Real Madrid: Potential XI 2022/23
Rolling back to the start of 2013, few could have imagined the predicament Real Madrid have found themselves in today. A club, that has broken records across all competitions and remains, arguably, the most alluring establishment in world football, has undeniably witnessed a drop in their performances and achievements on the pitch.
Though Los Blancos have never been short of domestic silverware in their trophy cabinet, the club are yet to mount a significant challenge for the Champions League title in recent seasons. For a club that boasts the highest number of Champions League titles (13), Madrid have nowhere near been close to challenging for the cup since their title-winning European campaign in 2017-18. The departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus that summer and ageing performers in Gareth Bale, Marcelo, and Sergio Ramos, among others, were the determining factors in their impeded quest for a 14th European cup title.
Now, four years since their last Champions League title, Real are seemingly on the rise, with next summer’s transfer window set to be the most significant in the club’s recent history. The departures of Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos, this summer, hinted at a further backslide in ambition, however, by acquiring the services of Eduardo Camavinga and having made a genuine attempt to sign Kylian Mbappe, along with multiple world-class options lined up for next summer, Real could re-establish themselves as a powerhouse in European football, much sooner than expected.
Below, we take a look at Real Madrid’s prospective squad for next season and assess the impact of potential incomings alongside the world-class talent currently at the club.
New-Look Defence (Carvajal, Miltao, Alaba, Mendy)
Following the departures of two key centre-backs and Marcelo heading towards the final few years of his career, a change in defence was inevitable for the club’s new manager, Carlo Ancelotti, going into the season. David Alaba was one of the only two incomings this season, though, with another year under their built, Real will boast a formidable back-line provided their defenders remain fit and perform to their potential.
The likes of Eder Miltao and David Alaba possess the capability to perform to the standard of Varane and Ramos, though, it remains to be seen if the pair forge a formidable centre-back partnership at the European stage. Ferland Mendy has shown immense promise in his pursuit to succeed as an heir to the ageing Marcelo, however, injuries continue to plague his development. Dani Carvajal is a proven option at right-back, however, injury concerns have hindered his long-term potential to cement his place in the first team line-up.
Overall, provided they remain fit, Real could build an excellent foundation for a world-class team next summer. With several free agents and the need to capitalize on the precarious finances of rivals Barcelona, Los Blancos have the potential to dominate La Liga and European football if everything goes to plan next summer.
Refurbished Midfield (Casemiro, Pogba/Valverde, Camavinga/Kroos)
Having already acquired Eduardo Camavinga this summer, handed a four-year contract to Casemiro, and maintained a long-standing interest in Paul Pogba, Real could boast an all-star midfield next season. At 37, Luka Modric boasts incredible technical skill but is undeniably in the twilight of his career. Toni Kroos, too, has struggled with injuries, however, with the likes of Federico Valverde and Camavinga in line to succeed the German, Real may boast incredible dynamism in the midfield next season.
Paul Pogba will be a free agent following the end of his contract with Manchester United next summer. The Frenchman is likely to end up at Real Madrid, provided he decides against signing a new deal at United. Camavinga will likely play alongside his idol in Pogba, provided the 28-year-old ends up at Madrid. Given the wealth of potential and talent in Valverde, the youngster will add to the quality in the midfield department.
Carlo Ancelotti could potentially field the complete midfield department next season, provided Paul Pogba favours a move to the La Liga giants. The midfielder has repeatedly stated his ambition to play for Real Madrid, and, if the opportunity arises, it is likely the Frenchman prefers a move to Madrid over any other club next summer.
World-Class Frontline (Vinicius Jr./Hazard, Benzema/Haaland, Mbappe/Rodrygo)
All signs point towards Kylian Mbappe joining Real Madrid next summer after PSG rejected multiple approaches from Real to sign their star striker this summer. With Mbappe’s contract expiring at the end of the season, Real could potentially bag three of France’s best international talents in two summer windows. Additionally, with Erling Haaland, too, expected to leave Borussia Dortmund in the same window, Real could potentially bag two of the European Football’s most enamoured superstars in Haaland and Mbappe next season.
A revolutionized frontline could potentially see, Vinicius Jr, Haaland, and Mbappe line-up for Los Blancos next summer. In them, Real boasts three potential world-beaters for the next decade, thus, giving themselves an enormous opportunity to dominate domestically and in Europe for several seasons. Adding to that, in Benzema and Eden Hazard, the club have experienced winners who could provide the much-needed depth for the next few years.
Overall, with a promising future up-ahead, it is only a matter of time before Los Blancos returns to conquer Europe and La Liga in the coming seasons. In Carlo Ancelotti, the club have a reliable and proven figure in the managerial role. Adding to their ambition and supporters’ anticipation to see their club return to the top echelon of modern football, Real have the foundations and prospective plans in place to emerge triumphant following a dull period in their European runs in recent seasons.