Real Madrid’s 35th LaLiga title is a testament to their mentality and determination


During their title run, there was courage, glory, majesty, intensity and, from Karim Benzema, one of the greatest single-season performances of any footballer for Los Blancos in living memory.

After taking on Espanyol and clinching the title with a comprehensive 4-0 win Saturday (restreamed on ESPN+ in the US), there is still the possibility that more Champions League titles Currently, Carlo Ancelotti’s team still deserves to be the second Real Madrid team to win Spain and Europe since 1958. Let that possibility sink in for a moment. This is amazing. Let’s hope they do.

But, for now, just imagine how difficult this LaLiga title will be.

Madrid played their first three games away from home, an unfortunate start, then their first Bernabeu game in front of just 19,000 fans. Do you remember that?

Regarding the Bernabeu, the rebuilding of the stadium, with the associated dislocation, huge investment and reduced contact with fans, can be very expensive and even threaten the club’s status — let alone their ability to win big prizes.

It was the rebuilding of Stamford Bridge that put Chelsea on the brink of bankruptcy and made their purchase by Roman Abramovich so important… and so simple. Even the subsidized costs of the Allianz Arena, which opened for the 2006 World Cup, left Bayern Munich financially disrupted for several years so that they lost two of And just ask Arsenal fans about whether the cost of the Emirates Stadium, and the loss of Highbury, have (in the short to medium term) helped or hindered the club’s finances and matchday mood?

While building a football palace (current costs are €800 million) that would rival any sports stadium in the world, and which would soon make the club the dominant force in Spanish football, Real Madrid had consistently been frugal (in relative terms) over the years. transfer window and as a result, only bought one significant player last summer: 18-year-old Eduardo Camavinga for a fee of €30m up front and who, although he is recognized as a potentially prodigious talent, had only started 10 LaLiga games before this weekend.

Are you surprised that there’s an extra benefit in a title win that isn’t much boosted by expensive reinforcements? Be aware. Or… get Real.

For Madrid to play in a stadium in progress, a low-capacity stadium where the fan atmosphere has deflated, and without a huge investment to help the legs and lungs of a team whose first-choice XI this season (with an average age of 29) features aged veterans. 32, 34 and 36 having played 180 games between them, is a very significant achievement.

There are more anomalies about Madrid’s 35th title, but only the third in the last 10 years. Take the game of Seville. Our two-time champions gave their most determined pursuers the edge when they played, but then forced one of Los Blancos’ favorite words, “remontada” (“return”), on them at every turn.

The more dramatic of the two “would they, wouldn’t they” games take place in Seville, a hotbed of passion and searing heat. Madrid, seemingly tiresome, amid the Champions League’s most outstanding display allowing Julen Lopetegui’s side to get a two-goal start, looked like they were going to crush the league leaders and then take Sevilla to the cleaners. Strength, passion, discovery and determination from a 3-2 win at the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium, after trailing 2-0 and playing without a line-uptheir brilliant midst Casemiro, will live long in the memories of winners, losers and losers. neutrals who were lucky enough to have watched.

It is an oddity as well, that Madrid have finished this having only had to play against their arch-rivals Atletico Madrid once (won 2-0) and lost at home to their Clasico 4-0 to Barcelona. But, never the least, think about things like this: Ancelotti’s team lost only three times before winning LaLiga. After every setback, the reaction was huge. The mark of a true champion.

The loss in Barcelona to Espanyol was unexpected and lame. Their next result? A straight trip back to the same city, the Camp Nou Clasico and a much more comprehensive and classy 2-1 win than the score suggests.

Defeat to Getafe? Stupid and sloppy as such, Los Blancos soon followed up with a 4-1 win over Valencia, who like to cause damage to Madrid whenever they can. A power-play response.

Home humiliation against Xavi’s revitalized Barca? The response was four wins in a row before this weekend, 10 goals scored, six of those points collected away. Phoenix has risen from the ashes with less extraordinary courage than Luka Modric, Benzema, Thibaut Courtois et al.