Correa and Asensio, in an Atlético-Real Madrid action.JAVIER SORIANO / AF
P Seeing Real Madrid this season is like contemplating the figure of a veteran cyclist doing the rubber band in one of those endless ports of the Tour de France. Grabbing the same old class players at each curve, without certainty of the crowd of young people in whom he has invested many millions and showing obvious signs of suffering in each pedal stroke, his course is almost a continuous one. He almost fell off, but he always found a precarious way not to completely fall off the hook. He almost reattaches himself, but does not quite reach the head. So he has been buying time for half a year. Every month, a crisis that weakens him, but has not yet killed him.
LaLiga moves away from him while he feels that he is heading towards his last European letter, where he must fight against the memory of a recent past that left him many kilometers away. the top. The consolation of the Cup vanished in the worst way and in the Super Cup he did not say a peep.
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His last two games, two agonizing draws against Real Sociedad and Atlético , symbolize your campaign. "We are still alive , things can always change," he said this Sunday at the Wanda Zinedine Zidane, who a month earlier, in the midst of the last great crisis, exclaimed in an unusual outburst for him that they were allowed to fight , that they had won that right as current champions.
The sequence is repeated since they were launched. A month after starting, in October, they lost at home in a period of four days against Cádiz (0-1) and Shakhtar (2-3) , a break from which they came out winning at the Camp Nou (1-3) . Four weeks later, the great crisis after falling against Alavés (1-2) and, above all, in Kiev (2-0) , a defeat that led the entire club to the abyss before the possibility of not exceeding the group stage of the European Cup. But they escaped with six straight wins, including one against Atlético (2-0) . And, again, after another month, a new skid: draw in Pamplona (0-0), eliminated from the Super Cup (1-2) , hit in the Cup in Alcoy (2-1) and defeat against Levante (1-2 ) . Threat of ruin that they surpassed with five dull victories. And again two ties in a row scratched in extremis that symbolize the no man's land in which it moves. Both equalized they subtract options to him in LaLiga, but they do not take them completely. Yes but no. No, but maybe.
The weeks go by waiting for a resurrection or a collapse of the team in the same way that the entity continues to wait for some players who do not finish making the leap. All of them attackers, the great white sinkhole that only Benzema is able to alleviate, as he demonstrated again in the Metropolitan. From Hazard there is only news for his advances or setbacks in the infirmary. Vinicius and Rodrygo exemplify the general broken line, more influential as a source of agitation than within an initial plan. Asensio begins to press the hour in a season in which he barely adds two goals and two assists in 32 games. In the last six, he has neither shot on target nor exhausted 90 minutes. A list of pending tasks from which Jovic , who for the moment was considered impossible, and Odegaard , who did not feel loved by Zidane, have already dropped. And acting as a general corrosive, the more than 40 injuries, the majority of a muscular nature. "I don't understand why," the French coach lamented three weeks ago.
The absence of new arguments, a situation that has lasted since 2018, contrasts with a Barcelona revived by young people like Pedri, Ansu Fati, Dembélé or, lately, Ilaix Moriba . Madrid, however, continues to cling to grandmother's old jewels. The passage through Wanda was a good example: first Courtois stopped Atlético, and then Casemiro and Benzema beat him down. A point to keep fleeing forward.