Champions League

UCL: Real Madrid Should Not Break Up Its Title-Winning Squad

Real Madrid's French coach Zinedine Zidane is tossed by players as they celebrate the team's win, at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on June 4, 2017 after winning the UEFA Champions League football match final Juventus vs Real Madrid CF held at the National Stadium of Wales in Cardiff on June 3, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / CURTO DE LA TORRE (Photo credit should read CURTO DE LA TORRE/AFP/Getty Images)
UCL: Real Madrid Should Not Break Up Its Title-Winning Squad

There is an old saying in all of sports and all of life: if ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The Real Madrid Club de Football of Madrid, Spain is a consistent sports machine in every discipline it partakes in, and when it comes to its football team, losing the pieces that make it pop could see the UEFA Champions League title switch hands to a worthy rival.

Real Madrid successfully defended its European crown, routing Massimiliano Allegri’s Juventus Football Club of Turin, Italy by the score of 4-1 in a contest that saw the favorites rended the entire tournament a one-team invitational through its trademark counterattacking play, the best in the business. Cristiano Ronaldo may never be able to ply his trade in Major League Soccer, given that his form stayed intact with a brace in the 20th and 64th minutes. Two players that should be back in next year are Casemiro and youngster Marco Asensio, both of whom scored in the 61st minute and 90th minute, respectively.

 

Despite Gareth Bale not seeing much time as a substitute, he is a name synonymous with putting Wales on the map as a respectable footballing country and should remain with the club. Dani Carvajal, captain Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane and Marcelo are also locks to remain with the club, as are forward Karim Benzema, midfielders Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, and forward Isco, whose personal renewed vigor should keep him with the club. If anything, Danilo and Mateo Kovacic are a couple names that could be sold as well as Nacho.

There has been, sadly, explosive news that Bale will not be at Real Madrid and has instead come to terms with Manchester United, who also won a major European competition in the UEFA Europa League. With Man United returning to the group stage of the Champions League, a return to the British Isles means that Bale has nothing left to prove with Los Blancos and a move to the Red Devils will provide a fresh challenge.

Bale already has experience playing in the Premier League. He started his professional footballing career more than a decade ago, playing at Southampton for one season, the club of his youth. But Bale was more known for his career with Tottenham Hotspur, scoring 42 goals in 146 appearances for Spurs. In essence, this is a sort of homecoming for Bale and at age 27, you can expect him to make a lasting impact with an organization familiar with consistency and success in its own domestic competitions.

 

A player that could fill in the gap is Eden Hazard. Chelsea’s main attacker is currently satisfied at Stamford Bridge but a move to the incumbent Champions of Europe may seem to be something the Belgian international will jump at…if they actually make an offer.

“Of course, I would consider it if Madrid made an offer,” said Hazard. “I am keen to win trophies. It would be great to win the Champions League. But Chelsea’s goal is to win the Champions League as well. Honestly, I do not know what will happen.

“I only know that I still have a contract with Chelsea for three seasons and that we just had an amazing 2016-17 campaign. We want to continue on this path and want to build on this in the Champions League. I am feeling very well at Chelsea. But you never know what will happen. I have not met with the board yet to discuss a new deal. I have two games with Belgium coming up first and I am off on my holiday after that. I want to think about football as little as possible.”

 

Despite the noise made from Gareth Bale and Kylian Mbappe potentially intrigued by a move to the champions, this summer will be one where Real Madrid’s list remains relatively unchanged. As we said earlier in this piece, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The bullet train of European club football, Real Madrid, keeps on chugging. Hop on board.

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@joryansalazar

Jo-Ryan Salazar is a writer for The Stoppage Time, a soccer blog powered by Azteca Soccer. A supporter of the Los Angeles Galaxy since 1996 and a committed supporter since 2002, Jo-Ryan also follows Chelsea FC, Melbourne Victory, FC Tokyo and Paris Saint-Germain. Apart from soccer, Jo-Ryan is an administrative assistant for a local nonprofit in Long Beach, California and also does photography, photo-editing and fictional writing.

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