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Was it Real Madrid or the Sheriff of Tiraspol?

I have never seen a Real Madrid so small. It is no longer a question of winning or losing, but of not recognizing the most glorious team in the history of football. Yes, there they are. Modric, Benzema and company, but it can’t be. How are they going to be? How is this going to be Real Madrid? If they haven’t shot on goal and they’ve been locked up in their area the whole match! The approach and development of the match was more typical of the Sherriff of Tiraspol, Malmo, Young Boys or Bruges who, by the way, beat PSG in the group stage. The most Real Madrid aspired to was a 0-0. It was his sad cap. The result, seen what was seen, was extraordinary because the logical thing would have been to return to Madrid with a win like the ones that Barcelona has been conceding for years, and being a virtually eliminated team. If it didn’t happen that way, it’s because Real Madrid still has an extremely competitive and proud squad.

Anyone who watches international football is aware that Real Madrid, for yet another year, is behind Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Liverpool or Chelsea. Almost nothing has changed in Madrid. Alaba, Camavinga arrived and Vinicius is starting to explode, perhaps even more than expected at the club, but the realistic forecast was not to be among the favorites. The feeling against PSG was the same as in the last two eliminations, against City or Chelsea. Inferiority and impotence. It’s been three years since Real Madrid has left Spain and comes face to face with reality, that its squad, its level and its coach are not up to the level of the most demanding competition. Based on what has been seen this season, PSG was not on this list of top favourites, but a squad with so many stars, with Mbappé, the best footballer in the world, can delete you. It is something understandable. What was not expected and is inadmissible is how it falls. PSG put Real Madrid in its place in Europe and the chances of coming back, without Mendy and Casemiro as well, are slim.

I’ve seen about ten PSG games and it’s true that yesterday’s was, by far, the best they’ve ever done. It could also have been Real Madrid’s worst game. This equation makes me think that there could be a comeback in three weeks, but I also have the feeling that I have wasted my time watching them play against Nice, Marseille or Angers. They are left over in the French league, they lack motivation, demand and that is why when the Champions League arrives they get their maximum performance. It is a team that is almost touching its long-awaited Champions League, with a semi-final and a final in the last two editions, which have signed well and much that they lacked, secondary and fundamental players such as Paredes, Archaf or Danilo and who have at the top better. Mbappé has evolved as a footballer and is no longer that unstoppable player in space. He now he annihilates you in speed and also breaks locked defenses. He began by giving Di María a goal a few minutes later, causing a penalty against Carvajal and in the 94th minute it was still the same. His goal is an animal. He leaves Lucas but also the one who helps him, Militao. He is so fast that Valverde doesn’t arrive in time and then he is able to get past Courtois. He is the best. He has improved his shooting, finishing and associative play, now he covers more ground. He is a leader. It is going to be a mental injection for LaLiga and for Real Madrid, what is missing for both of them.

But let’s go to everything that happened in Paris, which, in my opinion, only confirmed everything I already thought and had been writing lately with Carlo Ancelotti in the spotlight of criticism. Real Madrid is falling. He has a goal in the last four games. He was eliminated in the Cup, I think the same will happen in the Champions League and the coach has a lot of responsibility for it. He is demonstrating, once again, why he was fired from Real Madrid and why he was managing Everton and not a great European. Ancelotti is not among the top twenty coaches in the world. What did you do in San Mamés in Copa? He had ten training sessions to prepare for that tie and his plan was to wait for the plane that was bringing the Brazilians not to be delayed. And then, after being inferior throughout the game, he didn’t do anything because he expected to make the changes in overtime. What did Ancelotti do in Paris in the Champions League? Since December he has been able to prepare for the match. His plan was to wait in the back and go on the counterattack. It is lawful and I can understand you. What I no longer understand is that if it’s not working, do absolutely nothing.

Reminds me of the captain who crashes when the bullets start ringing. Your troops are dying and you are not looking for solutions. We should do something! Anything before doing nothing. Put Lucas ahead of Carvajal to help him with Mbappé since Asensio It does not contribute anything in attack. Put in Valverde to give oxygen to the team, so that the defense is not so far behind and they can steal a ball that is not in their own area. You can’t have Kroos and Modric for 94 minutes behind the ball. They are two footballers gifted with the ball, but in such physical games they need someone to help them. But I insist, I am not surprised at all by what Ancelotti is doing. Which substitute footballers are useful for him? Just. The answer, which we all know, is dramatic. If Fede Valverde, who has already shown his worth, whose characteristics are unique in the squad, typical of modern football, is almost a residual player, what role will they have? Jovic or Hazard? I understand that they are not starters, but never that they are not worth more than 10 minutes in any game and even more so when Hazard has not been injured for months now. Ancelotti is responsible for his lack of reaction from the bench, for his immovable approach and for not having plugged in more than 14 footballers, but he is not saved from this burning Florentino Perez and/or the sports management that continues to keep Gareth Bale, Mariano, Isco or Marcelo on the squad. That’s why when this type of match comes around, Ancelotti has to pull on Benzema or Mendy even if they’re weak. Because there are no guaranteed replacements and because there are, because I have no idea if Jovic is worth it, Ancelotti doesn’t want to know anything about him. Real Madrid is delaying a wide and obvious renewal for too long.

Now it’s time to come back. It is not mission impossible. I’ve seen Real Madrid do it a thousand times and in worse situations. They will pull from those great nights at the Bernabéu, they will appeal more to the emotional than to football, but even if they go through the tie, the reality is that this Madrid is not here to fight for the Champions League. There are big handicaps. In the planning of the squad and in the direction from the bench to face the season with more possibilities. In my opinion, Madrid should focus more on winning the league. In any case, I hope that for the second leg it has been learned, after what happened at Stamford Bridge last season, at San Mamés in the Cup or last night, that they cannot play diminished footballers just because they are better than their teammates. They harm more than they help and I think the message the dressing room receives is not a good one.

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