NewslettersSign inAPP
spainSPAINargentinaARGENTINAchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOperuPERUlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA

Crisis? Trust in 'la cantera'


The formula is simple: in times of crisis, trust 'la cantera'. It's always worked, as far back as I can remember. The 'ye-yés' were the first great crop yield from the recently created Ciudad Deportiva (since turned into towers for plutocrats), a team that dominated the 60's in Spain and took its name from the 'yeah-yeah-yeah' part of the Beatles' song 'She loves You'. They came to the rescue in a time of crisis too, following in the footsteps of greats Di Stefano, Puskas and Santamaría. Los garcía provided the remedy in times of scarcity towards the end of the 70's and beginning of the 80's under De Carlos, who was adverse to economic adventures; he was allergic to sinking the club into debt. The Quinta del Buitre was brought to greatness by Di Stefano, by then manager of the team, again elevating the club from a dark run of results. The treatment always works, the formula never fails.

When the Real Madrid team posed for photos with these Beatles-esque wigs, the name ye-yés stuck
Full screen
When the Real Madrid team posed for photos with these Beatles-esque wigs, the name ye-yés stuckEl País

I don't know if Zidane will continue or if this is just 'a toast to the sun', as we say here in Spain. It's more difficult for him now than it was back then, because even though results are not good, there are players in the squad of such quality that it's difficult to leave any of them out. With Florentino even more so. Keeping Lucas Vazquez in the side means leaving out Bale or James, or both. Difficult. Keeping Casemiro in the side means leaving out Tony Kroos, another hard call to make. However, admidst this constellation of stars and congregation of playmakers that makes up the Madrid squad, there is quite a collection of talent. All that's required is the right thread to string the pearls, the right fixer to cement the mosaic.

Yesterday they both started: Lucas and Casemiro. As did Nacho, patching up the defence adequately, as he's always done, along with Borja Mayoral, who came out of nowhere, but who sentenced the game with his shot for the second goal. Even though it goes down as an own-goal from Mariño, it belongs to him, to his fine shot on the half-turn that struck the post, hit the back of the goalkeeper and went in. These are players who can bring a much-needed transfusion to an increasingly anaemic squad, one which the alignment of the gálacticos cos Benitez his job, it was after all, the 0-4 in El Clásico against the old enemy which sealed his fate. My question is, what will Zidane do from here on in?

Full screen
Manuel Queimadelos AlonsoGetty Images