Ancelotti needed only a month to show that his roster is formed by only 14 players. Yes indeed, this management of the season has worked out great for six months. The momentum couldn’t have been better: Vinicius exploded his most completed and matured version, Benzema stepped up as the big captain, the old school midfield at their best level as usual and Courtois making the difference.
Real Madrid dominated the national competition and were able to grab three points every week almost by inertia. Furthermore, the external context was by their side: Barcelona and Atlético de Madrid went through two different crisis and Sevilla, which were the only ones to maintain the pace of the Whites, have had to deal with injuries and their struggle to win on the road.
However, we already warned about the consequences that such a risky rotation system can bring. In fact, it is impossible that Ancelotti did not know the recent antecedent. Last year we saw Zidane’s Real Madrid accused the physical wear and the saturation of their game in the last and key part of the season.
It is true that it seems that they are going to win LaLiga thanks to the huge advantage they were able to create during the first part of the season, but the feeling towards this last part are not positive; in fact, it is a similar feeling to what happened in the 20/21 campaign. Ancelotti plays with fire and at the Bernabéu there is a great opportunity and a beautiful challenge with the Champions League.
Despite the likely LaLiga title will back the Italian coach, Madrid’s performing in Europe will play a role in the future. The locker room avoided the effects of the humiliation they experienced against Barcelona for the favorable situations they are experiencing in the two competitions; but they must be careful. The way they end the season will now be more relevant due to the party of the ‘Xavineta’ —the future project of Barça— is starting to bother in the capital city.
For now, Ancelotti’s team is showing same of the same symptoms of 365 days ago. The key factor is in the famous rotation and the limited confidence that has been put into most of the roster. They might have multiple reasons for it; however, the key pieces are showing an excessive tiredness just days before the UCL quarter finals. It is the risk that the Italian has decided to take.
Maybe Ancelotti does not believe too much in the team’s chances in this tournament, their tournament; but, no doubt, this approach limit their possibilities.
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.
Main image: Twitter @realmadrid.