Push Notification

Real Madrid and their Achilles heel

In the following data analysis, we will look at what has been Real Madrid’s bane domestically in the last decade. Real Madrid with all the dominance in Europe in the last decade have failed to assert dominance domestically, winning just 2 league titles in the last 10 years and defence has proven to be a problem for the Los Blancos.

It wasn’t the attack that separated the two giants domestically. It was Real Madrid’s leaky defence. Real Madrid consistently found themselves letting in more goals than Barcelona. In fact, even in the seasons when Real Madrid did manage to win the title, they conceded more goals than their rivals.

 Looking at the data, Real Madrid have managed to outscore Barcelona on 5 occasions in the last decade and have managed to score 100+ goals in 8 out of the last 10 years. This was the era of Messi and Ronaldo. Both of them elevated La Liga to greater heights and swept every individual award in Europe. Since 2009-10 season, after Ronaldo’s arrival in the league, every league winner scored over 100 goals. All but one.

Atletico Madrid’s valiant effort in the 2013-14 season is the only one where the league winner scored less than 90 goals in the last 10 years. It wasn’t the norm to score 100 goals before Ronaldo and Messi took over. They redefined the league.

Even with big personnel names in their ranks like Ramos, Pepe, Varane, Marcelo, Carvajal, Casillas, Xabi Alonso etc. Madrid’s defensive statistics never seemed very appealing, that was the case until this season. After losing 50+ goals/year in the form of Ronaldo’s departure, Madrid couldn’t afford to have a leaky defense.

Zidane took note of this. His side has the best defensive record in the league this season. Los Blancos have let in just 19 goals which is the lowest in Europe’s top 5 leagues. There are multiple reasons for it like the introduction of Mendy, Courtois improving his game, Varane and Casemiro having their best season among others. The tables have turned for now with Barcelona letting in significantly more goals this season while Real Madrid have improved.

“Attack wins you games, defence wins you titles” famous words by the legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson still stand true in the modern game where teams are increasingly looking to boost their attacks.