Since the restart of the La Liga season in June, Real Madrid has won eight on the trot to sit on top of the table with a game in hand over nearest rival and defending champion Barcelona.
And according to former Barca player Luis Garcia, Madrid will continue its run in the remaining three matches to wrestle the La Liga title back to the capital.
“I think they are the favourite,” said Garcia. “I don’t see Real Madrid dropping points. They had struggled in a couple of games but they got the results despite not playing well. That’s most important, to arrive at this strange competition [after the coronavirus break] but get results,” he added.
The Spaniard picked out Sergio Ramos (five goals in seven matches) and Karim Benzema (four goals and two assists in eight) as the central figures in Madrid’s unbeaten run since the restart.
“They have been absolutely amazing. Ramos is scoring goals from the back and is the leader of the team and in the front Benzema with his goals and movement. He is the one to drop deep and create problems for opposition by moving the ball to the front. Thibaut Courtois has been integral too with his saves,” he said.
With Barca’s key players Lionel Messi (33), Gerard Pique (31), Luis Suarez (33), Sergio Busquets (31), Ivan Rakitic (31) and Jordi Alba (31) all over the age of 30, there is a sense that the board must refresh the playing side of the club.
However, Garcia feels it’s too early to suggest talks of transition as the club is still in the hunt for the La Liga and the Champions League title.
“Like any team, there is always a moment of transition. And it can be from one year to three to many years. I remember when I signed for Barca in 2003, it was a moment of transition. They had gone 4-5 years without winning a trophy. Two years after that they won everything. So it could be a moment of transition but if you look at their squad, it looks good.
“They are trying to move to the future generation. Riqui Puig and Ansu Fati are players who are adding so much talent. They are going to learn so much with the experienced players around them. So it could be a transition but if they win Champions League or La Liga, it won’t be a transition year. We can talk about transition when they don’t win a trophy,” he said.
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