Real Madrid are the most successful team in Europe but have been chasing La Decima, the tenth Champions League, for more than a decade now, with Barcelona enjoying a period of domestic dominance for the last five years.
We now take a look at five things that Real Madrid must do in order to dominate Europe and Spain once more.
1. Keep Cristiano Ronaldo fit and happy
This seems like the most obvious one but is perhaps the most vital challenge for Carlo Ancelotti. Ronaldo had well-known problems at the Bernabeu last year, refusing to even celebrate on one occasion.
It was clear that he was not performing at his best during that time. Being Madrid’s best player by far, it is vital that Ancelotti ensures Ronaldo is happy and fit in order to challenge in Europe.
2. Buy a centre-back
With Pepe’s recent injury problems, along with his lack of discipline, Madrid are left extremely thin in the centre-back department, while Raphael Varane’s inexperience and Raul Albiol’s lack of playing time can be exposed by the best forwards in Europe.
Playing Sergio Ramos at centre-back may also mean playing Alvaro Arbeloa, who is often cited as the weak link of the Madrid defence, at right-back.
3. Buy Gareth Bale
Having just turned 24, Bale has his best years ahead of him and can form a lethal partnership with Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil upfront for Madrid.
Depending on the formation that Ancelotti plays at Madrid, Bale can either line up behind Ronaldo or on the other side of him. Whichever way he chooses to play, this trio would strike fear in any defence throughout Europe.
4. Look towards the Castilla
The Real Madrid academy has produced club icons such as Guti, Raul Gonzalez and current club captain Iker Casillas, but has been notoriously ignored by recent managers, especially Mourinho.
By re-signing one of their academy graduates from Bayer Leverkusen, Madrid have shown that they are willing to look towards their own once more.
Daniel Carvajal proved himself as one of the best right-backs in the Bundesliga last year and should replace Arbeloa in the starting line-up if Sergio Ramos is unavailable or playing at centre-back.
5. Play enterprising football
The Bernebau faithful have made one thing clear in the past few years: boring football will not be tolerated, with relatively successful managers such as Juande Ramos, Jose Mourinho and Fabio Capello all paying the price of playing pragmatic football.
Very few teams are able to win anything without the support of their fans and Ancelotti will only keep the support of Madrid fans if he captures their imagination with exciting football.
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