Real Madrid are champions of Spain. With their 2-1 win over Villarreal, they’ve mathematically clinched their 34th Spanish championship. Here are three questions that were answered on Thursday night and three questions we have now going forward.
1. Would they do it and how?
There was one main question, of course, coming into this game. Would Real Madrid be champions by the end of the night? The answer was a definitive yes. There were various ways in which they could mathematically seal it, but they absolutely crushed it. Not only did Real Madrid win their game, but Barcelona lost at home to Osasuna to mean that Real Madrid hold a seven-point lead over Barça with one round to go. In the end, it wasn’t even close.
2. How would Ramos vs Hernández Hernández go?
There was some concern within Real Madrid quarters when Alejandro José Hernández Hernández was announced as the referee for this game. The last time this official was the man in the middle for a Real Madrid game was for the 1-0 defeat at Levante in February, after which Ramos suggested that Hernández Hernández had a personal problem with him and took “premediated decisions”. Real Madrid’s recent results with this referee hadn’t been too good and there had also been controversy when he was the referee for the December Clásico where Raphaël Varane deserved at least one penalty. This time, however, there were no issues. If anything, the penalty Hernández Hernández awarded Ramos was a little soft.
3. Would fans stay away from Cibeles?
When Real Madrid win a trophy, the fans and the players meet at the Fountain of Cibeles to celebrate. However, such a gathering simply wouldn’t be wise at these times of coronavirus. So, in the days leading up to this fixture, national and local government authorities and Real Madrid as an institution had called for supporters to stay away. And they did. The fans’ behaviour was basically impeccable. They stayed away from Cibeles and followed Spanish health minister Salvador Illa’s call to celebrate instead on the balconies and terraces.
1. How weakened will the XI be vs Leganés?
Zidane spoke about there being 11 finals following football’s restart, but there were actually only 10. Even if Spanish football coaches call every match a final, it would be a stretch to suggest that Sunday’s trip to Leganés is a big game for Real Madrid. It’s a huge match for Leganés, though, as they are fighting to avoid relegation, so they’ll be hoping that Zidane selects a weaker team. But, just how much will he rotate for this one? Will Castilla players Javi Hernández and Miguel Gutierrez even be given minutes?
2. What now for Ramos’ contract?
Looking ahead to the summer, the main item on Florentino Pérez’s to-do list is Ramos’ contract renewal. After Thursday’s Villarreal match, both the player and the president spoke about their desires for him to finish his career at Real Madrid. That is a good starting point and there is still a year to go before his contract expires in the summer of 2021. In a summer where few Galáctico signings are expected, Ramos’ renewal could be one of the big pieces of news to come out of the club. And, seeing the way he has been playing of late, this would be something worth celebrating.
3. When will Real Madrid next win a league title in front of their fans?
Real Madrid clinched this league title at home, but there were no fans to see it. That means that Real Madrid haven’t clinched a league title in front of their own fans since they did so with the famous final day victory over Real Mallorca at the Bernabéu in 2006/07. Since then they’ve won four more titles, but never at the Bernabéu. In 2007/08, it was clinched away at Osasuna. In 2011/12 it was won in Bilbao. And in 2016/17 they finished the job in Málaga. Real Madrid fans will hope to see their team win a championship at the Bernabéu sooner rather than later.