’s team needs to challenge Barcelona for the title.
In the first match back against Eibar (a 3-1 win for Real) the benefit of experience shone through. It was the senior players who found it within themselves to get the team back to winning. In fact, Toni Kroos, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo, none of the forwards, were the players on the scoresheet.
Throughout the 2019/20 season the club has had difficulties with their goal scoring output hindered by a long list of injuries and a lack of cohesion between the players. So seeing two defenders and one midfielder on the scoresheet isn’t unsurprising for this side.
Only two forwards find themselves in the top five goal scorers this campaign. Karim Benzema leads the way with 19 goals and then Ramos (8), Rodyrgo (7), Kroos (6) and Luka Modric (5) fill out the list. After Kroos’ latest goal the club even noted that this is now the German’s ‘most prolific season’ while playing in Spain.
Despite what some may call a struggle in offence, it does go to show is how beneficial experience can be in tense situations. While this stat may be minuscule, it still gives a larger perspective into the mentality of the team at the moment. A goal is a goal, no matter who scores it but Zidane will need more from the forwards and younger players to continue this battle.
Yes, Benzema and Eden Hazard had great showings against Eibar and their performances shouldn’t go unnoticed. The Frenchman was influential on all areas of the pitch and the Belgian did the same plus grabbed an assist. Hopefully their influence can grow over time.
At the moment the club keeps their goal intact and wants to approach every game with their best foot forward. After the match Ramos again re-emphasized the idea that the club is taking each game one at a time aiming to win them all.
Looking ahead, Real faces two of their tougher remaining league games. Thursday’s game against Valencia and then Real Sociedad three days later. If they can make the best out of it as a whole, guided by the experience of the senior players, they’ll put up a strong fight for the title.