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A bomb-proof Madrid

To say goodbye to the year, an unexpected scenario, so fast Real Madrid goes that it is hard to guess some emotion in this League. They are chased by Sevilla, eight points away and one game less, and far, very far away, Atlético de Madrid (17) and Barcelona (18) are dying, habitual enemies and always in the shortlist of candidates for a title that seems sentenced. Mainly because the whites display astonishing power (14 wins, four draws and only one loss), but also because of the inability of these giants, who appear to have resigned at Christmas. With everything in favor, Madrid breathes because it has a considerable margin and that income will allow it to manage the winter, with a strenuous schedule between the League, the Cup, the Super Cup and the Champions League.

He is a bomb-proof leader, although they understand from Valdebebas that there will come a critical moment throughout the season. At the moment, it can be said that the formula of Carlo Ancelotti has worked out wonderfully, and that there have been multiple setbacks in the form of injuries or infections. In the last week, the coronavirus attacked the locker room (Carvajal, Alaba, Casemiro, Modric or Rodrygo were not in Bilbao), but no one looked for one more excuse and said goodbye to 2021 with a prestigious victory in San Mamés, a first-rate place to give an almost definitive blow to the championship.

Madrid lives happy times, a quiet Christmas in contrast to the ominous predictions of summer. David Alaba arrived, who was signed months ago because he had ended his contract with Bayern, and the staff was so excited with Kylian Mbappé that the lightning hiring of Eduardo Camavinga sounded half a joke, a deluge of memes and jokes on the networks. However, the first quarter has been resolved with a very good note and almost everything is excellent news, the team has risen to the hump of Benzema, Vinicius and company.

With the leadership of the French and the astonishing emergence of the Brazilian, Madrid has solved, at least momentarily, its endemic problem with the goal, the forwards shot with 20 (fifteen in the League plus five in the Champions League) and 12 goals (ten in the League and two in Europe) respectively. Few forwards are as powerful as Benzema, whose ancestry in the team is total, and nobody has the confidence that Vinicius has acquired over time, part of that recognition has to go to Ancelotti. In addition, Courtois is in a splendid moment and Casemiro, Kroos and Modric are determined to challenge everyone who measures them based on what their DNI marks, especially the last two. And after seeing the glass half full, there are times that rescue the good version of Marco Asensio and Eden Hazard has almost completed two games. “Yes, he's back,” exclaims Ancelotti, determined to redeem the Belgian after an endless ordeal of injuries that has placed him on the market.

Fast-paced calendar

Those infected by coronavirus are recovering and everything seems to indicate that the coach will have all his men for the first game of 2022, Sunday, January 2 in Getafe. That month is especially important for the coaching staff and this has been made known to the entire squad, as the second unit will be more necessary than ever. There is Copa del Rey (Alcoyano, the night of the parade) and Madrid will host Valencia on Saturday 8 and then will play the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia , paired with Barcelona in the semifinals (the other faces Atlético and Athletic).

With hardly resorting to rotations, Ancelotti, who cannot be denied that the bet has gone very well, at least for the moment, plans the calendar with his mind set on February 15, the date on which they will visit the Park of the Princes to play the first leg of the round of 16 of the Champions against PSG. Very few counted on Madrid to do something in Europe, but the tendency of the whites to take them into account even in the face of a duel as demanding as the one they will have with the French, a constellation of scattered stars that shines even less since Messi arrived. At this point, Ancelotti has few tasks to solve: if anything, return the passion for football and Madrid to Isco or Bale, but that is another story.

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