Real Madrid can't have had too many worse years than 2015. From start to finish this calendar year has been a disaster for them.
Unfortunately for Rafael Benitez, he appears to have been made the scapegoat for all of Los Blancos's recent woes, some of which precede his appointment by months and others of their own making.
Take the 4-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon. On that occasion, Carlo Ancelotti was the manager as the Rojiblancos handed out Real's heaviest defeat in four years. It was as comprehensive as the scoreline suggests.
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Then came the debacle of Iker Casillas' exit from the club he had served in exemplary fashion for 25 years.
A quarter of a century's worth of appearances evidently counted for nothing as the club allowed their custodian to slip quietly out of the side door. In stark contrast to the fuss made of Xavi by Barcelona, who also called it quits at roughly the same time.
The immediate furore in both social media and normal media channels forced Florentino Perez into a corner and only then did the club accede to the most appropriate of goodbyes.
Sacking Ancelotti wasn't the best course of action by Perez either. The Italian was extremely well liked in the dressing room and, to that point, statistically the most successful Real Madrid manager in history.
His replacement almost immediately fell out with Cristiano Ronaldo and to this day the accord between the pair is tenuous.
David de Gea's catastrophic failure to transfer from Manchester United to Real was blamed by the Spaniards on a faulty fax machine yet the timing of the receipt of signed contracts, a minute past midnight, left no one in any doubt as to where the fault lay.
To think that we are referring to one of the biggest clubs in the world, the above scenarios come as a huge embarrassment. Yet the big top still had more entertainment to provide, the circus wasn't done just yet.
Santiago Bernabeu would be turning in his grave to see the insipid performance of the club in the stadium that bears his name against their fiercest rivals Barcelona. Another 4-0 thrashing came in a game which could've seen the Blaugrana score eight or nine, and no one could've had any complaints.
Barca were good yes, but Madrid just weren't bothered. The Catalans were everything they were not and were full value for their victory in enemy territory, something that has become commonplace this century.
Karim Benzema clearly wasn't in the right frame of mind in that game and why would he be. Charged with alleged blackmail of a French team-mate, Benzema had been arrested and released only a few days before El Clasico. Hardly the best preparation.
And yet the best was saved until last.
Six points behind in the league, if Barca continue their rich vein of form, Real don't have a hope of catching them.
Leaving the Champions League where they do at least sit proudly atop their group, and the Copa Del Rey for success in 2015/16. Except the latter avenue to silverware is no longer open to them.
Why? Because Denis Cheryshev, a Real academy graduate who's never really made a dent into the first team picture, played the first half and scored against Cadiz whilst ineligible to do so.
Having been sent on loan to Villarreal last season, the young Russian picked up three bookings in the competition, the final one in last season's semi-final against Barca.
It meant a ban which had to be carried over until 2015-16 because the yellow submarine were eliminated by Barca en route to their second treble. Talk about rubbing it in!
Bizarrely, not one person at the club noticed the error until it was too late and at the time of writing Real Madrid are disqualified from the cup.
They'll appeal but the chances of success are slim and they'll also be thanking their lucky stars that only three weeks of the year remain.
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