Real Madrid’s expectations heightened due to La Décima success

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By Meghan D’Amore. Last season was a banner one for Spanish football giants Real Madrid – who are still revelling in the triumph of their first Champions League trophy since 2002 – and, to top it off, saw arch-rivals Barcelona throw away the La Liga title on their own turf just weeks earlier. Embed from Getty Images Real Madrid have won a record 10 European Cups and a record 32 La Liga titles, befitting of the club’s royal status. Real continuously top the list of the world’s richest clubs and constantly attract some of the most talented players out there. What’s more, the club draws in hordes of supporters from all around the globe – many of whom flock to the Santiago Bernabeu after securing their tickets in advance, for example here. Real couldn’t have chosen better opposition to play against to secure their dominance in European football on a tense night in Lisbon last May, as local rivals Atlético Madrid lined up against them for the Champions League final. The force of Diego Simeone’s team had been largely unmatched up to that point, but they still shocked many by beating both Real and Barcelona to the La Liga title. However, the extra-time thriller saw Real overwhelm their opponents, comprehensively sealing their long-awaited ‘La Décima’ with a 4-1 victory. But such status, of course, comes at a cost. Fans, players, and pundits alike expect success – and failure is simply not an option. With the enormous amounts of cash afforded for transfer fees and wages, Real’s managers essentially live in the hot seat, facing pressure from all sides in a climate where second chances are hard to come by and excuses are unacceptable. Whilst current boss Carlo Ancelotti has delivered the much-anticipated 10th European Cup, he must still continue to prove his worth with each and every match. Nevertheless, Ancelotti’s job is likely safe as the team are in a good position to challenge again this season. With Cristiano Ronaldo’s leadership in attack and his incredible record of 58 goals in 58 Champions League matches, the club are heading for another strong charge at the continent’s most coveted trophy. Real also currently sit atop the table in Spain and look keen to ferociously battle it out with Barcelona for the league title. This season has already seen the club notch 22 wins in a row in four competitions during the run up to the winter break. However, holding on to their European crown is undoubtedly Real’s main aim this season, despite the fact that back-to-back Champions League victories have not yet been achieved since the inception of the competition’s current format in 1992. Rightly or wrongly, the demand for such an incredible feat is now strong by nature from both the fans and the board. This only increases the pressure on Ancelotti, and failing to produce a consecutive Champions League title may just see him ousted from his position. Attaining a prominence such as Real’s on the global scale comes after a history of determination and achievement. After years of challenging and surpassing some of the world’s most elite teams, Real have earned the right to be revered; and their fans have earned the right to expect excellence. Though it took them 12 years to seal a 10th European Cup, the expectations have been ramped up once more and the burden lies on the shoulders of Ancelotti and his team to continue the legacy. Follow @thefootylady

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