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Shockingly, it all comes down to this, the last match-day of the Champions League group stage. Realโ€™s chances of progressing into the knockout stages of the Champions League, their season, their status as ever present UCL royalties, and Zidaneโ€™s future as head coach, are all on the line! There is also the extremely daunting (and very probable) chance of being relegated to the Europa League, a thing unprecedented.ย 

Just the thought of the record 13 times winners of Europeโ€™s premier competition playing on Thursday nights is utterly embarrassing for the notoriously high demanding Madrid fan-base, and quite shocking for the neutrals. Moreover, if Los Blancos fail to make it into the knockout stages of the UCL, it would surely be made worse by the fact that their eternal rivals FC Barcelona, a club in shambles, have already booked their place in the โ€˜Round of 16โ€™.

Now, the teamโ€™s chances of winning the match, and thus progressing further in the UCL have been given a massive boost by the return of the indispensable and ageless CB, the skipper of the team Sergio Ramos. Another major boost for Madrid is the return of Dani Carvajal, who has had an injury-stricken campaign up till nowย , because of which, Real have suffered very much, especially the back line. While Ramos needs no testament as to his importance to this Real Madrid side, Carvajal is vital to the team in transitions, both in attack and in defense. A backline containing a healthy Carvajal, Ramos, Varane and Mendy is easily the best defense in Europe!

Zidaneโ€™s Real Madrid sides, especially this one, have always had their fair share of inconsistent patches across the way to winning titles. However, this squad is probably the weakest Zidane has been ever given to manage. Still, if thereโ€™s one thing you come to learn as a football fan is never write Real Madrid off! Talent and ability has never been a question, complacency has been! This season, they have approached weaker opponents with a causal and complacent attitude, and have deservedly suffered! Although, one thing Real Madrid, as a club, always loves is turn the heat on in big matches.

Zidaneโ€™s men thrive in these kinds of situations, when the onus is on them, when they are criticized, when they have been written off. Zidane knows that he is walking a tightrope and so do the players. As Ramos recently said: โ€œTogether, we've come out of worse.โ€ The players know they canโ€™t afford dropping points tonight at all. The lads will give it their all!



ยกHala Madrid!