A new season for Real Madrid; one in which they try and put behind the misery and overall unhappiness of last season with two young new Spanish signings, a different manager and hopefully do better against a Real Betis team that did very well last season, but was probably weakened during the summer.
How weakened? They sold Beñat Etxebarria to Athletic Bilbao and José Alberto Cañas to Swansea. They’ve managed to add Verdu from Espanyol while holding on to Ruben Castro and Jorge Molina, and are hoping that their wonderkid, Alvaro Vadillo, becomes a big part of their senior setup this season (he’s only 18), but it wouldn’t be surprising to see them finish below their 7th place finish from last season.
Vadillo is being called the new Cristiano Ronaldo. The old one? He and Real Madrid were probably the best team in Europe during the preseason period, highlighted by their 3-1 win over Chelsea at the end of their American tour. No one is talking about Mourinho, but it seems that everything is being done in comparison to the “happy one”, with every remaining player from last season trying to show just how better it is with Carlo Ancelotti.
Real Madrid don’t just plan on doing better than they did last season, but on doing it in style. The arrival of Isco and Asier Illarramendi holds a lot of promise to produce some attractive football right from the start, and the team has seemed quite N Sync during the preseason matches, even though the results don’t really mean anything. If Isco blends well with Ozil and Ronaldo in the frontline, with Karim Benzema getting a lot more credit than before, Real Madrid might even be considered favorites to win the league this season.
But it’s a crowded competition for the spots in the midfield; and it’s still a question of how Ronaldo will be used. Ancelotti has the credentials that prove he has what it takes to make it in the most demanding club in Spain, but it doesn’t mean he’ll hit it off right away, especially against a clever team like Betis.
Prediction – Real Madrid looked more ready than anyone else for the new season to begin, with a combination of hunger from new players and old players alike to show their new manager they’re much happier with him. Betis beat Real Madrid in Seville last season, but they won’t be able to withstand the immense pressure Real Madrid will likely be applying from the moment the match begins.