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Real Madrid, the Bernabéu magic and hard work


Can Real Madrid’s three recent Champions League wins over PSG, Chelsea and City be put down to simply good luck or the aura of the Santiago Bernabéu on a European night? There have been other factors that have enabled Ancelotti’s men to be able to impose themselves on teams considered superior. A sense of unity and a willingness among the players to accept everyone’s role within the squad combined with good leadership from the Italian coach have been key factors in these successes. These combined with hard work. No-one now remembers the move at the start of the second half when Madrid almost took the lead after a cross work from Modric, a throw-in to Carvajal and a delivery that Vinicius failed to latch onto by a matter of inches.

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This is a team that has played well all year, but above all it has coexisted well as a unit with with the exception of Gareth Bale and maybe one or two other players very much on the margin of the squad. The main core of the squad have worked and coexisted well and this is epitomized by the decent shape the players have arrived at the business end of the campaign. Despite the Italian coach having a favoured core group of starters, those coming on from the bench have lived up to expectation and have always been ready when called upon by Ancelotti. That was very much in evidence against City where the substitutes were instrumental in changing the dynamic of the tie.

Dani Ceballos & Eduardo Camavinga of Real Madrid
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Dani Ceballos & Eduardo Camavinga of Real Madrid Soccrates ImagesGetty

Perfect substitutes

Rodrygo has never let his place on the subs bench affect his game with the Brazilian maintaining a solid vein of form and high level of enthusiasm all season. Vallejo, who had been forgotten about has performed admirably when called upon for his few minutes of playing time at the end of the season. Valverde, Camavinga and Ceballos were drafted in one by one or as a unit, and have proved to be excellent replacements for the Modric-Casemiro-Kroos trio in midfield. Lucas Vázquez and Nacho have been for years the perfect example of what a substitute should be: always willing to fit-in, deliver when called upon and always maintain a visible enthusiasm. A squad that works well, puts in the work has a much better chance of being helped by things like good luck or the ‘spirit of the Bernabéu.. Luis Aragonés used to say that luck exists, yes: but for those who go out every day before dawn and make a serious effort to look for it.


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