Times have changed at Real Madrid and there was no better evidence of that than in Munich, where Zinedine Zidane confirmed that the time of ‘The Untouchables’ (BBC) had come to an end.
Cristiano Ronaldo is the only one of the trident still standing, with Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale now having been replaced by Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio.
It’s not just that it happens every now and again, it has now become so frequent that the BB of BBC have their own spots reserved on the bench.
Vazquez and Asensio now represent a new Real Madrid, one which is dominant in Europe and just as competitive.
The move for Real Madrid’s second goal in Munich showed just what they offer as the new duo combined with Lucas capitalising on Rafinha’s error and then feeding the ball to Asensio to give the visitors the lead.
All of that happened whilst Benzema jogged up and down the touchline and Bale watched on with a pained expression from the bench.
Once again, Asensio returned to the scene of the crime where he first made his name last season and changed the game for a second consecutive year.
Vazquez’s place in the starting line-up was the surprise in Zidane’s selection, though it shouldn’t have been shocking given that he has the trust of the coach and even ended the night at right-back after Dani Carvajal’s injury and performed well.
Asensio too proved what he has to offer and earned the praise of his coach post-match.
“He’s incredible, he makes the difference, he gets forward, he’s quick, he’s powerful… He’s got a bit of everything,” he said, much like Alvaro Arbeloa’s praise claiming him and Vazquez are like the ‘Tango and Cash’ of this team.
Now regulars on the Real Madrid teamsheet, Vazquez and Asensio’s roles could not differ more from Benzema and Bale.
Benzema didn’t play a second of the second leg against Juventus in the quarter-final and was only the second substitution in Munich, replacing the injured Carvajal.
For Bale, the situation is worse, to the extent that he didn’t even warm up and his future looks highly unlikely to be at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu next season.
Real Madrid still lead the way with Cristiano Ronaldo, but now he is backed up by Vazquez and Asensio, with Isco featuring too; it’s a new era for Los Blancos.