A title race that’s going to the wire, Vicente del Bosque and Zinedine Zidane, Sergio Ramos and Fernando Hierro, David Beckham and Kylian Mbappe. Real Madrid, Marca note, feel like they’ve been transported back to 2003 in many ways, the season Zidane won his only La Liga title during his five years at the Santiago Bernabeu as a player.
The title came after Del Bosque’s men fell in the semi-final of the Champions League to Juventus, with Madrid fighting tooth-and-nail for it with the better-placed Deportivo La Coruna and Real Sociedad. They won out in the end, but the end of the season saw the departure of Del Bosque and Hierro.
18 years later, history is repeating itself. Madrid, again dumped out at the semi-final stage of the Champions League, are in a battle for the title with both their coach, Zidane, and their captain, Ramos, uncertain to continue after the summer. Another similarity is that the summer of 2003 saw Florentino Perez bring in Beckham from Manchester United, with this summer’s target indisputably Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe.