All to play for – which players can help Real Madrid win a 15th European crown?

Look back in time to the 9th of May last year, and you’ll see Real Madrid going against Manchester City in the first leg of the Champions League 2023 semi-final. With a 1-1 draw, the teams were riled up for the second leg, but it ended in a complete defeat from the first game, where Manchester City walked away from their home match with a 4-0 victory.

This added up to a 5-1 aggregate overall score for the Champions League – meaning Real Madrid was far behind Manchester City for 2023, and they took the trophy home. In a first-ever Champions League title win, Manchester City may be riding a high for this year, but with a draw for the 9th April 2024 for the first leg, Real Madrid came back fighting hard this time for their deserved penalty shoot-out victory, which secured them progression to this season’s semi-finals.

Real Madrid has reigned victorious 14 times in this tournament’s history, so it’s only right that the team is coming back fighting better than ever. Let’s take a look at the players behind Real Madrid’s team, and who could help them become champions again.

1. Jude Bellingham

Our MVP for Real Madrid this season is Jude Bellingham, and what a game of football he delivers. Currently nursing a niggling shoulder injury, the 20-year-old isn’t letting this setback take the front stage. At such a young age, Bellingham has cemented himself as one of the world’s greatest for his age and he’s one of the reasons that Real Madrid is fighting fit for their win.

He managed to secure five goals in just the first four games of the season — so whatever Bellingham touches really turns to gold. He’s in line to be the signing of the summer after joining Real Madrid last year on a €103 million transfer from Borussia Dortmund, and all we can say is — money well spent. If there were ever a time to be placing a Champions League odds bet, now would be it, while players like him are on the field! All eyes are on the rest of the campaign, and we can’t wait to see where this star midfielder puts his Los Blancos team, because we just know it’s going to be on top. Place your bets and get ready.

2. Vinicius Jr

Vinicius Jr is a superstar Galactico, and he deserves the second place for upping Real Madrid’s chances of winning this season’s competition. The 23-year-old Brazilian is one of the best players in the world and is known for his speed, ability, and skill, which is why we know he’s going to be paramount to the team’s success. Witnessing his gameplay over the two legs against Manchester City, you’ll have seen how instrumental he is in setting up assists for his fellow teammates. Bought for just €46 million in a transfer fee from Flamengo in 2018, we’re betting our last cent that his fee will only go up from now.

3. Luka Modric

A Real Madrid legend, we know he’s instrumental to the success and win that is within Los Blancos’ sights. Having a track history of success within the team for 12 years, he’s the longest-standing veteran of the club. He is Croatia’s captain and has actually been part of five of Real Madrid’s Champions League wins – meaning he’s needed now more than ever. The central midfielder may be ticking on at 38 years old but there are certainly no signs of him slowing down – or not helping the team win their 15th Champions League title.

Get ready, because our bets are all on these three star players to get Real Madrid their 15th crown, and that’s certainly the case after their performances against Man City. It was a massive battle between the players when they met in the quarter-finals, and it was also a battle between some of the greatest football managers in history. That match-up saw Carlo Ancelotti’s 200th Champions League match as a coach (with his son looking to follow in his footsteps), and in regards to Pep Guardiola… Well, he’s seen as the best manager in the last decade. Both managers always produce a blockbuster performance, and that was the same over the two matches in Madrid and Manchester.

Whichever team wins the Champions League this season will have certainly deserved it, but until then, we’ll have to eagerly wait and see what happens next. Real Madrid will be the favourites after seeing off Man City, and they now have Bayern Munich in their sights, before a potential final against Paris Saint-Germain or Borussia Dortmund.

By Alejandro Fernandez

La Liga - Club News