Hazard is still injured and Jovic is still in his world, like Bale, although they are different worlds. Zidane , meanwhile, leans on the same world he left, although now without Cristiano , of course. Of the headlines in the Kiev final two years ago, eight of the footballers who lined up at eleven at the Nuevo los Cármenes repeated. There was no longer Cristiano, of course, nor Keylor Navas , both out of the club, and neither was Marcelo , a starter not for every day. In fact, in his gang there is a promise that was an endeavor of Zidane, Mendy, accurate against Granada. The emerging circumstantial Fede Valverde joins the group circumstantiallyand a consolidated pillar in goal that has generated more debate in recent years, since the departure of Iker Casillas. The decisive actions and overwhelming numbers of Thibaut Courtois have silenced him. They are thus the same plus one in the Zidane 'family'.

In Granada, the Belgian appeared again in the suffering minutes that Madrid always grants, no matter how good his game is. The first act, actually, was the best of the course for the control of the game exercised. After a very irregular start that generated whistles in the stands, Courtois has consolidated this season to caress the Zamora trophy, awarded to the goalkeeper with the fewest goals. Such distinction did not go through the Bernabéu since 2008, in which it corresponded to Casillas .

Machís' goal , in the 50th minute, left Courtois unable to improve his own record without fitting in as a Real Madrid player, of 535 minutes, just for 28. Achieved this season, Keylor Navas improved in one minute. In Granada, the Belgian also had the option of matching Paco Buyo's 19 goals to zero in the 1986/87 season. Casemiro himself went to Courtois in the dressing room, at the end of the match, to apologize, since the action by both Granada that prevented his double record was started by a mistake by the Brazilian.

Courtois has not forgotten the criticism he received upon arrival in Madrid that Zidane had left, in a stage of sports instability, marked by the fleeting passage of Julen Lopetegui . It was like going from glory to purgatory, after having been named the best goalkeeper of the World Cup in Russia, in 2018. The situation generated anxiety in the goalkeeper, who saw how the title alternated with Keylor Navas until the Costa Rican departure to PSG clarified the hierarchy.

“Last year they criticized me a lot at the beginning of the season. I have shown that I can keep my goal at zero many times. It is something important, because last year we conceded more goals than we should and it is seen in the classification. Collectively it is fine because it defends itself and attacks with 11 and, when I have had to intervene, I have done it, "Courtois claimed in the Nuevo Los Cármenes.

The Belgian is 28 years old and is the only footballer to have played every minute after the pandemic (810). Benzema and Casemiro follow , both above 700, and Carvajal, Kroos, Varane and Sergio Ramos . They were all among the headlines of the Kiev final. Valverde, Modric, Vinicius and Mendy complete this eleven postcovid, according to the minutes played . Only four of them are in their thirties (Ramos and Modric, with 34, Benzema, 32, and Kroos, 30). The average is 27.9, an ideal age for the maturity of a footballer. Precisely the three oldest are the ones that have given a more important performance, together with Courtois, to define the path to a League title that Madrid could seal tomorrow, if they beat Villarreal or if they achieve the same result as Barcelona.

Everything indicates that this hard core will continue next season, in which Madrid expects to already have the best version of Hazard and for which the club's leadership has decided not to make any major investment in the squad, in a context of adjustments for the pandemic.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

Know more

  • Thibaut Courtois
  • Keylor Navas
  • Luka modric
  • Pomegranate
  • Ferland Mendy
  • Eden Hazard
  • Dani Carvajal
  • Sergio Ramos
  • Iker Casillas
  • Marcelo
  • Madrid
  • Luka Jovic
  • Gareth Bale
  • Julen Lopetegui
  • First division

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