The Week In Real Madrid: It's all smooth sailing at the Bernabeu
The week in five words
Could not have gone better.
What went well
Pretty much everything, with Real Madrid hitting a five-way whammy – beating Wolfsburg in the Champions League, Barcelona going out to Atlético, drawing Manchester City in the semi-finals, overcoming Getafe in La Liga and then Barça crashing to a third successive defeat in La Liga.
And real, actual effort only had to be expended in just the one of that heart-warming quintet for the Madridista massive.
Zinedine Zidane had fretted that the trip to Getafe in La Liga was set to be another away-day banana skin – the kind that has sent Real Madrid sprawling on its football posterior all too often this season. But Saturday’s victory against Getafe in the Coliseum could not have been more routine, with the players demonstrating the most polite ‘to-me-to-you’ performance in the 5-1 win.
But with La Liga still set for a few more twists and turns despite Barcelona’s current collapse, the week was all about the Champions League. The collective Real Madrid psyche was split down the middle about the optimism of a huge comeback against a middling Bundesliga side, and the more realistic hemisphere that knew that a single goal for Wolfsburg would probably spell the end of the club’s participation in the competition at the quarter-final stages.
The midweek ended up being a treble celebration for Real Madrid.
Wolfsburg were vanquished after a one-man show from Cristiano Ronaldo, Barcelona ousted from the competition with a giant Nelson-from-The Simpsons-style "ha-ha!", and Madrid then drew what they feel will have been the easier of the remaining teams in Manchester City. Not bad at all.
Aside from the Real Madrid coach driver taking four goes on a three-point-turn in the Coliseum carpark on Saturday, life went pretty smoothly for Real Madrid.
Quote of the week
Cristiano Ronaldo responds to what a 14-year-old Taylor Swift fan would call ‘haters’, with a post-match response after the Wolfsburg win: “All in all, for a poor season, it's not so bad… I'm very happy.”
The need-to-know facts
- Ronaldo’s strike against Getafe was his 20th against them in 12 La Liga matches, making the Coliseum club his favourite opponent alongside Sevilla.
- CR7 has now scored 33 goals in 36 Champions League knockout matches for Real Madrid.
Video of the week
Goals are all fine and dandy, but Zidane tearing a hole in his trousers celebrating one of Ronaldo’s strikes against Wolfsburg was almost certainly the highlight of the week.
Winner of the week
As much as it's tempting to dig around to find an alternative to Cristiano Ronaldo, just to liven things up, it would be a little churlish not to pick out the Portuguese poacher for his Champions League-saving hat-trick against Wolfsburg, and for another strike in La Liga against Getafe.
As with Leo Messi and Barcelona, Ronaldo is akin to an alien slug parasite clinging onto the spine of his side. Although that sounds far worse than is intended: basically, when the parasite is on form, so is the host.
Loser of the week
As much as James Rodríguez has done a lot of groundwork to fend off the reputation of being a non-defending dilettante in the past two league games against Eibar and Getafe, and garnered some praise in the Madrid press, it hasn’t really got the Colombian very far with his boss.
James spent the entire clash against Wolfsburg on the bench, and that's probably where the midfielder will remain for the two Manchester City matches, barring an injury crisis. It appears that once a player falls out of Zizou’s circle of trust, it's hard to get back in again. Just ask the now-invisible Mateo Kovacic.