As explained in the preview of the tie between Real Madrid and Chelsea, the green has not seen too many clashes between these two clubs throughout history.a. With the entry of Russian capital, Londoners entered the elite of European football, but their rivalry in Europe with respect to LaLiga has been much more bitter with Barcelona (‘piques’ with Mourinho, Ronaldinho’s goal at the Bridge, the Iniestazo).
In their last knockout matches, Chelsea dropped Real Madrid in the semi-finals, but the Whites returned it to them in this season’s quarter-finals with a 1-3 at Bridge and ‘Killing’ the blues when they had already managed to come back at the Santiago Bernabéu in one of the many episodes of the 14th, the Champions League of comebacks.
Although their clashes are recent, so are their relationships in the transfer market. In this, Real Madrid has also taken advantage of the will of several stars who ended up convinced by the legacy of the club in the capital against the modern project of the most exclusive neighborhood in London.
The last to answer the white call and reject the one from London was the German Antonio Rüdiger. After a frenetic career that took him through numerous academies and various youth, London has been where he has spent the longest stretch of his career permanently. He settled in the elite in Roma from Stuttgart and shone at the top, being key for Chelsea to win the Europa League first and the Champions League later. As a free player, he had months to decide, and eventually Madrid beat the UK’s biggest city.
Here he will join Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois, also stars of the blue club at the time. While the goalkeeper has raised his level to the highest levels, confirmed this season in both the League and the Champions League, the winger still has to justify the hundred million euros that were invested in his signing. The man from La Louvière is not lacking in willpower and is going through the worst period of injuries in his career. “I arrived three years ago, but the injury passed, a lot of things… Next year I’m going to give everything for you!” assured the White 7 from Cibeles with microphone in hand before all the fans present.
One is already a star in Madrid after a tough first year, another arrived as a crack and has yet to prove himself due to injuries and the last one to arrive enters a situation similar to his two Belgian teammates.
Confirmed Stars vs. Blue Bets
Chelsea and Real Madrid have been exchanging players that Geremi and Makelele left Madrid in the summer of 2003. The French midfielder was key in that team to hold the midfielder and he was missed, but at the time it was understood as a sale necessary in order to bring together Los Galácticos at their peak with the entry of David Beckham.
This type of signings has been carried out by Chelsea at the Bernabéu, more in a betting tone and without touching any of the cracks, while the whites were more successful when it came to ‘stealing’ their stars. The first to do the London-Madrid was Arjen Robben. In 07/08, the Dutchman arrived as the first sword and played at a very good level, but injuries hampered his career in Madrid. Before giving the best of his careerthe arrivals of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaká, Benzema, Xabi Alonso or Arbeloa in 2009 with the consequent expense led him to leave for Munich, where he was confirmed among the five best players in Europe and was his great prop along with Ribéry.
The next two were two bets by Jose Mourinho. In 2010, the Portuguese attracted one of his soldiers, Ricardo Carvalho, to Madrid. The defender came to complete the squad, but he offered a great performance as a regular starter at defense alongside Pepe when Sergio Ramos was still playing on the right side. With less role and fewer minutes, Michael Essien also arrived in the last season in Madrid of the coach from Setúbal.
In the sales chapter, Real Madrid did know how to take economic advantage of two players who at that time were part of Zinedine Zidane’s ‘Unit B’ such as Mateo Kovacic and Álvaro Morata. The youth squad came from closing the best season of his career with 19 goals and four assists in 43 games played, but the barely 19 starts weighed. Chelsea saw the opportunity to sign a striker who had been on the rise at only 24 years of age and bet heavily on him until he became the third best-selling player in white history signing his departure at 66 million euros. Only Cristiano Ronaldo (€117 million to Juventus) and Di María (€75 million) left more money in the box for the whites than he did. Although the signing promised for the moment the player’s form and his characteristics, he did not adapt well to life in London, he had a bad personal moment and decided to leave the club in 2019, before two years were up, arriving on loan to one of the Whites’ great rivals, Atletico Madrid.
Kovacic experienced a similar case a summer later. The Croatian asked to leave in search of more minutes and Chelsea appeared as an option. Both clubs reached an agreement for a transfer, which ended in a purchase at the end of that campaign for 45 million euros, the fifth most expensive sale in white history, surpassed by two million by Mesut Özil. Kovacic fit in better than Morata, he settled in Chelsea and triumphs in blue in London, where he still continues. “I had my role in Madrid, but it wasn’t as important as the one I’m having here. It’s different. I like the fact of reaching a Champions League final with Chelsea because the truth is that I came here to win trophies, it is a club that is characterized by it”assured the midfielder in the preview of the 2021 final against Manchester City, making public what seemed obvious. Two members of Unit B whose departure to London reported 111 million euros.
At the moment, and with Hazard’s good intentions to recover, this Madrid is on its way to forming a backbone ‘made in Chelsea’ with its exporter, its former central defender and its former star in attack. Football, always capricious, could match their destinies again in the next Champions League, exchanging the role of current champion. Another one.
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A Madrid ‘made in Chelsea’