You are currently viewing The twilight at the top of an unrepeatable generation: "What we did was historic"

Champions League 2020 – 2021

The backbone of the team that touched the sky in Lisbon 2014 was on the verge of its fifth final. Along the way, four Champions League for history. On the horizon, the final goodbye to some of its most important pieces.

Sergio Ramos, en Stamford Bridge.GLYN KIRKAFP

May 24, 2014 at Lisboa, May 28, 2016 at Miln, June 3, 2017 at Cardiff, May 26, 2018 at the Olmpico de Kiev… And on the horizon appeared May 29, 2021 in Istanbul. Four, almost five, spring nights that sum up the best decade of a team in the history of modern continental football. That of Turqua could have been the fifth Champions League final for Zidane’s Madrid, understood as that entity structured by a legendary backbone that still preserves 10 footballers of that 2013-2014 squad: Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Modric and Benzema were headlines in Da Luz, Marcelo and Isco they entered from the bench and Nacho, Casemiro and Lucas Vzquez they had already been summoned sometime.

Zidane’s Madrid explained from the help that the French gave to Carlo Ancelotti as an assistant that year, from his talks with the most vulnerable pieces of the first team and from his fit as a vital element of the egocentric constellation of stars of any top-level squad. Your work with Benzema, Morata and Jes It is not paid, praised the Italian in 2014. I do not speak much with the players. He does it, he knows them better, he has their respect and the footballers listen to him, he added during that season. From that deep respect that Zidane achieved as a footballer and assistant, from his mix with David Bettoni, the tactical brain of the couple since the appointment of Zizou in early 2016, and the inheritances of Mourinho and Ancelotti matured Madrid to make history with the three consecutive Champions League. Now it has been shown again that what we did was historical, defend Casemiro yesterday, after losing to Chelsea. It is not easy to win the Champions League, he remarked, in the same vein as a Zidane who pointed to Madrid as an eternal candidate, although perhaps not under his mandate: Surely Madrid will always fight for the Champions League. The rest will be seen at the end of the four league games, the technician advised.

Zidane, leader between changes

The Frenchman has accompanied a squad that has barely changed since 2014. He has lost legends and won others, mixing youth with veteran and turning boys into men. Carvajal, Varane, Isco and Casemiro Benzema and Marcelo 25, Ramos and Modric 27 were less than 22 years old in Lisbon … After the World Cup in Brazil they arrived Kroos, James and Keylor, and Casemiro went on loan to Porto. Inclus debut Odegaard, with 15 years. In 2015 Casillas left, Casemiro and Lucas returned and signed Kovacic Y Asensio, fundamental to the back of the closet. The Champions of Milan relaxed the market and after the one in Cardiff, Pepe ended a period of little time. The final in Kiev had the big bomb in store, the farewell to Cristiano Ronaldo, alleged end point of a team that two years later has denied to the limit its own dismissal. Landed Courteous, pillar of recent success, Valverde, wild card of the center of the field, and Vinicius, with the irregular electricity of someone who is still young. Twelve months the fan had to wait for Hazard, theoretical icing on the cake of Zidane’s El Madrid (after Cristiano) who was accompanied by Mendy, Militao, Rodrygo y Jovic.

Injuries and his attitude have not let the Belgian striker triumph, who will continue to wait after the summer. A few months in which, with repetition of the league title or not, the Madrid management will be obliged to square numbers and think about the next steps of a rebuild that right now finds them in the semifinals of the Champions League and fighting for the League. The future of Ramos, Bale, Marcelo, Isco… All important in the titles. All important, for different reasons, on the point and followed by Madrid.

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