Luis Enrique and Rafa Benitez will be under huge pressure

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The 2015/16 edition of La Liga could be one of the most interesting of recent times.

Florentino Perez has already made the most unusual step of relieving Carlo Ancelotti of his duties, even though statistically he was the most successful Real Madrid manager ever.

A 75 percent win ratio and the much coveted "La Decima" Champions League were evidently not enough for the demanding Perez.

In his place is Rafael Benitez, an appointment that hasn't been met with universal approval amongst the playing staff, meaning that the manager already has discourse to deal with once his pre-season preparations are underway in earnest.

The Spaniard has much work to do in order to restore Real Madrid to where they consider their rightful place - at the summit of La Liga and in Europe.

It's no easy task. Los Blancos have managed to win the Spanish league just once in the last seven years and before 2014's Champions League triumph, there was a 12-year gap.

50 wins

Barcelona have won four Champions League's in the same time period and five of the last seven La Liga's.

Luis Enrique is enjoying his summer after replicating Guardiola and winning the treble in his first season as Barcelona manager.

He also did so with 50 wins in the season, a record for the top five divisions in Europe.

Barca are once again at the very top of world football, but as we all know, getting there is much easier than staying there.

The expectations and pressure on Enrique is just as high as on Benitez but for entirely different reasons.

It's far from a foregone conclusion that the Blaugrana will once again take all before them in 2015/16.

New President

For a start, there will be a new man in charge at the top. Barcelona's presidential elections take place on July 18th and the outcome of the same could well upset the equilibrium that has pervaded over the club in the last 12 months.

By way of example, the outgoing president Josep Maria Bartomeu has already announced that he has secured the services of a "world class current Spanish La Liga central midfielder" if he is elected. 

No mention has been made as to whether said midfielder is to Luis Enrique's taste or not, but this is the kind of scenario that the manager will have to negotiate over the coming weeks. Even before a ball is kicked in earnest.

Clearly, both managers have to hit the ground running but as we've seen over the past few seasons there is barely anything between Spain's top two and title aspirations could go right to the wire again.

It's highly unlikely that Barcelona will manage another treble but at least one trophy would be a minimum expectation. Becoming the first team to defend the Champions League in the modern era would sit well with Barca's membership and the management team.


Winning La Liga is still high on the priority list too.

Benitez will be expected to bring it all home. Yes really. If Ancelotti's services are going to be dispensed with after winning the Champions League then it seems fairly obvious that winning European football's most coveted club trophy isn't going to sate the appetite of Florentino Perez.

At least Benitez has the pedigree for success and a winners personality.

There'll be a few noses put out of joint at the Santiago Bernabeu, but that won't bother the manager. Unlike Ancelotti, Benitez hasn't taken the job with the intention of being liked.

He'd rather be hated by the players if it brings the desired results. And it will. Just ask Steven Gerrard.

With Real like a well-oiled machine in no time, Luis Enrique should be worried...

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