Zidane's Real Madrid look to build on monumental decade
Los Blancos have won at least one trophy every season since they lifted the Copa del Rey in 2011, against Barcelona with Mourinho on the bench.
Ten seasons, 18 titles. Convincing and substantial. Since raising the Copa del Rey trophy aloft in 2011 (after 18 years in waiting), Real Madrid have returned just as the legendary phrase from Van Nistelrooy about goals and ketchup. It was Cristiano Ronaldo who scored against Barcelona and they have picked up at least one title every season since.
This golden Madridista generation has collected four Champions Leagues, two LaLigas, three European Super Cups, four Club World Cups, two Copas del Rey and three Spanish Super Cups. To these collective titles we should also give mention of the five Ballons d'Or: four for Cristiano (2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017), plus the more recent crown for Luka Modric in 2018.
The decade began with José Mourinho on the bench, and he managed the team to three titles, one for each season he was in charge. He left with the bad taste that he was not able to succeed in the Champions League, one of the key reasons he was brought to the club. Of course, he did get one over on bitter rivals Barcelona in the Copa final and in the league, and took the first team to reach 100 points and setting a record number of goals scored of 121. That's an average of more than three goals per game!
The club didn't have to wait long before Old Big Ears was back with them, with Mourinho's successor, Carlo Ancelotti, managing Los Blancos to victory over Atlético in Lisbon after 12 years of trying. The Italian also guided them to another Copa, which also just happened to be against Barça.
The Zidane factor
Despite those glorious moments for the club, the past decade feels like it has been defined under the tenure of Zinedine Zidane, with the French coach winning ten titles in just three years and three months. That's just over half of the entire haul, 55.55%. The continental adventure clearly stands out - with an unprecedented three consecutive Champions League crowns - but across the club's illustrious history only Miguel Muñoz, with 14, has been a more successful manager, and he spent 14 seasons in the Bernabéu dugout (1960-1974)). The only title that has evaded Zidane is the Copa del Rey, something he was also unable to win as a player.
Now, this current Madrid incarnation looks like it could challenge the legendary side that included the likes of Di Stéfano, Gento and the famous Ye-yé from season 1953-54 to 1969-70. During those 17 seasons they scooped up 23 titles in all, including five consecutive European Cups. It may be a tall order but not impossible.
Already left behind in the silverware stakes is La Quinta del Vultre, who won five leagues and two UEFA cups between 1984-85 and 1990-91, and a total of 12 titles over the period. The same figure is attached to the Galáctico Madrid (1996-97 until 2003-04) who added three Champions Leagues to the trophy cabinet and changed the flow of European football.
Zizou's Madrid is not thinking of stopping anytime soon and aspires to forcing Florentino Pérez into building an extension in the Bernabéu trophy room. A task he will be more than happy to undertake.
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