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Real Madrid updates: Will Kylian Mbappe lead Madrid to another Champions League title next season?

We analyse how Kylian Mbappe can fit into an already prolific Real Madrid attack, his impacts on the team and personal achievement.

Kylian Mbappe

After a prolonged speculation and rift with Paris Saint-Germain, Kylian Mbappe’s eagerly awaited move to Real Madrid has been completed, prompting a strategic reinforcement at a club already brimming with elite talents in attack.

With the Spanish Champions recouping their prime target, head coach, Carlo Ancelotti now has the desirable task of integrating Mbappe into an already star-studded squad.

With Toni Kroos retiring and Luka Modric gradually reducing his involvement due to age, the Frenchman could be incorporated into different roles and tactical formations.

Football Talk analyses how the Frenchman can fit into an already prolific Madrid attack, his impacts on the team and personal achievement, as well as Madrid’s biggest rivals next season.

The Don Carlo effect

Carlo Ancelotti is familiar with the complexities of integrating superstars into his teams, as exhibited in Jude Bellingham and Arda Guler.

Following a remarkably successful season, where he guided his team to victories in both the Champions League and La Liga, the 65-year-old now faces the challenge of determining the optimal way to fit Mbappe into his extraordinarily talented lineup.

The Italian coach holds the unique distinction of winning the top domestic leagues in all five of Europe’s major League’s and boasts more Champions League titles (five) than any other coach. Despite often being seen as the ultimate players’ coach rather than an elite tactician, he excels in both roles.

Ancelotti’s tactical adaptability is frequently underestimated, much like Mbappe’s versatility. Hence, wether it is the centre-forward role, or on the flanks, the former Chelsea boss knows best how to utilise his new star man, and Mbappe in turn is versatile enough to adapt.

Potential Ballon d’Or?

Throughout his career, Ancelotti has consistently devised innovative solutions to integrate superstars into his teams. At AC Milan, he skillfully fit four elite midfielders—Andrea Pirlo, Clarence Seedorf, Rui Costa, and Kaka—into three available positions, ensuring each player’s immense potential was fully realized.

Kaka is among the four Ballon d’Or winners who have earned the accolade under Ancelotti’s management, the highest for any coach. During his tenure at Milan, the Brazilian secured the award in 2007, while Andriy Shevchenko won it in 2004. At Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo claimed two of his five Ballon d’Or titles in 2013 and 2014 under Ancelotti, and Karim Benzema won it in 2022.

Bar the 2020 pandemic where the award was cancelled, Mbappe has consistently finished in the top 10 every year since 2017 and finished third in the last nominations behind Erling Haaland and Lionel Messi.

With his move to Madrid now completed, Mbappe’s name will definitely be brought up in the discussion and it is only a matter of when, not if, for the France International to clinch the prestigious award.

More goals for Madrid next season

The missing link for some time has been a clinical goal-scorer — a third offensive force to create opportunities and space for Vinicius Jr., Jude Bellingham, and Rodrygo Goes.

Recall the first leg at the Bernabeu against Manchester City in the Champions League, where Madrid squandered numerous chances, and the second leg where Vinicius was left isolated during transitions. Mbappe significantly raises the team’s potential in such scenarios and fans with Real Madrid tickets are excited to see how the Frenchman can impact the team.

Mbappe is the type of player who can elevate this already outstanding team to new heights. His magnetic presence, dribbling skills, goal-scoring ability, link-up play, and passing are all top-notch, leaving defenders bewildered and trailing behind.

In the 2023-24 season, Jude Bellingham, Rodrygo, and Vinicius Junior collectively netted 59 goals across all competitions.

Mbappe alone scored 44 goals last season in just 48 matches, more than double the individual tally of Madrid’s current attacking trio.

The France captain is not merely a scorer of spectacular goals; he is a prolific goal-scorer of crucial goals at the crucial moment and an embodiment of the phrase ‘cometh the hour, cometh the man’.

Champions League domination

At 25, Mbappe has already participated in two World Cup finals, winning one and delivering one of the most remarkable individual performances ever in an international final in the other. Despite repeated shortcomings in the Champions League, he has never been part of a team like the one he is about to join. This current Madrid squad has a strong core that can stabilize the team on both ends of the field. As Mbappe enters his prime, he adds the final missing piece — a prolific scorer who can significantly increase the team’s margin for error.

Consider how Madrid secured their last two Champions League titles, enduring a gruelling run that saw them surpass teams like PSG, Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool, RB Leipzig, Bayern Munich, and Borussia Dortmund. In 2022, Madrid outscored their knockout stage opponents 15-12. In 2024, the margin was 11-8.

Last season, during the seven knockout matches, Madrid secured three victories in regulation time: against Leipzig and Bayern at home, and Dortmund in the final.

This tally is bound to increase with Mbappe’s inclusion as more goals would be scored and more matches would be won in regulation time irrespective of the opponent, reminiscent of the Galacticos.

However, there remains one problem: Manchester City.

Main rivals

City has been Los Blancos’ biggest threat in the past couple of seasons. A comeback win in the 2021-22 season after Pep Guardiola had taken off his key players relieved the pressure on Madrid, who turned the game around to win 6-5 on aggregate.

Another intense clash in the 2022-23 season saw a feisty 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu before City completely dismantled the Champions League holders 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium.

It seems the winner of this tie is almost guaranteed the trophy, as Madrid once again defeated the Cityzens on penalties en route to their Champions League triumph last season.

For Madrid to sustain their perpetual, seemingly endless dynasty, they will need to overcome the challenge posed by Pep Guardiola’s side each year. This squad is now constructed to defeat teams of that calibre.

In La Liga, no team came close to matching them. The Champions League proved more challenging, but the team still managed to advance.

In the upcoming season, Madrid are anticipated to dominate Spain once again. They lost only one match last season, boasting a goal difference of 61 – the highest in the league, having scored an impressive 87 goals and conceded just 26.

Their fiercest rival, Barcelona, face financial constraints but are also aiming to add quality players within their budget to strengthen their squad.

Hansi Flick is renowned for his total dominance in every competition he has participated in, as demonstrated during his brief tenure at Bayern Munich – where he won every available trophy the Bavarians contested.

It is unlikely he will replicate that success with Barcelona next season against a Madrid side aiming to surpass their goal-scoring record and point tally from the previous season.

With Ancelotti’s side pursuing their 16th Champions League title, 37th Laliga and an inevitable triumph in the Club World Cup, the addition of Mbappe doesn’t make this a mere speculation, it makes it a possibility and the French man will ensure to bring it to reality.

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