We have been hearing for a year that Real Madrid absolutely need to sign either Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe, as if Los Blancos would disappear if neither of them joined this summer. And of course, Madrid could do with either of the two signing, because they are top players. But who needs whom more? Without a doubt, it is Haaland and Mbappe who need Madrid if they want to be really great.
Because there you have it, Real Madrid are just six games away from winning LaLiga Santander and the Champions League with a team destroyed by injuries, led by players who were not thought to be dependable when the season began. Madrid haven’t needed Haaland or Mbappe to arrive at the final stretch of the season with the chance to win LaLiga and the Champions League.
On Saturday, Zinedine Zidane took another important step towards the title with Alvaro Odriozola, Eder Militao, Miguel Gutierrez, Antonio Blanco, Sergio Arribas and Isco. The Clasico ended with more or less the same side, with Mariano as the No.9.
Zidane went to Anfield without a right back and with seven casualties. Real Madrid have had to overcome 53 injuries this season, yet winning four games and drawing two between now and May 29 could land him the double. This is also what Haaland or Mbappe have to see when making a decision about their future. There are many teams that can pay them what they ask for, but there’s nowhere quite like Madrid.
Because if something is becoming clear this season, it is that Madrid have a unique competitive gene. Nobody, absolutely nobody gave this team a chance when the season began. And even less in the month of October, when Shakhtar Donetsk conquered the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano. In January it was taken for granted that there would be no hope of silverware for Madrid by the month of March. But there they are, with a big chance of winning LaLiga and the Champions League on May 2.
Madrid are going for a ‘galactico’ signing this summer, and rightly so. The team needs it and the fans crave it. Yet after this season it should be clear to Haaland or Mbappe that the honour would be all theirs if they were to join Los Blancos. Zidane, the second greatest coach in Madrid’s history after Di Stefano himself, understood it perfectly 20 years ago and the Frenchman clearly does too.