The Real Madrid, without Hazard and without escape in Champions

Zidane gives instructions to Valverde in the match against Elche.

Real Madrid lost Eden Hazard the day before hosting Atalanta in the second leg of the Champions League (21.00, Movistar Champions League) and, surely, the worst thing for the Belgian and the club is that the team stays the same as how was it. After an infinite sequence of physical problems of all kinds since he landed at the Bernabéu in the summer of 2019 (the sixth fall of this course is in the right psoas, with no estimated time of absence), the whites have got used to living without he. “Something is happening. He had never been injured. I hope he will be with us soon ”, Zinedine Zidane managed to say, already without answers to explain this medical drama.

Signed from Chelsea for more than 100 million euros, the attacker was one of those chosen to alleviate the scoring problems after the unresolved departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, for whom Zizou still sighs. “It can happen, it can happen,” the Frenchman said this Monday with intrigue about the possibility of a return from Portuguese. While that talk goes on, the present bullshit of the whites looks with frustration at the Belgian’s famished contribution to the scoring task: four goals. He never threw wood on that bonfire, so ZZ and his people, until nobody says otherwise, will have to continue covering that hole with the usual ones.

One of those weapons was Casemiro and he lost it by accumulating cards in front of the army of the revolutionary Gasperini, the ideologue of a group that left the margins of the Calcium to not stop attacking. In the first leg, Freuler’s early expulsion forced him to bundle up behind him and threaten much less than he promised, but in Valdebebas, except unforeseen, the usual wild version of Atalanta is expected. The 0-1 defeat in Italy does not leave him many alternatives either.

In this foreseeable context, the loss of Casemiro is a great upheaval. In a Madrid that is doing the right thing by doing the rubber all season, the Brazilian’s presence has multiplied in all corners of the field. To his classic work of support in the middle, he has added his role as a center-back in recent weeks and, faced with the scoring shortage, he has become the team’s second top scorer, with six goals. He will not be there, although with respect to the Bergamo clash three weeks ago, where ZZ traveled with just enough to set up an eleven with players from the first team, the whites recover Sergio Ramos and Benzema.

Accustomed to stretching the rope throughout the campaign and clinging to their many lives, the return against Atalanta does not admit subterfuge: they qualify or sign a great failure. After not exceeding the eighth in the last two years, a third hit in a row would be a stick for an entity that often has to be reduced to its performance in the Champions League. The prestige of the club, the sporting future of much of the dressing room and the economy of Valdebebas would be highly exposed. In times of pandemic, not entering the 10.5 million of the ticket to rooms would become another stone to deal with pending renovations. Including Ramos.

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