The most powerful man in Spanish football, has a primary objective: to get Madrid to lift the League 22-23. His advisers believe that the club is facing a unique opportunity: it would be the first time that the most successful president in Madrid’s history since the Bernabéu achieved two consecutive league titles, something that seemed very close at hand in Chamartín until Johan Cruyff sat down in the Camp Nou bench.
There the illusions of Madrid end, a club whose great secret consists in the great capacity of its leaders —especially Carlo Ancelotti— to adapt the strategy to reality. Madrid faces the quietest League in recent years. It enjoys the privilege of being the only team in the tournament that plays with a mattress.
Attenuated the social pressure of the demand for titles thanks to the League and the Champions won in May, its strategists point to Atlético as the most threatening opponent in a championship that holds a lot of danger for all those who do not dress in white, especially Barça .
Madrid for the stability of its project; Atlético, because it brings together a splendid and disciplined squad in a period of low environmental pressure; and Barcelona, because they have invested 200 million euros to strengthen a team that came second in the last championship, are the first contenders to win the League.
Real Madrid.It has 200 million euros in cash and its leaders assure that they do not intend to spend it. They do not believe it is necessary to counteract the signings of Barcelona. Tchouaméni and Rüdiger are enough for them, two players who reinforce Ancelotti’s pragmatism. Taking advantage of the fact that the fans will not demand a good game with the vehemence of other years, the Italian hopes to act with more freedom. In case of doubt, he will put the bolt around Courtois and push less to protect the tired legs of Casemiro, Kroos, Modric and Benzema, without fear that the Bernabéu will be upset by excessive conservatism. When the urgency of excellence diminishes, it is easier to recognize shortcomings and enhance virtues. Clinging to old formulas, around the Benzema-Courtois axis,
Athletic. The 0-4 against Juve in Turin was not by chance. After the near mutiny led by Luis Suárez in the spring, Simeone has recovered the pulse of the locker room. Sensitive in management, the plenipotentiary technician once again shows mercy to the exiles. Morata and Saúl return eager to obtain forgiveness in a well-known order. It is crowned by what is perhaps the best striker in the championship: Carrasco, Griezmann and João Felix. If the Portuguese makes another leap in quality, everything is possible.
Barcelona. Their direct rivals repeat it in the technical secretariats: the 200 million invested reinforce the squad and redouble the expectations of victory but do not guarantee the development of Barça’s game in a context such as that of the League. Rarely in Spain have coaches dedicated more effort to closing behind and making access to the rival impassable. Lewandowski, Raphinha, Kessie, Koundé and Christensen might get Laporta excited, but they are not the best elements to make the game flow in tight spaces. Especially without the concurrence of Frenkie de Jong, who in the preseason lost the support of even Xavi.
Jam by UEFA
The second wave of the League is as heterogeneous as it is competitive, considering the financial limitations. In no segment of the tournament is there more equality than in that fraction made up, in order of potential, Villarreal, Sevilla, Real, Betis, Valencia, Celta and Athletic, all determined to qualify at least in the fifth and sixth places, which give access to the Europa League, door of the fight for El Dorado of the Champions.
Villarreal. Pound for pound, he’s comfortably among the top four rosters in the league. The club has set itself the objective of qualifying for the Champions League: it is an ambitious but realistic goal. If he does not overcome it, the institution will turn against the coach he trusts without fissures. Unai Emery will use the Conference League to train reserves and will put all his tactical ingenuity at the service of the League. The company promises regularity and is cause for alarm among rivals such as Atlético or Sevilla, who see it as a stumbling block.