Today is Real Madrid’s birthday, but they don’t have anything to celebrate. Three games at the Bernabeu, three humiliating losses and their season have ended in a week.

It’s pretty unusual for a club as big as Real Madrid to have nothing to play for when almost half of the season is remaining. Real Madrid now have hit the panic button, after losing three consecutive matches at their home ground, Santiago Bernabeu and being knocked out of all the competitions in just a week. This week has been the worst in their 117-year history: three home defeats, eight goals conceded and just one scored, all three competitions gone, one after the other – knocked out of the Copa del Rey, the La Liga title race, and the Champions League.

27th February – Barcelona eliminated Real Madrid from the Copa del Rey
Barcelona led by Luis Suarez defeated Real Madrid 3-0 in the second leg after the tie was left in the balance after a 1-1 draw in the first leg.

2nd March – A consecutive Clasico defeat means that Real Madrid are out of the LaLiga title race
For the first time since April 1931, Barcelona have won more Clasicos than Real Madrid, two victories in four days last week leaving the all-time record at 96-95. Real Madrid were left 12 points behind their league-leading rivals with 12 games to go, their chances of LaLiga success all-but over.

5th March – Ajax made a historic comeback to knock out the 3 times defending champions from the UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid couldn’t defend their first leg 2-1 lead against a young Ajax squad, much to their surprise. They saw their first leg lead overturned in the opening 20 minutes by goals from Hakim Ziyech and David Neres as Ajax ran riot. Dusan Tadic was the undoubted hero of the match. This performance earned him a 10/10 rating from the journalists at L’Equipe.

“This is probably the best game of football I’ve ever played,” Tadic told Veronica TV. “We beat the best club in the world. I’m very proud and I think we made a lot of people happy. In football, you just have to relax and enjoy your game.” He added: “We have a very good team and we play nice football. Zidane was always my favourite player. Maybe I was watching too many of his clips.”

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After a fourth successive defeat on home soil, under-fire Real Madrid head coach Solari told reporters: “It’s really painful, we’re sorry for our fans, who were amazing in the way they supported the team in what was a very tough time. We’re sad and are hurting. We put in the best possible effort but it wasn’t enough and we’ve bowed out. It’s a sad night.
A lot of things went on out there. It was a game in which things frequently changed. There was a bit of everything: enforced substitutions, shots hitting the woodwork, the ball not wanting to go in, their clinicalness, the VAR system… An endless amount of things that you’ll have to assess.”

Carvajal told Movistar Plus at full-time: “I don’t think I’ve ever had this feeling of discomfort, I do not know how to explain it. In one week, our season has finished, everyone went home. We do not have to look for excuses tonight, our opponent was better and deserved to go through.
It’s never easy to come from two defeats against Barcelona. Today, we came with a clear mind of wanting to win, but two errors put us 2-0 down. The start of the second half was good but 3-0 killed us.
I do not see the end of the cycle, though. We have a young team and there is a huge margin for improvement. We have to front up and not hide; we have had a s*** season.”

Toni Kroos told reporters: “We have a good team and we showed that in some moments of the season but to be honest not constantly and not constantly enough. This week we lost everything. Every opportunity to win a trophy, we lost in this week. And this is hard and it’s hard to accept.
For me people forget very fast about what happened in the past because I said now, it’s not usual that a team wins three Champions Leagues in a row and it will never happen again, I tell you now. Congratulations to Ajax, they were the better team and we have to finish the season seriously in my opinion now and prepare the next season”
He further added. “I still see that the players have the quality but I think this season not one player had his best form constantly and this is the reason why we are out now.”

If you’re a Real Madrid fan, it’s a week you can never forget. If the results are worrying then the speculation of Marcelo and Gareth Bale to follow Cristiano Ronaldo and Zidane out of the club is even more disturbing. As we have seen in recent times, Real Madrid’s biggest strength in the previous years have become their weakness now. Earlier Kross and Modric used to dominate the midfield, but their age has taken a toll on their playing too. Real Madrid’s midfield trio of Casemiro, Kroos and Modric have faded. They all look like positional midfielders and you can’t win a match with three positional midfielders. There is no penetration from the midfield which increases the pressure on the front three.

Benzema and Bale

Benzema has flourished after the departure of Ronaldo, but it’s impossible for any player in this planet to fill his boots. Losing a player like Ronaldo, who used to score 50 goals in each season is too much to afford for this Real Madrid side. Gareth Bale was tipped to take over the leadership but he has failed miserably and an exit in the next transfer window is on the cards. “Some players had to step up; not score 50 a season [like Ronaldo], but 20,” Luka Modric said. But Madrid’s players did not hit that target and are running at a goal a game fewer than last season. “That’s our biggest problem,” the Ballon d’Or winner said, but it is not Madrid’s only problem, and the players left are better than this, or should be. “None of us have been at our level, myself included” Toni Kroos admitted.

Now, Real Madrid badly need a Galactico signing and a midfielder who can penetrate the opposite midfield at ease. Isco used to do that but Solari doesn’t play him which is very sad given the condition of the Madrid midfield. According to reports, Real Madrid are preparing for a squad and manager overhaul. Jurgen Klopp is leading the race for the next manager, though it would be hard to lure him away from the Anfield. That could hand Jose Mourinho a chance to return to the Bernabeu. We could also see Hazard or Neymar at the Bernabeu in the next season, as Perez will look to bring back the big names to the club again.

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