It doesn’t take a lynx to conclude, rightly or not, that Real Madrid started the season the way the previous one ended: playing with the hopes of their rivals. The elder in town would say that what works doesn’t get touched and that must be why in the first official games of this season the whites were inclined to repeat this passing lie that makes them seem fragile, until they’re too late to pray The Germans of Eintracht in Helsinki confirmed it under the guise of a good start and a misinterpretation of historical Finnish neutrality. And Almeria fans – or any side that finds solace in Madrid’s setbacks – suffered after the rushed league debut. “Until the end,” the song warns, “nothing is real.”
It wasn’t a very pleasant start to the summer for Almighty fans: amid a hangover from the celebrations, with a stadium remodeled into a new model of the mythical Enterprise and half of Europe fearing the worst in the face of the relentless encroachment of his authoritarianism, Madrid He left in front of the altar the one who would be the vault key in his new current and future project: Kylian Mbappé. What an excitement for the families, although the French family disguised them reasonably well by covering their faces in gold and platinum. This frustrated union after months of intense preparation – there are so many who have pledged their word and professional prestige that they could at any moment become a platform for those affected – was a major disappointment that Real Madrid will have to learn to live with when the wind stops blowing in your favor when that is the case.
Like it or not, football takes a different tack once the stadium lights go down and the euphoria of the big nights begins to end, which usually happens the following week. It is a company’s undisputed law that tomorrow has the perfect cure for yesterday’s diseases, which is why it is so often compared to religion. As in a bad bolero warning, all that is lived counts, all good has yet to be lived. And there is no song more difficult than the story of Real Madrid itself, where everything is discussed to the rhythm of “maybe, maybe, maybe”. Carlo Ancelotti knows this well, who, like few others, has lived the changing affections of a club that never stops, that rarely breathes, that embraces you to devour you.
The Italian faces his own legend, the latest reminder of a time unlikely to return, although at Real you never know. Their best footballers accumulate scars for another year and the youngest seem far from such quality standards, with the exception of Vinicius, who was born at the age of forty and seems to lead a life of discounting. In addition, some change in the model is indicated, which we shall see where it begins and where it ends. The signings of Casemiro, Modric or Kroos brought Madrid closer to a kind of adapted cruyffismo that seems to have no continuity in the boots of broad-based footballers like Valverde, Camavinga and Tchouameni in particular.
At any other club we’d speak of a near-fatal resignation, but at this point in the film nobody really knows what Real Madrid is, not even NASA. Sometimes it looks like a mythological beast and sometimes like a compilation of the best vignettes from Rúe 13 del Percebe, which I suppose gives it a lot of its strength: if it bites you, you lose; if you laugh, you die.
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