Real Madrid have made a perfect start to the new campaign but nobody in the Spanish capital will be getting ahead of themselves.
As recently as last year, Madrid won their first nine games of the new campaign but ended the season with just the UEFA Super Cup and Copa del Rey to show for their fast start.
Carlo Ancelotti has already lamented how some of Madrid’s first four victories have lacked “quality” but been won through “commitment”. They will surely need both if they are to improve upon last season’s underwhelming haul.
Here’s what lies ahead for Real Madrid’s scattered internationals after the September break.
A familiar name to those in the capital has been voted Player of the Match in every Real Sociedad game so far this season. Take Kubo spent three years on the books of Real Madrid but was never afforded a senior appearance.
Real Sociedad have certainly reaped the rewards of repeatedly fielding the jinking Japan international – although, Kubo admitted that his performance in La Real’s 5-3 victory over Granada at the start of September was the only one that warranted special recognition. Against a club that didn’t give him a chance, Kubo has extra motivation to deliver another dazzling display.
In 2009, Union Berlin fans spent their free-time and holidays working on the construction site of the club’s stadium. That same summer, Real Madrid broke the world transfer record twice to sign Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo.
These two clubs are from different worlds but both meet in the Champions League on zero points this month. Real Madrid have played more seasons of football in Europe’s elite club competition than any other team on the continent. Union’s trip to the Santiago Bernabeu will be the club’s tournament debut.
Atletico Madrid sauntered into the international break with the fewest goals conceded in La Liga to no surprise. Yet, even though they’ve played one fewer game than most Spanish teams – their match with Sevilla got rained off – Atletico lead the league with ten goals scored.
This is no new trend. Since the World Cup, Atletico have scored an unrivalled 59 goals in 27 La Liga games. The battle between Antoine Griezmann – last season’s best player in Spain – and Jude Bellingham, an early contender for this year’s gong, is just one of many intriguing plot lines to keep an eye on in the upcoming derby.
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Las Palmas have made a sticky start to life back in La Liga, failing to win – or score a goal from open play in – any of their first four matches. In fact, the last Las Palmas player to find the net against Real Madrid was Kevin Prince Boateng in 2017.
The island outfit have never won a league game against Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernabeu throughout their entire history.
On Real Madrid’s most recent trip to Girona, the capital club were stunned by a four-goal salvo from Taty Castellanos.
Fortunately for Madrid, Castellanos joined Lazio over the summer. However, Michel remains in charge of the Catalan club that has started the new campaign with ten points from their first four games.
When Ancelotti steered Real Madrid to the 2022 Champions League title, his side lost four games in the competition. Across 12 matches while he was in charge of Napoli between 2018 and 2019, Ancelotti only suffered defeat in one Champions League game.
The veteran Italian returns to Naples for the first time since he was sacked in 2019. Ancelotti has not occupied the opposition dugout at the Stadio Diego Maradona since overseeing a 0-0 draw as Milan manager in 2009 when the ground was still very much called the Stadio San Paolo.
Date / Kick-off time (BST)
17/09/23 – 20:00
Real Madrid vs Real Sociedad – La Liga
20/09/23 – 17:45
Real Madrid vs Union Berlin – Champions League
24/09/23 – 20:00
Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid – La Liga
27/09/23 – 18:00
Real Madrid vs Las Palmas – La Liga
30/09/23 – 17:30
Girona vs Real Madrid – La Liga
03/10/23 – 20:00
Napoli vs Real Madrid – Champions League
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