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REAL MADRID

Real Madrid's worst pre-season in 39 years

Zidane's side conceded 16 goals in five games, which is something that hasn't happened since 1980, and included a 9-1 thrashing by Bayern Munich.

Real Madrid's worst pre-season in 39 years

Real Madrid's 3-7 loss to Atlético Madrid at MetLife stadium brought back memories of the infamous 9-1 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich during the summer of 1980. And the similarities between that pre-season and the current one remain. 

In five games, Real Madrid conceded 16 goals. That's good enough for 3.2 goals per game and surely unsistainable. If they concede another against Red Bull Salzburg on August 7 or against Roma four days later, it will equal the worst pre-season since 1980 when they let 17 slip past.

This version of Real Madrid remain without a response and while they scored five against Fenerbahçe, they conceded three. They haven't kept a clean sheet all summer and couldn't do it with Andriy Lunin between the sticks either. Courtois, Keylor and on Wednesday, Lunin, was beaten.

"Let's not forget this is pre-season," Benzema said in the mixed zone after the game in Munich. That's the same line of thinking Zidane used after the Bayern defeat in Houston. "We will fix it," he promised in Munich when asked about the team's defensive vulnerabilities. "Nobody likes to let in goals, but I know that we will turn this around."

Real Madrid's worst number under Zidane

The thing about 1980 was that they played 10 games. And during Zidane's two previous summer tours, things never got this bad. In 2017-18, they conceded 10 goals in five games and before that, it was the same ratio of 2 goals per game (eight in four). 

Madrid have two tests left but they will have Casemiro with them for those. Defensive midfield is an area where they are lacking. Kroos and Modric have been overrun and the Brazilian came back from his holidays earlier than planned in order to throw his shoulder to the wheel. Red Bull and Roma remain and Madrid need a clean sheet in one of those before they head to Balaídos on August 17 and when results really start to matter.