Real Madrid’s first half of the 2021-22 season has been absolutely superb, surpassing expectations both domestically and internationally to set up what could be a silverware-filled second half. They already secured their first trophy of the season last Sunday, beating Athletic Club in the final of the Spanish Super Cup. As for the other competitions, Atletico Madrid were the favorites in La Liga, but Real have taken control. In the Champions League, there were questions and a memorable low point in the group stage, but Los Blancos prevailed due to superb form. And they are also viewed as the favorite to win the Copa del Rey.
But how far can they realistically go in each competition? What is the worst-case scenario and how do I think they’ll do? Let’s dive in.
Real find themselves in first place in La Liga with a 15-4-2 record, boasting the league’s best attack (45 goals). They’ve scored 12 more goals than any other club, and they currently have a five-point lead atop the table with one more game played than Sevilla, who could cut it to two points.
If you want to know just how good they’ve been, you need to realize that the top two goal scorers in the league both play for them in Karim Benzema (17) and Vinicius Jr. (12).
While they don’t have the league wrapped up, it really seems like Sevilla are the only threat to the title, though not a very strong one.
Farthest they could go: Win the league
Worst-case scenario: Second place
Prediction: Win the league
Copa del Rey
They are into the round of 16 after winning their only game, and they’ll face Elche on Jan. 20 for a spot in the quarterfinals. Several other strong teams remain such as Athletic Bilbao, Barcelona, Real Sociedad, Atletico Madrid, Real Betis and Valencia, but none of those teams have the depth and quality of Real. They should cruise into the quarterfinals, and then a lot will have to do with the way things are drawn. The good thing for Real Madrid is, Athletic face Barca and Real Sociedad take on Atleti in the round of 16, so two of them will be out by the time the draw takes place. This is by far the least important competition on the mind of the club, but they could very well win it.
Farthest they could go: Win the cup
Worst-case scenario: Bounced in quarterfinals
Prediction: Win the cup
The biggest prize of them all. And I’m not going to lie here — Real did not look like they belonged in the conversation of even title dark horses back in September when they lost at home to Sheriff Tiraspol. The stunning upset sent shock waves through the club, and it was a turning point in their season. Since then, just in UCL, they’ve gone 4-0 with 12 goals scored and just one conceded to win Group D comfortably.
So what was their prize for winning the group? Oh, just having to face bitter rival Lionel Messi and his new club Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16 next month live on Paramount+. A tough draw for sure, while also facing their top target Kylian Mbappe, who is out of his contract this summer and rumored to covet a move to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Real have been the better, sharper side while PSG have looked simply average at times in Ligue 1, but across two legs it will be a tough task.
Farthest they could go: Win the cup
Worst-case scenario: Bounced in the round of 16 vs. PSG
Prediction: Bounced in the round of 16 vs. PSG
They have fantastic pieces everywhere, with Eder Militao becoming one of the strongest defenders in Europe, Thibaut Courtois looking good in goal and that stable midfield led by Toni Kroos and Luka Modric. But while they probably won’t win everything, Real Madrid currently are Spain’s best team and good enough to make a deep UCL run.