May 17, 2016 in Matches
Real Madrid made a big effort to stay on top of the La Liga title race this 2015-2016 season. With 12 straight wins from March to May, they came very close – sadly, not close enough. Barcelona defended their championship title and once again claimed first place on the Primera Division ladder.
The Battle to Second Place
It was a tough season for Real Madrid. Their first defeat came last November in a 2-3 match against Sevilla. This defeat at the hands of the Andalusians was quickly followed by a 4-0 loss to Barcelona at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
After this humiliating loss against Barca, Real Madrid turned the tides before 2015 ended with a 10-2 win against Rayo Vallecano – a match that was a particular highlight this La Liga season. When the New Year rolled in, a disappointing 2-2 draw with Valencia say Florentino Perez finally bring the curtain down on Rafael Benitez’s short-lived coaching career. Benitez was heavily criticized for his contribution (or lack of) to Real’s season, particularly the 4-0 defeat to Barca.
After Benitez was sacked, Zinedine Zidane was brought on board. Zizou’s coaching was key to Real’s improved performance, with 23 goals scored in the first half dozen games alone.
Unfortunately, two more draws against Real Betis and Malaga, and a loss to Atletico Madrid would prove to be damaging to Real’s hope for the first place title. With Barcelona playing with full force, Real Madrid was left without silverware once more.
Now, fans await to see Real face off against Atletico in the UEFA Champions League Final. For a shot at the Championship title and top football stats, Real has to bring nothing less than its A-game.
Player of the Year
For the 2015-2016 football season, an obvious choice for Player of the Year would be Cristiano Ronaldo with 35 La Liga goals and 16 UEFA goals thus far. Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema also certainly deserve a mention, with 19 La Liga goals and 24 La Liga goals respectively.