Real Madrid will be under pressure in La Liga from the get-go thanks to an all-conquering Barca last season.
Nothing is more guaranteed to wound Los Blancos at its very core than the sight of their fiercest rivals taking all before them.
Coming just a year after Madrid celebrated La Decima thanks to the combined efforts of Benzema, bale and Ronaldo would've particularly stuck in the craw.
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More so when you consider that by November of last season, the all-whites were well on the way to walking to La Liga and the Champions League on the back of a 22-game winning streak.
Unfortunately, the team crashed and burned at the wrong time and Carlo Ancelotti would eventually pay the price, replaced by Rafa Benitez in time for the new season. An appointment that, it must be said, hasn't been met with universal approval.
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Indeed, at a time when harmony and “team above all” ethics should dominate in the work place, there has been extensive footage of Cristiano Ronaldo berating Benitez in training being beamed worldwide.
There have been persistent rumours of a sale to Arsenal of Karim Benzema, and Gareth Bale has insisted that he is given a central role in the new look 4-4-2 formation that the manager is expected to rely on.
It's hardly the sort of start to engender team spirit but in-fighting has been what has cost them before now. Just ask Iker Casillas.
In any event, we can at least be assured that Ronaldo will start the season again like the proverbial steam train.
The Ballon d'Or train has left the station and his great rival Leo Messi will pick up the gong for an unprecedented fifth occasion.
But that is enough motivation for the Portuguese who remains less than a dozen goals away from becoming Real Madrid's greatest ever marksman.
That he will do so in roughly half the time it took the other players to find their names near the top of the list is testament to just what an incredibly prolific player he is.
Los Blancos legends Raul, Alfredo di Stefano, Hugo Sanchez and more, will forever be in his slipstream.
Goals aside, Ronaldo has to make things work in Benitez's more defensive set up. A great scorer of goals, he might have to be content with becoming a great provider of goals.
Despite the rumours, Real don't want to lose Karim Benzema. The robust all-rounder will thrive in a more traditional centre forward role and crosses from Ronaldo will be manna from heaven for the Frenchman.
He could quite easily surpass his 21 goals of the last campaign with the right kind of service.
Should Benitez accede to Bale's wishes then the Welshman will still have to play a support role to his number nine, and whilst not exactly feeding on scraps, Bale's marauding role will be diminished slightly.
The three players are intelligent enough to make things look easy, and if they can pull it off then expect Benitez to be leading out another side at a Champions League final.
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