Zidane, life after Cristiano and Mourinho comparisons

In his first spell at Madrid, with CR7, Zidane's side failed to score in 6% of their games. That figure has since risen to 19%.


It has been a decade since Real Madrid have not scored so few goals in the first five matchdays of the league - six. It was with José Mourinho, in his first campaign at Madrid. But it is not the only area in which Zidane is beginning to draw parallels with the Portuguese boss. The French coach showed bravery on Saturday, when at half-time he introduced four changes at the same time (Militao, Asensio, Casemiro and Valverde for Ramos, Lucas Vázquez, Isco and Modric), a sign that he was not impressed with the attitude of some of his players in the 0-1 home defeat against Cádiz.

“I told the players at half-time that if I could make all eleven changes, I would make eleven. I only had three, but I would have removed the eleven,” Mourinho said in January 2012, before managing to overcome Manuel Pellegrini's Málaga from 0-2 down in the cup. Zidane's changes, however, failed to make the required impact on Saturday.

Madrid won the 2019-20 LaLiga title without scoring a massive amount of goals, but the problem persists in front of goal. During Zidane's first spell in charge of Los Blancos, with Cristiano in the team, they did not score in nine of their 149 games (6%). Madrid under Zidane this time round, without Cristiano in the team, have not scored in 13 of their 67 games (19%). Ever since the 35-year-old legend left the club for Juventus, Madrid have finished their league campaigns with more points on the board than goals scored.

The ratio of points to each Real Madrid goal over the last decade.

Season Pts. Goals P/G
10-11 92 102 0,90
11-12 100 121 0,83
12-13 85 103 0,83
13-14 87 104 0,84
14-15 92 118 0,78
15-16 90 110 0,82
16-17 93 106 0,88
17-18 76 94 0,81
18-19 68 63 1,08
19-20 87 70 1,24
20-21 10 6 1,67

Life not the same without Cristiano

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a phenomenal 450 goals in 438 games for Real Madrid and his absence is clear for all to see. In the first season without him at the Santiago Bernabéu, the team failed to win any of the league, cup or Champions League. In the second season, Madrid won LaLiga, after football was suspended owing to the coronavirus pandemic, but did so by scoring just 70 goals (in the previous season, they scored 63), a figure well below what Madrid are used to scoring. A very solid defensive structure, led by captain Sergio Ramos, has been the key to recent success.

Madrid have come out on top in 13 of the 15 league games played after the break due to covid-19. Of those 13 wins, eight have been by a single goal; Real Sociedad (1-2), Espanyol (0-1), Getafe (1-0), Athletic (0-1), Granada (1-2), Villarreal (2-1), Betis (2-3) and Valladolid (1-0). The defeat to newly-promoted Cádiz adds some early season pressure to the low scoring side and boss Zidane ahead of El Clásico on October 24.