La Liga and European giants Real Madrid are top of the World
Just how much is that Spanish Super Cup defeat at the hands of rivals Atletico Madrid going to play on Carlo Ancelotti’s mind?
If it wasn’t for that, Real Madrid would be on for a clean sweep of trophies this season. Their victory in the Club World Cup over South American champions San Lorenzo at least adds another major trophy to their cabinet, and Ancelotti’s glittering CV.
It is a trophy that European clubs have been accused of not taking seriously over the years, especially English sides, who typically tend to have a congested fixture list around the festive season. In 2005, Liverpool finished second to Brazilian outfit Sao Paulo, who recorded a 1-0 win, while in seven years later Chelsea lost by the same scoreline to Corinthians.
There is no arguing with Ancelotti’s appetite though. He wants to win everything, that much is clear. The way his sides have always played while he has been in charge is clue enough. While he isn’t perhaps as charismatic as Jose Mourinho, or as glamorous as Pep Guardiola, the Italian has a steely determination, which is evident in the way Real are playing.
As demonstrated by the first goal in the World Club final when Sergio Ramos battled to get to the ball, which came in from a corner, as he threw himself onto it to score with a bullet header. The 28-year-old saved his side in the Champions League final, netting in stoppage time against Atletico to force extra time, in which Los Blancos went on to score three more goals.
Another common denominator from that fixture, Gareth Bale, was also on target, netting the second against the Argentine outfit, as he did seven months ago when facing Atleti. The Welsh winger has now scored in three major finals for Real, including the Copa del Rey last season.
The side might not be able to win every trophy this season, though are 11/4 with Coral to retain their Champions League crown.