The Week In Real Madrid: Smooth sailing at the Bernabeu

Any and every thing that can go right for Real Madrid has gone that way for them last week, Tim Stannard notes...

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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 Man City in the semi-finals, overcoming Getafe in La Liga and then Barca 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. 
Despite Zinedine Zidane’s fretting that the away trip to Getafe in La Liga was set to be another away-day banana skin of the kind that has sent Real Madrid sprawling on its football posterior all too often this season, Saturday’s victory against Getafe in the Coliseum could not have been more routine with the players in the most polite ‘to-me-to-you’ performance on the ball to rack up the scoreline.  

Life is going according to plan for Zidane

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 with the collective Real Madrid psyche suffering a massive split down the middle over 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 quarterfinal stages. 
The midweek ended up being a treble celebration for Real Madrid.
Wolfsburg were vanquished after a one-man show from Cristiano Ronaldo, Barcelona were ousted from the competition with a giant Nelson from ‘The Simpsons’ style ‘ha-ha!” and Madrid drew what they feel will have been the easier of the remaining teams in Manchester City, despite the platitudes of no tough games at this stage, etc. Not bad at all. 

Ronaldo at his imperious best once again

What didn’t 

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

  • Cristiano Ronaldo’s single strike against Getafe saw his 20th against the team in 12 matches in La Liga, making the Coliseum club the forward’s favourite opponent, alongside Sevilla. 

Video of the week

Goals are all fine and dandy, but Zidane tearing quite the 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 is 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 a footballing 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 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 Columbian very far with his boss. 

Rodriguez have lots to do to earn his place back

James spent the entire clash against Wolfsburg on the bench and that is probably where the Colombian midfielder will remain for the two Manchester City matches, barring an injury crisis. It appears that once a footballer falls out of Zizou’s circle of trust, it is hard to get back in again. Just ask the now invisible Mateo Kovacic.