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The New Generation of GALACTICOS is Here!

4 minute read Published March 6, 2024

For Real Madrid and Barcelona the only acceptable outcome of a season is winning the league. Sometimes, even that isn’t enough. Sometimes, supporters expect a European triumph as well. They’re pushing each other. 

There are challengers, of course. Atletico have won and this year Girona are sandwiched between the two giants. But it really is Real and Barca’s league. 

This season has been a weird one in La Liga. Barcelona are underperforming... Well, relative to how they usually perform, they are still third, after all. Girona came out of nowhere with a banger of a season but have now dropped off a bit. Real Madrid, however, seem to be walking the league

Team Games Goal Diff. Points
Real Madrid 27 38 66
Girona 27 24 59
Barcelona 27 22 58
Atletico Madrid 27 25 55

Let’s have a look at the leaders and what on earth they’re up to with Alphonso Davies and Kylian Mbappe.

Generational Shift

The decades and a half of Barca and Real have been incredible. First the Pep-Mourinho rivalry. The Galacticos-La Masia rivalry. The Messi-Ronaldo rivalry. And now the generational shift rivalry. The two teams have been mirroring each other. In most cases it’s been very close. But in the generational shift there’s only one winner. Real Madrid.

Barca are moving on from Messi, Real are moving on from Ronaldo. The drop in performance at Barca has been evident. They’ve finished third (gasp!) in two of the last four seasons. Their economic issues mean they can’t sign big names but rely on the kids. La Masia produces some of the best players in the world but young players need game management. At 17-19, the body doesn’t hold up playing every minute of every game. Gavi, Pedri and Fati have all had major injury issues as a result.

Real Madrid, however, have been stockpiling talent while phasing out the old guard. Vini Jr and Rodrygo (and Bellingham) have taken over the offensive duties of Ronaldo and Benzema. Militao and Alaba fill the mighty big shoes of Ramos and Varane. Tchouameni, Camavinga, Valverde and Bellingham are all ready to step up as Kroos and Modric get on in years. And they’re all doing it well.

To this team, they’re adding more talent in Mbappe and Davies. That’s how it is at Real Madrid. Winning the league and the Champions League is great, but no player gets to stay for sentimental reasons. The team has to improve, it’s never finished. Success is never finished.

The New Galacticos

The Mbappe to Real Madrid saga has been hounding anyone who follows football. Every transfer window open has meant new Mbappe to Real stories. And he’s chosen to stay every year. This summer, however, it seems like those repetitive stories might come to an end. If you’re to believe the most influential transfer rumour journalist - Fabrizio Romano, Mbappe is for sure going to Real Madrid in the summer.

This is the return of the Galacticos at Real Madrid. Mbappe, Davies and Endrick in a summer could prove to be bigger than the summer they bought both Ronaldo and Kaka. The three players will be added to a team that already consists of Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo, Bellingham… you could list the entire team.

Kylian Mbappe. Photo: Sandro Halank, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

Looking forward

The biggest question is how they’re all going to fit together, especially Vini, Mbappe, Rodrygo and Endrick. The 4-4-2 diamond they’ve been playing this year will likely have to change. Bellingham will probably take a step further back. This video explains it well.

So success is never finished. But when/if Mbappe Davies and Endrick joins - how do you even improve that team. According to rumours, Haaland has a Real Madrid clause in his Manchester City contract. They couldn’t, could they?

Whatever happens, with all those players on the same team, one thing is for sure – it’ll be fun to watch.

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