By 90Min
September 27, 2019

In the past few months, everything you have heard about the Real Madrid team has been pretty negative.

The squad aren't playing for Zinedine Zidane. He has lost the dressing room. He is tactically inept. Gareth Bale isn't happy. Eden Hazard is overweight. Toni Kroos is finished. The team is old and stale. 


Honestly, the list goes on.

After the demolition Madrid received at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain in the first group game of the Champions League, it became pretty difficult to argue against those points.

The pressure was piling on Zidane. Rumours of Jose Mourinho or Mauricio Pochettino arriving at the Bernabeu were getting louder and louder.

Yet despite this, they sit at the summit of La Liga and could now be seen as...the favourites?

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Amid all the noise and negativity, Zidane's men have a real chance of winning their first La Liga title since 2017. They go to fierce rivals Atletico Madrid this weekend and, should they win, they will have a four point lead on their nearest realistic challengers.

How has this happened? How has a team who are meant to be in turmoil and crisis, potentially made themselves the team to beat?

First and foremost, the quality of the top Spanish teams this season is pretty average. Just look at Barcelona. They sit sixth in La Liga and four points off top spot - which isn't a disaster.

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But without Lionel Messi - who has been injured for most of the season - they look lackluster and short of ideas. That isn't helped by the fact that Luis Suarez's performances have also declined. 

Ansu Fati has been impressive this season and stepped up to the plate when the team has needed him. But if the great Barca are relying on a 16-year-old to win them La Liga, then they really are in trouble.

Without their Argentine talisman, they don't have a hope of winning their third consecutive league title. Of course he will return, but could the damage already be done? 

Lots of people believe that Atletico will be the team to beat this season.

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They are currently placed in second, and spent a load of money this summer on names like Joao Felix, Alvaro Morata and Kieran Trippier.

Yet it seems they haven't fully clicked into gear. When you sign a lot of players, it takes time to gel. Felix and Trippier have looked good, but the side as a whole aren't playing the best football.

But to be honest, when has a Diego Simeone side ever play good, attractive football? So perhaps it's unfair to judge on that basis.

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Real Madrid themselves have been far from impressive in the league, but remain unbeaten and managed an impressive 1-0 away win at previous leaders Sevilla.

It's strange to comprehend just how they're doing it. Karim Benzema has been brilliant and at times has carried Los Blancos through games. Against Osasuna, the young guns impressed, and helped them to an impressive 2-0 victory.

This could be down to the fact that simply put: they are a bunch of winners. From top to bottom. Their manager is a winner. A legendary footballer.

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On the pitch, they're all winners. They're World Cup winners. Champions League winners. La Liga winners. With Eden Hazard, they now have a Premier League winner. They know how to cross the finishing line.

Speaking of the little Belgian magician, he has failed to deliver this far. But he is a class act, a gem of a footballer, and when he gets fitter and up to scratch, he could be the difference. Let's remember how good this man can be. He's a match winner.

Just ask Premier League fans.

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That's why Real Madrid could end up champions. And that's why this weekend's game against Atletico Madrid is so incredibly crucial. Winning at the Wanda Metropolitano is not easy, but if they do manage, it would be a major statement. 

For Atletico, a win would showcase that they have the guts and quality to win it. They have won games in an awkward manner, but a win this weekend would change any negative thoughts towards how they're doing it.

Simeone is a winner. A pragmatist. He doesn't care about the style. As long as the ball hasn't hit Jan Oblak's net, he's a happy man.


But Real Madrid could do it. Amidst all the doom, all the gloom, they could win the La Liga title. Should it happen, Zinedine Zidane may even argue that it was a lot more satisfying than any of his Champions League wins.

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