real madrid's champions league

Real Madrid’s Champions League Triumph: 4 Lessons For Other Clubs

Real Madrid's latest Champions League conquest is an absolute eye-opener for other clubs. Los Blancos edged Juventus 4-1 in the final at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Saturday to clinch their 12th title. They thus become the first side to win the accolade twice in a row.

There are a whole lot of lessons to be drawn from the Spanish side's extraordinary cruise to another Europe's premier club title. Especially for clubs who continually stutter when it comes to the big stage. Here are four of such.

1 - Form over class

The cliché, "form is temporary, while class is permanent" is one which appears to have blindfolded many managers in their choice of players. More often than not, a lot of tacticians fall victims of favouring players, deemed world class, ahead of others, willing to take a bullet for the team. Zinedine Zidane was faced with a similar dilemma ahead of the final. He had to choose between an inform Isco and a not-fully-fit Gareth Bale, knowing that his decision could either make or break his team's chances. And as expected, the Frenchman went for the former who justified his inclusion with another stellar performance.

2 - Never change a winning team

Another major factor which played a tremendous role in Real Madrid's latest exploit is Zidane's consistency in his team selection. The Frenchman stuck to nearly the same line-up from the beginning to the end of the competition. Although the system was a little bit modified due to injury, the personnel remained mostly unchanged. No wonder they lost just once en route to clinching the title. Zidane demonstrated his appetite for continuity by sticking to Isco instead of Bale in the final. The Spanish international had excelled in the absence of the ex-Tottenham forward - featuring in all but one of Los Blancos’ games in the knockout stages this season.

3 - Every manager needs a game changer like Ronaldo

Love him or hate him, but Cristiano Ronaldo's achievements since moving to the Bernabeu can never be over emphasised. The Portuguese forward, who had previously helped Manchester United to the Champions League title in 2008, has had an even more significant influence in Spain, leading Los Blancos to the accolade on three occasions. In this season's final against Juve, he proved once again that he is the man for the big occasion by notching a brace, to add to eight other strikes in his previous four games. That's the sort of player every manager needs in their team. One capable of changing a game in a split second; one who can single-handedly take the opposition to the cleaners.

4 - Ex-players deserve more

No one ever envisioned Zinedine Zidane becoming the first manager to clinch the Champions League twice in a row. In fact, very few gave him the chance when he was appointed to replace Rafael Benitez in 2016 with many citing concerns over his experience and personality. However, against all odds, the Frenchman is delivering the goods for the Spanish giants, with all our fears blown away, after picking up his fifth title in just 17 months on Saturday. Now he is unarguably one of the best in the business with Real Madrid president, Florentino Perez, claiming he has his job for “the rest of his life”. The exploit of the 44-year-old is a reminder of the abilities of ex-football stars who often times are neglected when it comes to cutting their teeth on the dugout.

About the Author Toby

An unrepentant soccer freak other freaks call geek.

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