Even though Real Madrid lost out on La Liga’s title to crosstown rivals Atletico, Los Blancos won out in the end with a thrilling 4-1 win to win the fabled La Decima, their tenth Champions League title.
However, this doesn’t seem to be enough, as Real, as per usual, spent an exorbitant amount of money in this summer transfer window. To start, the club were willing to clean house to a certain extent, letting go of the likes of Nuri Sahin, Diego Lopez, Alvaro Morata, and Casemiro.
However, the real big boy moves were the sale of beloved Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso to Bayern Munich for a little over $8 million, and the humongous sale of Argentine utilityman—and the MVP of last year’s UEFA final—Angel Di Maria, to Manchester United for roughly $100 million US dollars.
While Di Maria appeared to be keen to leave the club over what he felt was a lack of respect, both the fact that club president Florentine Perez could sell such a star and garner such a fee is remarkable.
Similarly, the sale of club favorite Alonso came as a surprise to fans for both the quickness with which it was processed and, once again, Perez’s willingness to part ways with such a bedrock of recent years. On the other hand, the talent brought into Spain would seem to more than make up the lost assets.
Not only did Madrid reach a trade of sorts with United by bringing in Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez to gain some first team reps after Karim Benzema, the loss of keeper Diego Lopez was offset by the signing on of Keylor Navas from Levante. These, however, are chump change compared to the midfield duo that arrived this summer.
Firstly, Toni Kroos, the highly-acclaimed German midfielder from his time with the national team and with Bayern Munich, will look to provide a creative spark from a deeper lying midfield position.
Ultimately, the biggest signing of the summer was that of Colombian star James Rodriguez, who captivated the world’s interest with his singularly stunning performance at the World Cup. After a one season stopover at Monaco following his time at FC Porto, Rodriguez could prove to be a lethal addition to an attack force which already includes the likes of Gareth Bale, Benzema, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
In manager Carlo Ancelotti’s preferred 4-3-3 system, he could have something of an issue rotating this new wealth of talent onto the field and keeping morale high.
In the mark of a true managerial icon, though, Ancelotti has pragmatically said he will use whatever formation is necessary to succeed. Moving forward, while it will be hard to top the performance Real Madrid set forth last year, the club is determined to do exactly that.
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