The pre-season activity is over for all LaLiga clubs and of the "big three", I'd award Atlético with the gold medal, Barça silver with bronze going to Real Madrid. The same levels of awards could be handed out to Joao Félix, Antoine Griezmann and Eden Hazard, the three big marquee summer signings at each club. In the end Zinedine Zidane failed to get his man in Paul Pogba and despite the French World Cup winner being the number one target for the coach he will have to do with the bulk of last season's squad plus Eden Hazard.
Hazard and co.
Speaking of Hazard, it's a good job we've all seen the player in action with Chelsea as his performances during the pre-season have been anything but positive. He showed signs of what he is capable of against Salzburg with a fine goal and decent link-up play with Benzema, but was practically anonymous last night at the Stadio Olimpico. The overall feeling though after pre-season is that the squad is pretty much the same as last seasons with the same doubts arising as we saw last year. Vinicius hasn't looked sharp during the summer and promising talents, Reguilón and Llorente have departed. Among the summer influxes, the only other new player to impress has been former FC Porto defender Militao.
Gareth Bale is still with the club and is just one of the player's deemed as "excess baggage" by Zidane who also needs to manage the quota of non-EU players at the club before they think of adding to the squad via Neymar. Question marks still linger over where the ultimate destination for the PSG striker will be. Some say Madrid, others the Catalan capital. To date the only big name signing to live up to the hype has been Atleti's Joao Félix with the young Portuguese striker hitting the target with a smile on his face and looking comfortable in the vastly redesigned Atlético side. Cholo Simone's side have made great use of the summer's pre-season games and I'm afraid I can't say the same for Real Madrid.