The Goal Review predictions are in. After much thought and scrutiny, after careful analysis and consideration in hours of deliberation, it is this journalist opinion that in 2010/2011 Real Madrid will dethrone Barcelona for La Liga’s Championship Cup.
Last season the Catalan club edged out Los Bloncos in the final stretch of the season with 99 points. Madrid tallied an impressive, but still disappointing, 96 points. In third place, Valencia with 71 points; thus making Spain a two club league.
In all fairness and respect, Real Madrid did quite excellent last season given their special circumstances. Cristiano Ronaldo was suppose to be the big signing that carried them to a treble. However early in the season Ronaldo gravely injured his ankle in international duty and as a result was sidelined for quite sometime.
Out of the 40 Spanish Division matches, Ronaldo missed 11 due to injury. In those 29 games played, the Portuguese international knocked in 26 goal giving him a .90 scoring average. The other Galactico for Madrid that was supposed to carry the team was the Brazilian sensation, Kaka. However, this signing turned out to be a major flop. The entire season Kaka dealt with injury which contributed to his slump on the pitch. The Galactico only played 25 games total and scored eight goals in league competition, most of them from the spot.
As Real Madrid’s training camp opened up mid summer, it was revealed the Brazilian would undergo knee surgery and have to miss the start of the season.
Accounting Ronaldo’s injury hiatuses and Kaka’s disappointing performance, Real Madrid did exceptionally well.
This year Real Madrid strengthened their arsenal with notable key performers like: Angel di Maria who out-shined Lionel Messi in Argentina’s squad in the World Cup. The Germans Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira also joined Los Blancos... amongst other young superstars. In exchange for these new Galacticos, Madrid dropped life long Blanco Raul and Guti. Last year both members played their games off the bench. Barcelona on the other hand dropped more players than they took in.
The Catalan club let go notable figures such as: Rafa Marquez and Thierry Henry (both are still together in New York for the Red Bulls). Also out were Zlatan Ibrahimovic who knocked in 22 goals in 42 games played in all leagues. The big man Yaya Toure made a move to Manchester City.
In return for those losses, the defending champs brought in David VIlla and Javier Mascherano.
Look at the math. Barcelona lost more guys than they brought in; and Marques and Ibra were starters. Granted, David Villa is a super signing, but how many people equals one VIlla? Not many. Madrid dropped bench warmers and signed starters which thereby makes their bench much stronger than before.
It’s still going to be a tight race to the title, but this time Real Madrid will barely edge out Barcelona for the Championship. Atletico Madrid will be at a far third.