Real Madrid Rule Spain Again

Real Madrid have been crowned Spanish champions after a 2-1 victory over Villarreal on Thursday night, taking the title with a run of 10 consecutive victories since action restarted last month.

It has been an impressive turnaround for Zinedine Zidane’s team, who finished 19 points behind Barcelona last season with virtually the same squad.

And the title triumph represents a new era for Los Blancos, who have become a very different team—for the better—since Zidane returned for his second tenure at the Bernabeu last March.

Zidane has always been hailed for his management abilities, with his regal aura allowing him to command respect and instil unity.

In the past, though, it was regularly suggested that the Frenchman was tactically weak, broadly limiting his strategy to sending out his best players and trusting them to find their own solutions.

That resulted in an inconsistent team, capable of turning on the style often enough to win three consecutive Champions League crowns but unable to withstand the game-by-game rigours of an arduous league campaign.

After finishing miles behind Barcelona in the past two title races, though, Zidane identified his team’s weaknesses and rectified them.