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No team is littered with players who scream ‘European stalwarts’ quite like Real Madrid. B
arcelona, Manchester City and most recently PSG have come erringly close, still the Los Blancos stand head and shoulder above the rest. But why not?
After years of firing in the dark, the ‘Galacticos’ approach has finally paid off as Real have chalked up three Champions League titles in four years- becoming the first team in history to successfully defend the coveted prize.
At the centre of the success has been BBC, the trio of Benzema [Karim], Bale [Gareth] and Cristiano [Ronaldo].
The European champions have an impressive stable of attacking players, but Zinedine Zidane will face his toughest test yet as he seeks to unify the trio; with Bale hogging the headlines with a move away from Santiago Bernabeu.
Raise money from Mbappe
Plenty has been made of the extents of Zidane’s remarks made ahead of the pre-season El Clasico friendly in Miami. The Real Madrid boss admitted that he cannot guarantee any of the fleet-footed trio will be at the club by the close of the summer transfer window.
This admission further sparks talks of Kylian Mbappe’s high profile move to the Spanish capital. The 18-year old has been linked with a £160m move to Madrid after taking Europe by storm last season, guiding AS Monaco all the way to the semi-final of the Champions League.
For a fee that is nearly double the current world record transfer for a player- £89m paid by Manchester United for Paul Pogba in 2016- Real Madrid will inevitably have to sell a headliner to raise funds for Mbappe.
A rusty Gareth Bale may unfortunately face the axe to pave way for the acquisition of the French teenager.
The 2015/16 season saw Bale blossom in individual performances; the winger deservedly rewarded with a nomination to the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or having propelled his side to European glory with a goal in the Champions League final.
That notwithstanding, the Welshman has had a putrid 4-year stay at Mardrid that has, by and large, been punctuated with injury.
His high affinity to injury has made him least favorable compared to the likes of Cristiano and Benzema, one that could see him register a premature exit from the club.
In quite similar fashion, last season saw the 29-year old sidelined for large proportions due to injury.
The medical absence has proven injurious as his place has been taken up by Isco who has gone on to cement himself in the starting xi. It’s unlikely that Bale will reclaim his place from Isco, a firm favorite adorned by the fans for being homegrown.
A return to the Premier League is however on the cards for Bale with Manchester United frontrunners to sign the forward.
Written by Brian Humphrey
Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum
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