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Sports Zero signings but Real Madrid can win La Liga simply by not being Barcelona

21:01  20 september  2020
21:01  20 september  2020 Source:   sportingnews.com

Unchanged Real Madrid begins title defence in Spanish league

  Unchanged Real Madrid begins title defence in Spanish league MADRID — Real Madrid is keeping most of the same players to try to win back-to-back Spanish leagues for the first time in more than a decade. Madrid begins its title defence on Sunday at Real Sociedad with practically the same squad that a few months ago lifted its first league trophy in three years. It hasn’t won consecutive leagues since 2007-08 as Barcelona has dominated domestically. The Catalan rival won eight leagues since Madrid’s last double, including three in a row from 2009-11. Barcelona won two in a row in 2015-16 and 2018-19. Madrid’s other titles in the last decade came in 2012 and 2017.

Real Madrid may not have signed a single player during the summer transfer window but Zinedine Zidane's settled side are favourites to retain La Liga simply because Barcelona remain in a state of chaos. While Barcelona are embroiled in a civil war, Real Madrid are at peace.

Real Madrid may not have signed a single player during the summer transfer window but Zinedine Zidane's settled side are favourites to retain La Liga simply While Barcelona are embroiled in a civil war, Real Madrid are at peace. That's not to say that 2020 hasn't been hard on Los Blancos.

Because of all of the chaos at Camp Nou during the off-season, it's been easy to overlook the almost eerie sense of serenity that has descended upon the Santiago Bernabeu.

While Barcelona are embroiled in a civil war, Real Madrid are at peace.

That's not to say that 2020 hasn't been hard on Los Blancos. Like everyone else in football, they, too, are suffering the effects of the economic crisis caused by Covid-19.

However, whereas negotiations over salary cuts exposed the deep divisions between the boardroom and the dressing room at Barca, an accord was amicably and swiftly reached at Real.

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Barcelona and Real Madrid have been slugging it out all season and courtesy of Leo Messi's late winner on Sunday it now looks like going to the wire. Malaga beat Barcelona at home two weeks ago but will coach and Madrid old-boy Michel be as keen to see off the club he served for so many years

BARCELONA are edging closer to winning La Liga but what exactly do they need to do to be crowned champions? Atletico Madrid sit in second on 68 points, Valencia on 65 and champions Real Madrid an incredible 15 points behind leaders Barcelona in fourth.

As Madrid's grateful president, Florentino Perez, told El Transistor, "If the players hadn't voluntarily lowered their salaries, the company would have suffered significant losses."

The situation is bad enough as it is. Madrid have already seen a 25 per cent reduction in revenue because of the closure of the stadium.

Madrid may be one one of the most popular clubs in the world but a total lack of gate receipts is an issue for everyone bar those lucky enough to be part of the Premier League, which is primarily funded by colossal television rights deals.

And this is precisely why Madrid will begin a new Liga campaign on Sunday without having made a single signing during the off-season.

That is a remarkable state of affairs, particularly when one considers that Perez is responsible for the word 'Galactico' becoming a part of football's lexicon.

Ronaldo pushed Pjanic to go to Barça

 Ronaldo pushed Pjanic to go to Barça © Provided by Sports.fr Miralem Pjanic of FC Barcelona during the Joan Gamper Trophy match between FC Barcelona and Elche CF played at Camp Nou Stadium on September 19, 2020 in Barcelona, ​​Spain. (Photo by Pressinphoto / Icon Sport) Miralem Pjanic is still discovering FC Barcelona. The former Juve midfielder has revealed that a certain Cristiano Ronaldo has spoken highly of Barca to him. Cristiano Ronaldo does not carry the FC Barcelona in his heart.

Marcelo says Real Madrid can still beat Barcelona to win La Liga . Barcelona are now 14 points Atletico Madrid are second, with fourth-placed Real 14 points adrift of their rivals Barca after a It was a strange spot-kick award by referee Jose Maria Sanchez Martinez, who could simply have awarded

Barcelona are in a good form, they didn't lose any game in la liga and performing very superior but not to all opponents. Realmadrid are now hitting harder as Ronaldo found form, after struggling during the previous games, and zizou playing so smart by not risking him in any local games which provide a

The man who has previously signed Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo, David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard is preaching prudence.

a person standing in front of a crowd: Florentino Perez Kylian Mbappe Real Madrid GFX © Provided by Sporting News Florentino Perez Kylian Mbappe Real Madrid GFX

When asked if he would consider acquiring Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe this year, Perez said, "No, the situation is really bad.

"It's difficult to ask the players to take a pay cut to help deal with the situation and then make signings like that. That can wait.

"Madrid will sign the best again when the situation changes."

Consequently, Madrid have spent their off-season trying to make as much money as possible from selling dead wood.

James Rodriguez has already been offloaded to Everton after failing to ever recapture the form that made him a star at the 2014 World Cup, while Bale is set to return from whence he came, with Real completing a deal with former club Tottenham for the unwanted Welsh winger.

Overwhelmed by the coronavirus, Madrid is preparing new restrictions

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Barcelona - along with rivals Real Madrid - are of course the big draw for a La Liga fixture abroad and one of the club’s was always expected to be included in Barca made it two wins from two games on Saturday when edging Valladolid 1-0 away. Ousmane Dembele scored the winner 57 minutes into the

Final score: Real Madrid 2 Barcelona 0 (Vinicius Jr 71', Mariano 90'). Real Madrid XI: Courtois Real Madrid are top of La Liga . After the week they've had, that will help Zinedine Zidane sleep easy tonight. Almost a perfect start for the new signing as he escaped Marcelo and found himself

Meanwhile, Sergio Reguilon and Achraf Hakimi both excelled out on loan, at Sevilla and Borussia Dortmund respectively, allowing Madrid to make a tidy profit on a pair of full-backs that Zinedine Zidane had deemed expendable.

Spurs were willing to pay £28m ($36m) for Reguilon and, crucially, cede to Madrid's request for buy-back option. As for Hakimi, he should excel in Antonio Conte's 3-5-2 formation at Inter but Zidane evidently saw no place for such a player – or character – in his squad.

The Frenchman's focus is clearly on maintaining not only the momentum of last season, but also the spirit of self-sacrifice that propelled a team in transition to an unexpected title triumph.

Indeed, it was telling that after Madrid's decisive victory over Villarreal, Zidane told La Liga TV, "I'm happy because the players are a group of good people. Even the players who didn't play as much were committed."

That team spirit certainly proved crucial, as Madrid didn't play particularly well for the majority of the 2019-20 campaign. But they were full value for their victory.

Transfer Gossip: United make last-ditch Sancho bid, Barca back on Lautaro

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Real Madrid and Barcelona dominated the championship in the 1950s, each winning four La Liga titles during the decade. If two legged games between all clubs involved have not been played, or the tie is not broken by the rules above, it is broken using

If Real Madrid win , they will go six points clear of Barca with a game in hand. Barcelona build from the back, with some neat play allowing for Sergi Roberto to drive forward through the midfield third. Sky Sports show a graphic for top of La Liga with points and goal difference - not realising that goal

As Sergio Ramos told La Liga TV, "The title is a reward for work, consistency and balance. What we have done has great value, despite what they may say."

Real were a better team than Barcelona in every sense. While the Catalans fell apart, Madrid united like never before. While Zidane's players fought for one another, Barca fought among themselves.

However, will stability, solidity and team spirit be enough for Real to retain their title?

The fans would obviously have liked to have seen some fresh faces but it is worth pointing out that over €300 million (£275m/$355m) was spent on transfers last summer.

Reinier Jesus and Rodrygo are destined to do great things at Madrid, but, of the new arrivals, only Ferland Mendy could claim to have played a meaningful role in Real's Liga success.

The hope, of course, will be that Eden Hazard will be fully fit for the duration of the 2020-21 campaign, which would invigorate an attack that has become heavily reliant on Karim Benzema.

With the unwelcome distraction that Gareth Bale had become having been sent back to Tottenham and Luka Jovic still stumbling from one catastrophe to another, Madrid will also need the fit-again Marco Asensio and Vinicius Junior to lighten the load on Benzema, because the age of some of Madrid's main men is a cause for concern.

Real Madrid beats Valladolid 1-0; Suárez and Atlético held

  Real Madrid beats Valladolid 1-0; Suárez and Atlético held MADRID — Vinícius Júnior scored after coming off the bench as Real Madrid defeated Valladolid 1-0 on Wednesday for its second win in a row in the Spanish league, while Atlético Madrid was held to a scoreless draw against promoted Huesca in a disappointing first start for Luis Suárez. Vinícius Júnior netted the winner midway through the second half after Madrid’s forwards struggled again in attack. The young Brazilian broke the deadlock from close range after a defensive mistake by Valladolid defenders inside the area. He had been on the field for less than 10 minutes after replacing striker Luka Jovic, who missed another chance to impress as a starter.

Benzema is coming off one of his best-ever seasons in Spain but he is 32 now, while the similarly revitalised Ramos is two years older.

Naturally, Madrid would have liked to rejuvenate their squad during the summer window – Dayot Upamecano, Eduardo Camavinga and Donny van de Beek were all of interest. However, they simply weren't in a position to make a big move in the market.

Sergio Ramos wearing a uniform: Sergio Ramos Real Madrid GFX © Provided by Sporting News Sergio Ramos Real Madrid GFX

Consequently, the most noteworthy arrival was that of Martin Odegaard, who is merely making an earlier-than-expected return after a loan spell at Real Sociedad.

Zidane knows the Norwegian well, of course. The World Cup winner was in charge of the Castilla when Odegaard arrived in the Spanish capital as a teenager and he believes he can help the attacking midfielder build upon his breakout season in San Sebastian.

Fitness permitting, Odegaard may well feature against his former club on Sunday, when Madrid begin their title defence at the Anoeta. He would be the only 'new' face in the champions' line-up, though.

Madrid have taken a sensible, frugal approach to the transfer window at a complicated time for clubs across the globe.

Of course, doing nothing could be construed as a gamble in itself, but Madrid are happy sticking with what they've got.

And who can blame them? Nobody knows what to expect from a still-disgruntled Lionel Messi this season, let alone new coach Ronald Koeman.

By contrast, we can anticipate more of the same drive and commitment from Madrid. Zidane has a solid, settled side. Merely not being Barcelona might just be enough to win Real another Liga title.

10 transfers going down to the wire ahead of Monday's deadline .
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