Why are Real Madrid struggling in the UEFA Champions League?
ososThe first thing that Los Blancos remind us of, is their glorious past which boasts some incredible records in the European arena. They have secured 13 European cups, more than another club and six more than AC Milan who are second on the list. Despite winning the title back in 2018, Los Meringues have never been the same in the tournament for the past two seasons.
With fresh faces and hope to start a new life in the Champions League, Real Madrid faced Paris St. Germain away at the Parc des Princes. The Parisians thumped the Spanish Giants with a 3-0 victory. To add to misery, Real Madrid registered zero shots on target in what was one of their worst ever Champions League performances.
Real Madrid's match against Club Brugge at home proved to be even more embarrassing as they conceded two goals in the first half. The Belgian side exhibited an excellent counter-attacking display against as Zinedine Zidane's tactical drawbacks were exposed yet again.
What is the actual problem?
Madrid's tactical philosophy seems to be the foremost problem. Considering their weaknesses in defense, Zidane opted to improve by making even his attackers to defend in the last two La Liga fixtures.This high pressure defending has actually took a toll on the summer signings.
Specifically, Eden Hazard never finds himself free enough to roam and cut inside from the left wing. This is because left-back Marcelo Viera keeps on giving overlapping runs which doesn't allow the Belgian to exhibit his natural game.
Serbian Marksman Luka Jovic is also enduring a difficult spell at the club as he is still waiting for his first goal in a Madrid shirt.
Luka Modric's form has also decreased due to his advancing age and Madrid will have to find a perfect replacement for the legendary Croatian as soon as possible.
The only positive thing that has happened is the Toni Kroos' improvement on the defensive end. Vinicius Junior, James Rodriguez, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema are the other players to exhibit positive signs in the attack.
Both James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale, however, were left out in the match against Club Brugge as Isco and Marcelo returned to the squad. The snub has been criticized by the Madrid fans as they hope for a rebirth.
Considering the defense, Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane find themselves outnumbered by opponent attackers in important fixtures. Eder Militao has been pretty decent while Ferland Mendy is out injured.
Nacho Fernandez got injured in the match against Club Brugge. Thibaut Courtois has completely lost himself since he arrived at Madrid and he was constantly jeered by supporters during the fixture.
Above all the problems, losing Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is seen as the major factor for Madrid's decline in the competition. Dubbed as the "King of the UEFA Champions League", his records were one of the important reasons why Los Blancos dominated the tournament for a long period.
His prolific touch and eye for goal elevated Real Madrid to Champions League glory four times in nine years at the club. Madrid surely misses a player of his level and trait. Now, it is upto the other Galacticos to bring back the club to where it was.
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