With Chelsea winning the Champions League a debate has begun as to who the next “Kings of Europe” will be. The past year saw Barcelona holding the title as King. Some say they are still kings but after losing La Liga and failing to win Champions League, the argument can be made that the title could belong to another team.
Over the next couple of weeks we’ll look at a few teams who could lay claim to the title next year. In this installment we look at arguably the perennial favorites to be crowned Kings of Europe in 2013, Real Madrid.
Before Real Madrid can become Kings of Europe they need to become “Los Reyes de Espana.” And to do so they need to dethrone Barcelona as not only the Kings of Europe but the Kings of Spain.
2012 saw Real Madrid finally end Barcelona’s 3-year reign as champion of Spain and they did so at a record-breaking pace. For the first time in the history of the top European leagues, a team finished a top their league table with 100 points. Real Madrid also set La Liga records for most wins in a season (32), most away wins (16), and highest goal differential (+89).
While Barcelona isn’t going away anytime soon, they are in a sort of transition and they have left the door open for Real Madrid to take the throne. Winning back-to-back titles in La Liga and winning Champions League next year would go a long way in securing the throne for Los Merengues.
Or at least ONE of the best in the world. A section of the soccer world will argue Lionel Messi is the best. Some even argue Neymar is the best. But the clear 1A and 1B are Ronaldo and Messi. It’s almost unfair to compare the two since their style of play is different but its hard to avoid the comparisons when they both play for two of the biggest clubs in the world who also happen to be big rivals.
At any rate Real Madrid has one of the top two players in the world and that alone could help propel Madrid. At age 27, Ronaldo has already accomplished so much, yet his best years are still ahead of him. Ronaldo probably doesn’t compare his career and accomplishments to Messi but many fans and experts do. As of today, Ronaldo’s accomplishments are about on par with Messi’s especially after Real Madrid won La Liga. But Ronaldo must lead Los Blancos to a Champions League title to validate his carreer at Madrid.
The motivation for Ronaldo is there and he wants nothing more then to bring home Bernabéu’s first title since 2002. Doing so would forever cement his legacy in Real Madrid lore and it would also propel Los Blancos to Kings of Europe.
Wherever he goes, all he does is win. For more then a decade José Mourinho has been managing clubs at all levels throughout Europe. And no matter where he manages, his respecivie clubs find success they haven’t experienced in some time. After a breif stint at Benfica, Mourinho lead União de Leiria to their best finishes ever in The Primeira Liga.
This success caught the eye of Porto who scooped him up. Mourinho didn’t waste time bringing Porto titles including the Champions League title in 2004. From there he went on to Chelsea where he helped The Blues win their first top-flight domestic title in half a century (2005).
After a sudden departure from Chelsea, it didn’t take long for another club to pounce as Inter signed him to a three-year contract. Mourinho won just about every accolade possible including another Champions League title in 2010.
Fast-forward to today and Mourinho is quickly ascending Real Madrid to the European throne. In his first year (2010) Mourinho lead Real Madrid to their first Copa del Rey in eighteen years and this past season saw Los Blancos win La Liga. His team came up short in Champions League this year but Mourinho’s track record indicates it’s only a matter of time before Real Madrid lifts the trophy.
Doing so would propel Real Madrid to Kings of Europe.