El Centrocampista

Who will lead Los Blancos charge next season?

The Santiago Bernabeu is still one of the most magical places in all of football, Real Madrid are still one of the most magical teams in the world, but with the Special One as good as finished with the Galacticos who will take charge next season?

The bookmakers are at large trying to keep up with the latest rumours swirling in the mill, whilst an all too familiar Champions League failure has just dampened the team spirit for this season at least.

Of the many names being linked with the Spanish giants, there are a few interesting ones that strike me as a possible success but just who will be next in line for the most prestigious job in club football?

The bookies favourite at the moment is one Carlo Ancelotti.

The ex-Chelsea man is currently plying his trade with PSG, soon to be French champions, but would reportedly relish a move to the Galacticos. The nonchalant Italian knows football incredibly well and more importantly, knows how to win; a trait that is necessary to succeed at the Bernabeu. Ancelotti won eight major honours in an eight year spell at AC Milan, including two Champions League titles, before moving to Chelsea at the start of the 09/10 season, where he won the F.A cup and Premier League double in his debut season. His first full season in Paris seems destined to end with another league victory.

The popular manager would suit the occasion perfectly and has a wealth of experience to bring to the club. His pedigree for Europe also appeals to los Blancos, who are nearing 12 years without a Champions League crown.

Next on the list of potential suitors is a man who would fit Mourinho’s shoes quite comfortably in theory, Andre Villas Boas. The charismatic Spurs manager is close to qualifying for the Champions League with Tottenham and followed his old mentor all around Europe as a number two, before making the step on his own firstly as Porto boss and then Chelsea. Villas Boas hasn’t enjoyed the immediate success that his old friend had, but is a young manager with a lot of potential.

His knowledge of the game is undoubted and his tactics have worked wonders with Spurs at times, particularly with a certain Gareth Bale. If reports are to be believed, then Bale himself may be on the way to the Bernabeu, possibly following his current gaffer there. Spurs play in a similar manner to Madrid so the move may not be a million miles away, and with added quality to manage, it could well be a masterstroke.

Lastly is another young manager from the Premier League and also an old legend of the Spaniards. Michael Laudrup enjoyed a very successful two seasons in Madrid as a player in the mid-90s, helping to break the stranglehold of their sworn rivals Barcelona. He is still loved and revered by the Madrid faithful, and isn’t too bad as a manager either.

After a successful spell as Brondby manager in his homeland from 2002-06, the elegant Dane spent time at Getafe, Spartak Moscow and Real Mallorca before finding a job with new Premier League favourites Swansea City. He led the Swans to a League Cup triumph this season, the first major trophy in the clubs history. Losing him would be a huge blow for the Welsh outfit, but the lure of the Santiago Bernabeu may be too hard to turn down. He has the temperament and class to manage los Blancos, and remains huge a role model to today’s stars.

Other names have been mentioned, such as Rafa Benitez and Diego Simeone, but the three above may just be the most intriguing.

Whoever ends up at the Spaniards next season faces a hard task to reinvigorate the team and find new ways of overtaking their Catalan rivals. Rest assured that this saga is far from over, and I’m sure many more names will enter the fray before their next appointment.

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