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Why Real Madrid will win Champions League for 3rd successive season

Tuesday 5th September 2017
Real Madrid have won the Champions League three times in four seasons. Why shouldn't Los Blancos do it again? Here are two big reasons why they will.

The Madridistas have dominated European football of late. There's no reason why it won't be the case this season, too.

Real is on course to win a record-breaking third successive UCL title. That's if you don't count the time they won five consecutive European Cups in the 50s or the times Ajax and Bayern each hit a trifecta in the 70s. Old people have told me time existed before the competition's name was changed, just like the English First Division became the Premier League, in 1992. They even claim to have been there.

Nevertheless, by turning the trick in modern times, Zinedine Zidane could become the most famous manager in the club's history.

Here are the two main reasons Real Madrid will win a third successive Champions League title.

The Zizou Effect

As Real Madrid manager, Zinedine Zidane has averaged 2.45 points per game. Let's break that down further. In 608 days as Real Madrid manager, Zidane has overseen 92 games, winning 70. That's a 76%-win ratio. Of those other 22 matches, the French legend has lost only seven. In just two seasons in charge, Zinedine Zidane has won seven trophies, including back-to-back Champion Leagues. That's what you call a pinnacle of European domination.

Zidane is not only transforming the club's fortunes, he's casting the mould for a new culture. Past managers Carlo Ancelotti, Jose Mourinho, and Manuel Pellegrini collectively spent €672 million in their combined twelve transfer windows. Zidane has spent €85 million in three. That projects to roughly half his immediate predecessors' expenditure.
Gone are the days of signing Galacticos. Zizou prefers to rely on youthful exuberance to see the team through. The 45-year old has brought in young players such as Marco Asensio, Theo Hernandez, Dani Cabellos and Jesus Vallejo.

Most unique regarding Zidane's handling of the club is that he's done nothing special tactically. His nuance is limited to deploying a 4-3-3 at home and 4-4-2 away. In more contemporary fashion, he regularly rests and rotates players, including Ronaldo. By keeping it simple, he's turned Real Madrid into far and away Europe's best team.

Other contenders haven't strengthened sufficiently

Real Madrid's nearest, (not so) dearest rivals have lost the second-best player in the world. No number of new signings can fill that void. Ousmane Dembele is a highly-touted prospect. Yet, he has a long way to go before he can return Neymar-like numbers. Barcelona may be £100 million in the black following the Brazilian's sale but they are undeniably weaker on the pitch.

This summer, Bayern Munich have spent £85m on transfers. Among them was James Rodriguez (on loan), Corentin Tolisso and Kingsley Coman's upgrade to permanent status. All are competent players. None are of a calibre to fire the Germans to a Champions League title. Last season, Cristiano Ronaldo single-handedly destroyed Bayern. If they meet again this season, it will be the same story.

Among Europe's elites, the fashionable argument can be made for Paris Saint-Germain. The French super club have bullied their way into contention by outmuscling Madrid for Kylian Mbappe and ripping Neymar away from 'victimised' Barcelona.
How Unai Emery manages all his attackers will be critical, as will the speed with which they bond. Neymar, Mbappe, Edinson Cavani, Julian Draxler, Angel Di Maria, Javier Pastore, and Lucas Moura must all be given adequate playing time. If not, unrest will seep through the dressing room. Good luck with that.
Mathaeus Abuwa

Arsenal fan with ample amounts of passion for both Cristiano Ronaldo & Real Madrid. I'm one of those bandwagonist hipster fans that will claim to know everything about football, but only watches the El Clasico outside of the Premier League. Forgive me, I'm trying. Oh yeah, #WengerOut. 

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