The IPIC Bernabéu? Football is no longer a place for romantics…
The inevitable price of progress?
Real Madrid need to continue making a profit to be as competitive as possible, there’s no denying that. And sometimes a president can say or do things that grate with the feelings of the fans; it’s part and parcel of their job. It might be a sign of the times we live in, or even just the personal desire for a long-term legacy beyond on-field achievements, but he who pays the piper calls the tune. The plans unveiled yesterday at Madrid City Hall were far more than the remodelling of a stadium. Some will see it as a historic opportunity, others as an affront to the club’s own identity. But there’s no doubt here: the head has triumphed over the heart.
‘Belonging to the members’ is a phrase that’s been whipped out and used time after time by Real Madrid presidents but when it comes to big decisions there’s no room for consulting them. The presidential logic is ‘if they’ve elected me it’s to make decisions.’ It would be foolish to deny the differences between the stadium now and how it was fifteen or twenty years ago. Today’s Santiago Bernabéu is infinitely better and more modern, but if the unavoidable price for continuing its evolution is to give it a commercial name alongside that of the club’s legendary president then it really does tug at the heartstrings. But life goes on.
Zidane’s squad challenges
Managing a squad as big as Real Madrid’s requires a lot of tightrope walking. On the basis of merit alone, it’s hard to see how Marco Asensio – who impressed with the U21 squad in midweek and who offers so much from out wide – doesn’t deserve a place in the starting XI. And look at Lucas Vázquez. He hasn’t played a minute of football for either club or country in the last four games. He deserves so much more.
Without Ramos, Casemiro and Modric this team looks as it’s had its warrior spirit, shield and spear stripped away. They are the backbone of Zidane’s side and they’re all in the treatment room. The visit to Betis this weekend won’t be easy. Real Madrid need a momentum boost. The team’s failure to win will become a self-fulfilling prophecy the longer they keep up their no-win streak.
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