Currently, the Madrid Reserves’ team that Zidane continues to deny is a ‘B team’, have smashed 13 goals in their past 3 matches and look unstoppable. They are better than many starting eleven of genuinely decent teams around the world and boast of premium attacking talent. Of course, the main problem with any remotely good B-team is that it will most likely be broken apart quickly due to the abundance of talent that sits on the bench during important ties.
Admittedly, Zinedine “The Lucky General” Zidane has used them regularly this season even against tough opponents where the results really matter. So far, they have lived up to the great expectations and continue to deliver performance after performance. The following players form part the famous B team:
Casilla: Former youth player at the club, bought back for a modest sum of €6M from Espanyol after the departure of club legend, Iker Casillas. Always solid when called upon.
Danilo: Bought for €31.5M from Porto as a marquee signing to provide solid competition for the right back role. So far, Carvajal looks heads and shoulders above the Brazilian (only figuratively!) but as a cover full-back, very few clubs can match the luxury.
Coentrāo: Acquired for €30M in 2011 as a possible replacement for Marcelo. He has had torrid time ever since, especially suffering many injuries but is a very decent player on his day.
Pepe: Bought for €30M ten years ago and is well on his way to becoming a club legend. He only finds himself on this list due to the injuries he has suffered recently, which puts him here by default.
Nacho: Born and bred in Madrid, this academy product has proven his worth by adequately covering any injury laden role across the whole of defence throughout this season.
Kovacic: Purchased for €31M from Inter largely as a utility player that could provide quality cover in case of injuries. So far, he has had little game time but has been able to show his immense quality in these short periods.
James: Bought for €75M after a stunning 2014 World Cup, fell out of the starting line-up when Zidane was appointed but continues to perform despite his meagre playing time.
Isco: The former Los Che prodigy was bought for €30M and has produced brilliant performances and sublime touches ever since. His presence here says more about the quality of those keeping him out as opposed to his own.
Asensio: Stolen from Mallorca for €3.5M and has proven to be an absolute gem. He keeps getting better with each passing game and looks like a genuine world-class player in the making.
Lucas: Former academy player, bought back cheaply for €5M when the club exercised a buy back clause. Very hard hardworking and useful player to the team.
Morata: Former Academy player as well, however the buy-back clause was expensive at €30M but has been worth every penny. He has outscored main striker Benzema in the league with 15 goals to the latter’s 9. Has more overall goals too, with 20 compared to the Frenchman’s 17. Hard to seem stat content with a bit part role from the bench.
Upwards of €270M spent on talent over a long period has led to the creation of this glorious reserves’ team. Debates continue to rise about what this team could achieve on its own; such as finishing top 4 in the premier league? Reaching quarter finals of the champions league? These are difficult questions that will forever leave people questioning how great they could be on their own. Nevertheless, this massive strength in depth possessed by Madrid show exactly why they are close to clinching a La Liga and Champions League (consecutive title!) double.
Article by: Yahya, @Mahyze