It is time for a new era at Real Madrid. ⚪🔥

In football, transitioning a playing squad is often an extremely challenging and uncertain task. Even teams that have seemed invincible for a long time can find themselves in trouble overnight. Manchester United, for instance, has been in a transitional period ever since the departure of Alex Ferguson and the ‘Class of 92,’ demonstrating that even immense financial resources are no guarantee of maintaining a high level of competitiveness.

In the previous decade, Barcelona was a dominant force in European football for a long time, but since the departure of Neymar and the breakup of the MSN trio, they have not played a central role in the Champions League. After Lionel Messi’s departure, the club is now facing one of the toughest challenges for a club of its stature – the pressure to build a champion team without shortcuts in the transfer market.

Real Madrid, in this context, is a story of its own. The Madrid club lost a long list of key players in a relatively short time. In sync with their departures, a new generation grew and developed, returning and leading the royal club to where it feels most at home – at the top.

From the champions in Kiev, only Dani Carvajal and Luka Modrić remain.

In 2018, Real Madrid won the Champions League for the third consecutive time, starting the match against Liverpool with the lineup: Navas, Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo, Casemiro, Modrić, Kroos, Isco, Benzema, and Ronaldo.

With the recent retirement of Kroos, only two players from that team remain – Carvajal, who scored a goal in the Champions League final, and Luka Modrić, who today serves as an extension of the coach on the field and a voice in the locker room, always setting a fantastic example for those stepping into the shoes of their famous predecessors.

The weeks following the European Championship win should have been hellish for Real. Cristiano Ronaldo, the club’s best player in history, left, and unexpectedly, so did the trophy-laden coach Zinedine Zidane. This marked the end of an era but also the beginning of a new one – in the same transfer window, Federico Valverde was promoted to the first team, Thibaut Courtois arrived from Chelsea, and a player who would soon become the actual successor to Cristiano Ronaldo – Vinicius Junior – joined from Flamengo.

In 2019, Real Madrid made two major transfer mistakes, but looking back, it was an exceptional transfer window. Eden Hazard and Luka Jović did not become the ‘new Cristiano Ronaldo’ or the ‘replacement for Karim Benzema,’ but in the shadows of these two signings, players like Eder MilitaoFerland Mendy, and Rodrygo, who recently won the European Championship, joined Madrid.

In 2021 and 2022, the champion squad from the Kiev final against Liverpool finally broke up. In a very short period, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Gareth Bale, Marcelo, Isco, and Casemiro left the club. Meanwhile, in 2021, Zinedine Zidane departed again, after returning to Madrid to quickly fix the chaos left by Santiago Solari and Julen Lopetegui.

Simultaneously with the departures of the mentioned key players, Eduardo Camavinga, David Alaba, Antonio Rudiger, and Aurelien Tchouameni arrived in Madrid. Each, in their own way, paved the way into the first team and were largely relieved of the pressure to make an immediate impact.

Jude Bellingham was the penultimate piece, and Kylian Mbappe will be the final piece of the complete team renovation.

Real Madrid began this season with another unexpected blow, as Karim Benzema, who had become the team’s emblem after Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure, left the club. The royal club started the season without a top-class number nine, but a perfect solution was found in Jude Bellingham, who was the penultimate piece of the puzzle in the team’s complete transformation.

The final piece will be Kylian Mbappe, the ‘missing’ number nine, who will complete the cycle. The greatest accomplishment is that Real Madrid built a new champion team simultaneously with the departure of big stars and now has a young and top-quality team that might have even more spectacular seasons ahead than this one.

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