After 54 games, winning a European Super Cup, a Club World Cup and a Copa del Rey, Real Madrid will play the season in eight days. Those that go from today, Tuesday 9, until Wednesday, May 17, between the first and second leg of the semifinals of the Champions League against Manchester City. That's how hard and direct Madrid's destination is, in a perfect example of what Chamartín's demand is. Nothing works, everything is necessary.
Florentino Pérez said on the pitch of the La Cartuja stadium, just a few minutes after winning the final against Osasuna, that "I don't want to hear more about it, Carlo Ancelotti has a contract and we are happy". But the Italian, the same one who said goodbye in 2015 after falling in the Champions League semis against Juventus and losing the League against Barça, knows perfectly well how "the most demanding club in the world" works, as he has repeated countless times.
The Cup provides provisional calm after the constant runrún that have caused the 14 points difference with Barca in the League, but will do so only until the opening whistle against City. If necessary, the Bernabéu board would assume losing against Guardiola's team, aware that Carletto's coaching staff has won all possible titles during these two years: League, Super Cup and Champions League last year; Club World Cup, European Super Cup and Cup this season, but of course, everything has a price and how to lose, if it happens, matters.
I have a contract until 2024. I have said it many times," insists Ancelotti in each press conference, remarking whenever he can the achievement of the titles of his second stage. He knows better than anyone that it has been something unexpected, that he signed as an emergency solution after the departure of Zinedine Zidane and that he has achieved absolutely extraordinary success in a Madrid that aspired to reconstruction. He has boosted Militao, Camavinga, Vinicius and Rodrygo, young bets and now world realities, and except in the last weeks of the League, he has been competitive in all tournaments.
A maximum of 62 matches
Counting the 38 games of the national championship and the tie against City, Madrid will accumulate 61 games this course, a record of its last five years. If he reaches the final, at 62, he will make history: since the creation of the European and Spanish Super Cups, Madrid has never played all the possible matches of the same season of Spanish football. When he won the Champions League, he either failed to reach the final of the Copa del Rey or could not play any of the Super Cups because he had not lifted the title in the previous edition. This campaign, however, could complete the entire calendar. It began on 10 August in Helsinki and ended on 10 June in Istanbul. 304 days, 10 months exactly, of unstoppable football.
In addition, it is the eighth time in its history that Madrid will exceed 60 games in the same course. He accumulated 65 and 66 in the 1999-2000 and in the 2001-2002, forced by the round-trip matches in the Cup and by the group stages of the European Cup, and reached 62 in the 2002-2003 and the 2017-2018, always with the K.O. tournament being a round trip. In 12-13 he played 61 and in 13-14 and 16-17 he stayed at 60.
"They don't give us time to rest"
This year, Madrid's success in the Champions League and Cup has tightened an already hectic calendar due to the World Cup in Qatar. Camavinga, Tchouaméni (finalists) and Modric (third and fourth place) played seven games in the World Cup, so 2023 has had even more burden for them. The Balkan, for example, has arrived between cottons this week after muscle discomfort, while Tchouaméni struggled to regain form in January and February. "They don't give us time to rest. I don't know who sets the calendar, but they should make them look at it," Florentino complained after the Cup final, just 72 hours before the opening whistle of the semifinal against City. "Nobody asks us or helps us because nobody wants to lose the money from the competitions," Kroos criticized.
According to the criteria of The Trust Project