End of Season Report Card – La Liga 2017/2018

Real Madrid have finally finished a La Liga season that they would classify as a massive failure as they find themselves in third place behind Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. Some extremely poor performances in the earlier matches of the season are the main cause to Los Blancos’ third place rank as the teams above them were not necessarily better but they were a lot more consistent.

End-Of-Season La Liga Report Card:

Goalkeepers – 

Keylor Navas – B
Keylor Navas is probably the only reason why Real Madrid were able to find themselves fighting for a UEFA Champions League spot during some very poor performances. The Costa Rican has continuously proven himself for the team. Was injured in the beginning of the season, which made it difficult for him to find his way in the early stages but once he got going, he never stopped being someone we should be thankful to have in our squad.

keylornavas

Kiko Casilla – C+
Last season, many were calling for Kiko Casilla to be our starting goalkeeper and they got their wish in the early stages of this campaign as Keylor Navas was out with injury. Unfortunately, even though Casilla had some good moments, he also showed that he isn’t good enough to be a starter for the team but definitely a very good substitute.

Luca Zidane – N/A
Being the third goalkeeper, Luca Zidane played most of his football with the Castilla squad but got a chance to make his Real Madrid debut in the final La Liga match of the season.

Defenders – 

Sergio Ramos – B
Sergio Ramos is our captain and was always able to take that role whenever he stepped on the pitch. As expected, it was yet another Sergio Ramos season filled with extreme highs but also extreme lows. Overall, nothing out of the ordinary.

Jesus Vallejo – C+
Took quite some time to really gain Zidane’s trust but once he did, we were able to see more of him on the pitch. He didn’t always have the greatest performances due to his inexperience but it’s clear that there is a lot more coming from the young Spaniard.

Nacho Fernandez – A-
Another player who has risen his game this season was Nacho as he was always prepared whenever Zidane called up on him. The Spaniard is one of the rare defenders that can play anywhere along the back line and that was an advantage that Zidane took advantage of.

Raphael Varane – A
This was easily his best season in a Real Madrid jersey as he was one of the bright lights in an otherwise forgettable campaign. It seems like the Frenchman’s injuries are finally behind him and now he is able to focus solely on his performances for the team.

raphavarane

Daniel Carvajal – C
Not his best season for Real Madrid. Putting aside the injuries, Carvajal never really seemed to reach the levels that we saw from him last year. During some moments, we were able to see his true capabilities but overall, it has to go down as a disappointing season for the right-back.

Achraf Hakimi – C-
Brought up the ranks from Castilla to join the Real Madrid first team and after Zidane placed a lot of trust in the young Moroccan, he realized that the player is simply not ready yet. Achraf Hakimi struggled a lot but also showed some promise so wouldn’t be surprised to see him go on loan next season.

Marcelo – C
Many would be happy as Marcelo brings his flair with him up front but that’s where the problem is. Marcelo was never a good defensive right-back but things were always able to cover up for him. This season, the space was apparent and his mistakes kept getting punished as practically every single manager realized just how much space is left in the back from the Brazilian.

Theo Hernandez – D
Coming in with a lot of expectations after his performances for Alaves last season and the fact that we purchased him from Atletico Madrid, Theo was a disappointment. Excuses were made for him earlier in the season as he may not have been used to the structure or the big stage but his performances haven’t improved as the season went on. It would be a little surprising if he left the club but at the same time, I think he will if Los Merengues find a better player in the market.

Midfielders – 

Carlos Casemiro – B-
Defensively, Carlos Casemiro has improved and to a certain extent he has been able to control his random outbursts. I could be mistaken but his distribution of the ball has been a lot worse this year. He struggles when the ball is with him. If it wasn’t for his consistent defensive displays, I would genuinely question why he is even in the squad.

Marcos Llorente – D+
Another player who really failed to meet expectations was Marcos Llorente who, alongside Theo, had a great season on loan at Alaves. He was brought in to be Casemiro’s backup but instead he struggled and was used at times when Real Madrid have practically won the game.

Toni Kroos – A
A German machine. Toni Kroos had his ups and downs throughout the season but he was always there when needed. The midfielder was one of the solid blocks of the team throughout the campaign and has shown his importance to the squad whenever required.

tonikroos

Mateo Kovacic – A-
Not a starter for the team but had many chances to impress which is exactly what he did. Mateo Kovacic has shown that he is almost ready to take over from Luka Modric and he is definitely good enough to be a part of the Los Blancos squad.

Luka Modric – A-
A very good season for Luka Modric who has displayed his importance to the team time and time again. A little worrying though as it seems like his age is finally catching up to him as he looked fatigued towards the end of the season and had problems finishing 90 minutes.

Isco – B
Many people are continuing to absolutely admire Isco since his major performances last season and find it difficult to admit that he has dipped during points this season. This is not me taking away from his ability but rather wondering why he shows up whenever he wants. It looks like he got a little too comfortable at some point but ended the season strong as he fights for his place in the UEFA Champions League Final.

Dani Ceballos – C
One of the newcomers that had a lot of expectations. Unfortunately for him, he barely got a chance to live up to them as Zidane opted to not even call him up for a majority of the matches. It will be interesting to see what happens with him in the summer as he is undoubtedly one of the biggest talents in the world right now. If we let him go, we will 100% regret it.

Marco Asensio – B
A lot of people saw what Marco Asensio was capable of during his early days and thought that maybe that’s what he will do in every game. He hasn’t had a very consistent season but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t able to show up when needed. His skills are apparent and very mature for his age as Zidane counts on the Spaniard a lot.

Forwards –

Lucas Vazquez – A
He admitted it himself, this was his best ever season in his professional career. It may have started off a little slow but has improved in ways no one could have predicted. Lucas Vazquez has become an important part of the squad and I do not see him going anywhere in the summer

Gareth Bale – C
As expected, Gareth Bale spent a massive amount of time on the injury list. He started off the season brilliantly then had problems whenever he came back from injuries. Towards the final months of the campaign though, he showed his capabilities and has ended the season with 16 goals, the only one ahead of him is Cristiano Ronaldo.

Cristiano Ronaldo – B+
The first half of the season was regrettable to say the least as Cristiano Ronaldo spent the first month out with a suspension then came back but failed to live up to his usual standards. He was struggling and the media had their fun of course. Then as soon as the second half of the season began, the Portuguese was revitalized! With an incredible 26 goals in La Liga (4 came in the first half), CR7 has proven yet again that he can never ever be written off.

cr7

Karim Benzema – C-
Not a good season for Karim Benzema as he ended it with his worst goal tally since joining the club. The Frenchman has still come up with some extremely positive moments but overall this is one that he will want to forget as soon as possible.

Borja Mayoral – N/A
Hasn’t had the opportunity to make a significant impact as he was usually brought on if Real Madrid needed a goal or had nothing to play for. Scored a couple goals and will be happy with the contribution he was able to offer even with the lack of playing time.


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