They were the first team to reach 100 points in one season, the first side to have accumulated 32 victories in one campaign and their star player became the first to score against every team in a single season. Real Madrid did not simply win the title in May, they broke records to make history.
Boasting world-class players in each position on the pitch, for the first time in years Real Madrid have seemed uninterested in purchasing talent this summer. Confident in the players they already have, this season will be dedicated to winning the trophy they care about the most, the Champions League, and they want to do so with the same players who broke records last year.
The one problematic area within the squad is their midfield with many critics pointing out how dependent the team was on Xabi Alonso last term. Providing the link between defence and attack, the midfielder is tasked with driving the team forward. Playing alongside another with similar skills could lessen the burden and allow for seamless movements within the squad considering the likes of Mesut Ozil adopt a high position on the field when the team are in possession.
The club attempted to address this situation last year when they brought in Nuri Sahin. However, injuries and poor displays in training resulted in him making no impact and the club have now set their sights on Luka Modric. Should they secure the Croatian then Sahin will leave Madrid.
With or without Modric, Madrid have all that they need fight for trophies and that includes Jose Mourinho. Having extended his contract until 2016, it will be interesting to see just how far he will extend his controlling hand to make the club his own.
As for the squad, performances in pre-season such as the one against Celtic proved they are still hungry for more whilst their 5-1 thrashing of Milan demonstrated their overwhelming strength remains. Can they be stopped?
The difference maker – Cristiano Ronaldo
Tipped to win the Ballon d’Or, Cristiano Ronaldo is the man who continues to make the difference for Los Blancos. Scoring consistently, the Portuguese has further developed his game by devoting more of his time in assisting others. Barring Lionel Messi, no player is comparable to the captivating figure of Ronaldo.
Best signing – Alvaro Morata
Unlike previous seasons, Real Madrid are not interested in purchasing talent this season and barring interest in Luka Modric, they have decided to focus on promoting their youth players. Having scored 17 goals in 37 games last year for Castilla, Morata is renowned for his finishing and mobility as a striker and could join the first team as the club’s third choice forward.
His time? Sami Khedira
An absolute beast in midfield for Germany in Euro 2012, few possess Khedira’s never-say-die attitude. Hard working, determined and utterly skilful, the player continues to improve his game, demonstrating his effectiveness going forward as well as guarding the back-line. His growing confidence could well result in him having his best season yet.
Coach – Jose Mourinho
“Maybe instead of the Special One, people should start calling me the Only One,” said a smiling Mourinho in reference to his achievements in three of the most important European Leagues. Modesty may not be his strong suit but this is a man who continues to win, breaking records along the way. Few would bet against him achieving more.
The big question…
Do they have enough to challenge a newly bolstered Barcelona side and go all the way in the Champions League?
Probable line-up: Casillas: Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Khedira, Alonso; Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo; Benzema
IN: Alvaro Morata (a, Real Madrid Castilla), Jesus Collado (gk, Real Madrid Castilla)
OUT: Hamit Altintop (d, Galatasaray), Sergio Canales (a, Valencia), Fernando Gago (m, Valencia), Pedro Leon (a, Getafe)