Real Madrid 2019/20 season review: A Benzema-led Liga title

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OneFootball

Alex Mott

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LaLiga winners for only the third time this decade, Real Madrid have been imperious domestically this term.

Here’s our Los Blancos season review.


Player of the season: Karim Benzema

Notable mentions for Sergio Ramos and Thibaut Courtois, but there really could only be one winner this season.

It’s Karim Benzema, who has put together the single best season of his career and almost single-handedly led Zinedine Zidane’s side to the title.

21 goals is the headline statistic, but that really only tells half the story.

The Frenchman has been a totemic figure in attack this term, leading the line despite no-shows from Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard, and underlining his status as one of the club’s leaders.


Rising star: Ferland Mendy

Can you be a rising star who’s 25 and cost upwards of €45m?

Perhaps not, but in his first season as a Real Madrid player, Ferland Mendy has firmly established himself as the club’s left-back for the next five years.

It was always going to be a tough ask trying to fill Marcelo’s not inconsiderable boots, but Mendy has managed it, bringing stunning athleticism and enviable game intelligence to the role.

He’s on a path to becoming the very best in the world.


Flop of the season: Luka Jović

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“I’m so excited to have made the decision to come here and will do my best to help Real Madrid.”

So proclaimed Luka Jović at his presentation as a Los Blancos player exactly 12 months ago.

After a stunning season for Eintracht Frankfurt, Madrid spent €50m to bring the Serbian to Santiago Bernabèu and help replace the goals that left when Cristiano Ronaldo joined Juventus.

He’s scored two all season.

Injuries, bad form and several off-field misdemeanours have curtailed his season and rendered it a disaster from start to finish.


Rate the manager

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He’s not one of the game’s great philosophers, he’s not one to try and out-think the opposition coach, he’s not wedded to one particular system and he’s not in the habit of proclaiming his own genius.

It’s very easy to focus on what Zinedine Zidane isn’t as a manager.

What he is though, is a serial winner who can get the best tune possible out of his players.

Failure in the Champions League will inevitably hang over this season for Zidane, but the way he’s got this squad firing after lockdown is the mark of a great man-manager.

It’s an 8/10 for us.


What comes next?

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The small matter of a last 16 Champions League clash with Manchester City in a few weeks.

Real Madrid are 2-1 down from the first leg, but with City struggling post-lockdown, anything is possible.

As for the transfer market, president Florentino Pérez has already confirmed that big, Galactico-style signings will not be happening this summer.

“Future signings of that nature will have to wait, but as soon as we can Real Madrid will start making those kinds of signings again. Unfortunately, we don’t know when we will be able to make these signings because of the difficult situation we find ourselves in.”

That though, will sure hand an advantage to an enviable batch of kids that Real Madrid have waiting in the wings.

It could be a big 2020/21 for likes of Rodrygo Goes, Take Kuba and, if Real Sociedad let him return from his loan early, Martin Ødegaard.


Rating the season: 8/10