Real Madrid have started the 22/23 season by winning nine out of a possible nine matches in all competitions after their impressive recent win over city rivals Atletico, their best start in over 60 years. But with minimal improvement in summer and star striker Karim Benzema injured, what’s the reason behind Los Blanco’s impressive start.
Despite only making two first team signings in summer, and losing key players such as Gareth Bale and Casemiro, Madrid’s new additions have drastically improved the squad. First signing of the summer was Antonio Rudiger on a free transfer following his departure from Chelsea. Rudiger is an elite level centre back who provides depth and competition to Militao and Alaba. One of the signings of the summer on a free transfer is certainly a positive.
Second signing of the summer was impressive French youngster Aurelien Tchouameni for around €75m from Monaco. At the time it was definitely a surprising fee, but with the departure of Casemiro following shortly after, Aurelien slotted straight into the team and has started the season brilliantly. A solid defensive midfielder as well as being one of the best passers in the league, hard to believe he’s only 22 years old. His near perfect performance against Atletico showed just how important he is to Madrid’s winning run.
As well as the signings, many of last season’s Champions League winning squad have taken a drastic improvement, the most notable of which are Rodrygo and Fede Valverde. Rodrgyo joined Madrid in 2019, but has struggled to break into the squad, but since Benzema’s injury earlier in the season, Rodrgyo has flourished up front, scoring three goals and registering two assists in three starts, and will give Ancelotti a team sheet headache once Benzema returns to full fitness. After his impressive 21/22 season, Valverde has been given a chance to be a regular starting role on the wing and has definitely earned his place in the team. Fede has contributed to six goals this season, creating 13 chances in the process. Valverde is slowly becoming one of the better players in the Madrid squad and is really finding his feet playing on the right wing.
While on the topic of best players in the Madrid squad, Vinicius Junior has been the star man so far for Carlo Ancelotti, scoring five goals in eight games so far, continuing his newfound finishing ability from last season. Vini is well and truly one of the better players in world football at the moment, and is a true joy to watch for any football fan.
Madrid haven’t had the easiest schedule to start the year as well, having already seen off title challengers Real Betis and Atletico Madrid so far this season. The toughest test comes in four weeks time, when Robert Lewandowski’s fellow unbeaten Barcelona travel to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Los Blanco’s are the only club in Europe’s top five leagues to hold a 100% record so far this season, and will proudly take it into the first international break of the season, with Jagoba Arrasate’s high-flying Osasuna being the next challenge to take down Madrid’s perfect start to the season.