Five dominant defensive options for sorry Real Madrid
Reigning European champions Real Madrid recently reached their fifth consecutive Champions League quarter-final after narrowly edging past Bundesliga battlers Schalke, but progression was overshadowed by a stunning second leg Bernabeu defeat.
Carlo Ancelotti’s Galacticos, 3/1 with Coral to retain their European crown, suffered a harrowing 4-3 loss at the hands of Roberto Di Matteo’s defiant German side, but progressed through a 5-4 aggregate victory.
Los Blancos boss Ancelotti has come under severe scrutiny for his team’s inability to perform to their usual level of brilliance after winning a 10th European Cup for Los Blancos last term, and was apologetic towards the Bernabeu faithful after a fifth defeat this year.
“All the criticism we get is justified,” said Ancelotti. “We need to look at our defence, that’s where all our errors were. No team has put four past us at home. We had problems in every aspect of the game: offensive; defensive; desire; fight and concentration.
Madrid seem likely to secure the signing of Porto’s Brazil international right back Danilo this summer, but further acquisitions will be necessary to improve on recent poor performances.
Following the Spanish giants’ recent defensive downfall, Coral writers outline five other potential defenders to help end Real’s rut.
Madrid were leading 2-0 from their first leg clash with Schalke, but quickly threw their progression into jeopardy, conceding four times at home.
France Under-21 international Laporte could be a solid solution to sure up Real’s futile backline, having made 35 impressive appearances for La Liga outfit Athletic Bilbao. A potential potent partnership with fellow countryman Raphael Varane is also a mouth-watering prospect at the Bernabeu.
Real Sociedad’s talented centre back has shone throughout this Spanish league campaign under the watchful eye of David Moyes. The 23-year-old, who earned a single senior Spain cap in 2013, is confident on the ball and could bring a sense of calmness and stability to Madrid’s current hurried and hapless defensive unit.
Watch highlights of Martinez’s ability on the ball and defensive attributes in a Spanish league clash with Elche last year.
The Atletico Madrid-owned defender is currently on loan at Southampton, having been offloaded by Diego Simeone last summer. Ronald Koeman has benefited massively from the 26-year-old’s dominant displays in the Premier League, with a permanent deal still an option.
However, Belgium international Alderweireld has recently stated that he is yet to make a decision over his future. Could the talented centre back seek revenge for his Atleti snub by joining bitter city rivals Real?
Villarreal’s courageous centre back has helped keep the Yellow Submarine afloat in their bid to capture a European position in La Liga, netting three domestic league goals this term.
The astute Argentina international suffered a troublesome injury last year, but has returned to majestic form, been recalled by national Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino, and would slot perfectly into Madrid’s stuttering defence.
Previously linked with a move to Manchester United, the Brazilian bruiser has been a dominant figure for French champions PSG this season, recently starring in his side’s Champions League triumph over Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea.
Marquinhos is still relatively young, but with his aerial abilities and terrific turn of pace, he could give Real an added boost next season, with current defenders Pepe and Alvaro Arbeloa in an ageing decline.
The 20-year-old would be a valuable asset in the Spanish capital, as he is fully capable of switching to a right back position as well. His current employers are an 8/1 chance to win the Champions League this term.
Watch the Brazilian in action in PSG’s recent Champions League encounter with Chelsea.