A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Opinion: Real Madrid

The prestigious club Real Madrid is coming off a calendar year in 2017, winning a total of five trophies. They won the La Liga title, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, Spanish Super Cup, and the FIFA Club World Cup. The new season has begun and Real Madrid have failed to perform in the first half of the season, only managing to earn 32 points from 18 matches. The club has nine wins, five draws and four losses, putting them fourth in the table.

The club’s rival Barcelona, meanwhile, is performing to their highest standard. Through 19 matches, they have yet to lose. Barcelona has 16 wins and only three draws, putting them at the top of the table. This year’s first El Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona was very one-sided. Madrid were unable to score a single goal, and Barcelona had bagged 3 goals when the full-time whistle blew. Their following match was against Villareal, where they suffered a tough 1-0 loss. After this loss, Real Madrid fell behind 19 points to league leaders Barcelona, ten points behind Atlético Madrid, and eight points behind Valencia.

This is the first time in eight years that the club has suffered back to back losses in their home stadium, Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, and the first time in 12 years they have failed to score two games in a row. Karim Benzema, their main striker, has missed their last six matches due to a hamstring injury, and Sergio Ramos, their best defender, has missed their last four matches due to a muscle injury. Also, Gareth Bale, one of their main wingers, has missed a significant amount of games this year due to injury. These three players missing games might help to explain the club’s recent performances.

Madrid are having trouble scoring this year as their shooting percentages are very low. They average 19 shots a match but only seven of those shots end up on target, meaning their shooting accuracy is only 37%. They are averaging only 1.77 goals per match compared to last years 2.7 goals per match.

Real Madrid had an astounding 2016-2017 season and were expected to do well this year, but as of right now they have failed to do so. The league title for Real Madrid is out of reach, so fans can only hope that their squad can qualify for the Champions League next year.