Real Madrid are set to kick off the 2022/23 season with a smile on everyone’s face at the club, as Carlo Ancelotti‘s team returned from Helsinki after winning their fifth UEFA Super Cup.
In the game against Eintracht Frankfurt, Real Madrid added to their mighty trophy cabinet while sending out signals to their rivals that they are in oaken health physically, mentally and in footballing terms.
Ancelotti has had what could be called a perfect preseason, the kind any coach would want in order to get his team in the best possible shape for the start of the season. In a summer without national team competitions, Real Madrid have worked for a month with their backbone remaining intact.
Los Blancos were quick to make their signings despite Kylian Mbappe turning them down to renew his Paris Saint-Germain contract.
Now, it is clear for Ancelotti who his first-choice players are and who are the 15 or 16 men who will get the most minutes this season.
In terms of morale, what comes out of the dressing room is the message of a team that has become much stronger over the months.
“Yes, it’s the healthiest dressing room I’ve ever had,” Ancelotti said at the press conference in Helsinki.
The mixture of veterans who are an example to all, with Luka Modric and Karim Benzema leading the way, with youngsters who have seen in them the way to take on the world is reflected in a team that have found a way to make the hunger to win once again their hallmark.
An impressive level of football
Above all, though, there is Real Madrid‘s quality.
“It’s another level,” said Eintracht coach Oliver Glasner after his team’s defeat.
Ancelotti has built a team that has become even more compact and solid. In his second spell in charge of Real Madrid there is only one game in which they lost by more than one goal – their 4-0 defeat to Barcelona in last season’s Clasico.
At the back, Thibaut Courtois has become one of those goalkeepers that opponents face convinced that they are up against a wall. Upfront, Karim Benzema is the best player in the world and in the middle third, the CMK trident is still dominating.
Half as many European titles as all the English teams combined
Los Blancos already have 21 continental titles, as they have won 14 Champions League trophies, five Super Cups and two UEFA Cups.
That is half of all the titles won by English teams in history. And only one less than the Germans. Meanwhile, AC Milan and Barcelona have a combined 12 Champions League titles.