Real Madrid have yet to play a single Copa America game, just like any other team that participates in the Supercopa De Espana early next year. Every team in that competition got to just watch the other teams go to work while they prepare themselves for the draw and the games that follow.
The draw was on Friday, and as it turns out, Real Madrid will play CD Alcoyano in January. Yes, they’re the same team that Real faced last season. More importantly, Real lost to that team, and they now know what to expect.
Real Madrid will be looking for revenge when they face Alcoyano in the Copa Del Rey
It sounds odd to say that Real Madrid want revenge over a team that is in the same division as their second team, Real Madrid Castilla, but that’s how football works sometimes. Real Madrid shockingly lost 2-1 at Alcoyano last season in extra-time, and they just didn’t look more off than that last season. They had an aura of complacency in that game, and it just showed that Los Blancos didn’t want to be there. They felt like they didn’t deserve to face that team, and that they were holding back to face a better team. The simple lack of urgency and intensity played a huge role in their loss that time around.
That’s where they were wrong. You can’t do that against a team that has literally nothing to lose. Real need to give them respect for being there, for playing against them while also showing a far better version of themselves than they did last time.
The positive side of things is that I haven’t really seen Real play like that in a while this season. They’ve been getting wins over most of their opponents, having won 10 games in a row. Yes, there have been weird performances this season, a couple of which have resulted in losses, but I think that the Alcoyano loss, coupled with the losses to Shakhtar last season taught them a lesson to not really take any team lightly.
Real Madrid simply do not like losing, be it against a not-so-good team or against world-beaters. We can see that after they enjoyed the two wins over Shakhtar this season after losing two to the same team last season, and judging by how things go about at Real Madrid, Alcoyano will probably face the same fate.
We’re not even talking about the fact that the Alcoyano loss must have hurt them even more than we think it did. It was a fourth division team that took the then-reigning Spanish champions to extra time and beat them. That does not happen often. I think the players would be more pumped up to face them and they will do their best to make sure that they get their revenge.
Like I said, they will need to show intensity, they would need to be more attentive and they will have to want it more. It doesn’t matter which opponent you’re facing, if you don’t want to win, chances are that, well, you won’t. They will need to be wary of any threat that Alcoyano pose, which is very important considering they conceded two goals from only five shots faced.
I think the managerial position plays a part in this as well. I’m not saying Zinedine Zidane didn’t want to win the Copa Del Rey. I think he did want to as it was the only trophy missing from his resume. But Carlo Ancelotti knows what it feels like to win that trophy, having won it during his very first season at Real Madrid, so he will look to prepare that team in a different way.
This would be Real Madrid’s 14th time facing Alcoyano, according to Bdfutbol. They’ve won seven games, lost three, and drawn the remaining three. with the last couple of wins coming under Jose Mourinho in the 2012-13 season. Real won 4-1 and 3-0, with current striker Karim Benzema also grabbing a couple of goals against the team back then.
I think that if Carlo Ancelotti plays most of his youngsters along with a couple of veterans or his trusted starters, they should be able to win the game without much hassle. But they will have to give Alcoyano the respect that they deserve. You can’t be complacent in football. Not against the third division teams, and certainly not against the best teams. Players like Andriy Lunin, Luka Jovic, along with a couple of Castilla players – potentially, at least – should get some game-time in this game, as Real look to get revenge over Alcoyano. It still feels weird to say.
Real Madrid and Alcoyano face off on January 4, 5, or 6.