What will El Clasico look like five years from now?
Five years ago, on the right or the wrong day, it looked like the six best teams in the world could stay that way forever.
In Pep Guardiola’s second season, Manchester City were approaching 100 points, a Premier League record. Juventus kept up with 95 points to win their seventh consecutive Serie A trophy. Bayern Munich beat the Bundesliga by 21 points.
Paris Saint-Germain wrested control of Ligue 11 from Monaco by signing a contract. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar before they started their campaign; it was only a matter of time until it turned into world domination. And Barcelona did what they almost always did, until Lionel Messi wore blaugrana: They have won La Liga for the seventh time in 10 years. Add to that Real Madrid, who also did what they almost always do: lost La Liga, but won the Champions League, finishing third in their country and at the same time winning the European title for the third year in a row and the fourth in the last five years.
In the midst of such dominance across the continent, it was really hard to imagine any other future, and although some things have remained the same – Bayern have an 85% chance, according to FiveThirtyEight, of winning their 11th Direct Bundesliga title – today the situation looks very different. -other. The Premier League is the dominant league in the world; two English teams other than Manchester City have won Champions League titles in that five-year period. Juventus have not won Serie A since the first year of the pandemic; they are now in seventh place. PSG lost another league title, this time to Lille, and regularly embarrassed themselves in Europe.
As for the two teams fighting in Classical this weekend?
Madrid lost Cristiano Ronaldo And Gareth Balethe two biggest stars of their famous front trio… and a 30-year-old third handlebar, Karim Benzema, became the owner of the Golden Ball, thanks to which Real Madrid won two league titles and another Champions League trophy in three years. Meanwhile, Barcelona lost to Messi and have not won La Liga since the pandemic. In each of the last two seasons they have been eliminated… from the Europa League.