Real Madrid, in search of rebirth and identity

If, with the departure of Lionel Messi, FC Barcelona lost its flagship, Real Madrid tried to find his. With Carlo Ancelotti on his bench between July 2013 and May 2015, the Spanish giant had a prosperous period with in particular his tenth Champions League in 2014, a year crowned with four titles.

The Italian coach then had Zinédine Zidane as his assistant, who then guided Real to the top. After two seasons at Everton, Ancelotti has taken over the reins of the club from the Spanish capital since this summer. Its mission, after a blank season, is to rediscover the identity of a club unaccustomed to watching its rivals celebrate titles. All in a lean period for two years: no player has been bought by Real since the summer of 2020 and the huge – and unsuccessful – expenses for Eden Hazard (115 million euros) and Luka Jovic ( 63 million euros). Now, the will of the leaders of Real is clear: recruit Kylian Mbappé from this transfer window, without waiting for the end of his contract and rebuild around him.

Dth place for Mbappé?

This is the soap opera that has fed the voracity of the media and Madrid supporters for more than a year and it is not about to stop. At the end of the contract in June 2022 and refusing to extend at Paris-Saint-Germain, Kylian Mbappé will be a player free to sign where he wishes from January. And the French striker has never hidden his dream of evolving at Real Madrid. However, patience is not required in the Spanish capital: an offer of 160 million euros was sent Tuesday, August 24 to PSG. The latter was refused but the bidding – which could reach 200 million according to information from The team – should arrive in Parisian pharmacies before the end of the transfer window, Tuesday, August 31.

Read also With Real Madrid’s offer for Kylian Mbappé, PSG find themselves cornered

For two seasons, the usually spending club has put away its wallet and is not recruiting, except the Austrian defender David Alaba this summer, who arrived free after the expiry of his contract at Bayern Munich. According to Omar da Fonseca, consultant for beIN Sports – the broadcaster of the Spanish championship -, “All hopes are placed on a future arrival” of the French world champion:

“Barça opened the doors to let Messi go, Real Madrid are keeping them open to attract Mbappé. “

Austrian defender David Alaba, who arrived free from Bayern Munich this summer, during Real's game against Levante on August 22.

An uncertain strategy which proves that the Madrid club is going through a difficult period, with the championship for the last title during the 2019-2020 season. “The problem is that we were used to seeing clear projects on the side of Madrid, whether it is that of the Galactics [période où le Real a recruté Figo, Ronaldo, Zidane ou encore Beckham] or Zidane’s on the bench. There, only uncertainty hovers “, notes the consultant and former Argentine player.

A succession that does not arrive

With a strategy between two waters, where sporting expectations collide with the difficult economic reality (a debt of 46 million for the 2020-2021 season), Real Madrid is groping between two policies: resounding transfer rumors as at the time of Ronaldo or Kaka (which revolve around Mbappé, Pogba or Camavinga), or investing in young promises that will guarantee added value in the future.

“To train players and see them shine at home, it’s a utopia”

Recently, Achraf Hakimi, Martin Odegaard, Marcos Llorente or Sergio Reguilon, who did not impose themselves at the club and who brought in around 150 million euros after their sale have served as a “financial buoy” for the Madrid giant. “To train players and see them shine at home is a utopia in modern football. There may be generational peaks as we experienced at Barça, but this is no longer the norm ”, complete Omar da Fonseca.

Gareth Bale celebrates his goal with Eden Hazard, in the draw (3-3) against Levante, on the second day of La Liga, on August 22.

In order to regain glory and lay the foundations for a new project, Real Madrid called on Carlo Ancelotti, the coach who led the club during the conquest of its tenth Champions League. After a contrasting stint on the Everton bench, the legendary Italian coach tackles one of the greatest challenges of his career, with a limited workforce. But according to da Fonseca, the former PSG coach may be the man for the job:

“Ancelotti is a coach who meets the criteria of Real and who can meet the needs of the moment. He has the experience, the patience and the knowledge of the club. Its mission is to find a new identity for this club, to restructure with what cannot be bought in the transfer window. “

“A problem of sacrifice”

With the departures of Sergio Ramos (at Paris-Saint-Germain) and the transfer of Raphaël Varane to Manchester United, the merengues have notably lost two historic leaders of the club. After the draw conceded against Levante (3-3) on August 22 during the 2e La Liga day, Ancelotti has already pointed out the limits of his new defense: “You have to be more careful in defense. It is not a problem of quality, but a problem of sacrifice ”, he said at a press conference.

Since the start of the season, the Italian coach has been trying to revive the glories of the past to build his team. An umpteenth chance has been given to Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale to lead the wings of the attack and support Karim Benzema. In the middle, the aging but still talented Luka Modric, Casemiro or Toni Kroos seem to have left for one more season as indisputable holders. For lack of something better? “The problem is that Real only have additional players in the middle. They do not yet have the figures that can replace these legends ”, decrypts Omar da Fonseca.

On behalf of the third day of the Spanish championship (led by the historic rival and title holder, Atletico de Madrid), Real face Betis. While the legendary Santiago-Bernabeu stadium is still under construction (supporters should be able to find the enclosure on September 11 during a match against Celta Vigo), Carlo Ancelotti’s construction site seems just as long and complex. .