By Victor Akuma
It was a glorious moment for the Santiago Bernabue side recently following their crucial 2 – 1 victory over Villarreal in a head-on outing which sealed their quest for the 2019-2020 La-liga title — a record 34th for the side.
The victory owes much to the blistering form of Kareem Benzema who has been on top of his game since the start of the campaign, saving Madrid in crucial games, this include his winning goals against Granada, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, Real Sociedad, Valencia, Levente, Eiber and Alaves.
The race which was halted because of the dreaded COVID-19 resumed with some hit of actions by Zidane’s boys, leading them to straight 10 game victories, a height rarely competed by any of the Spanish sides. It is no wonder then how they were able to clinch the trophy at the end of the day.
The season though left with one game to go, has been an impressive one for the Santander champions as they have been able to pull through 86 points from 37 games, winning 26, drawing eight and losing three.
But this laudable achievement is not without the help of the of one of Real madrid’s greatest players and now coach, zinedine Zidane.
The Zidane factor
Zinedine Zidane’s time with Real madrid arguably has yielded more positive results than have been produced by any of the club’s coach in history.
Zidane’s winning streaks for the Spanish side is dated far back 2001 when he joined Real madrid from Juventus for a world record fee at the time of €77.5 million, which remained unmatched for the next eight years. In Spain, Zidane won several trophies, including a La Liga title and the UEFA Champions League. In the 2002 UEFA Champions League Final, he scored a left-foot volleyed winner which is considered to be one of the greatest goals in the competition’s history. In 2004, Zizou as he is popular called, was named the best European footballer of the past 50 years in the UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll.
Fast forward to his coaching era. Years after his retirement, Zidane took up a coaching career and became the head coach of Real madrid. In his initial two and a half seasons with Madrid, Zidane became the first coach to win the Champions League three times consecutively, as well as winning the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup, twice each, a La Liga title, and a Supercopa de España. This success led to Zidane being named Best FIFA Men’s Coach in 2017, but he resigned in May 2018, following poor results by the club in the subsequent months.
Zidane returned to Real Madrid as manager in March 2019 and he’s already recorded another feet. This definitely proves that he’s a fellow to reckon with when it comes to the round leather game, whether on-pitch or off-pitch.
Barcelona, the pride of many football lovers and the team of one of world’s all time most decorated player Lionel Messi, has failed yet again to put up a strong fight in the campaign for La-liga champions even with their caliber of players.
It’s no doubt that the Catalan side have been struggling lately which consequently have costed them the league’s title. Though Previous champions, Barca haven’t been on their best since the return of football after Covid-19 break and wasn’t even so good before the break. Technicality and foresight of the team is perceived to have been tampered, little wonder they have been running from pillar to post in the past few months in search of a better coach. Recall they made the move to sack Ernesto Valverde the former coach and replaced him with Quique Setien in January but the decision hasn’t exactly had the desired effect.
One would have expected with the quality of players housed by the team, Barcelona would have maintained their spot being at the top of the table at a time but a number of disappointing defeats, six to be exact, has left them as runners up on the table.
With the recent record by Real Madrid, it is now clear that the Bernabue boys now takes the lead in the total number of trophies won in Spainish football with 92 trophies and Barcelona 91 and while they have 34 league titles, Barcelona has only 26.