Los Blancos are the most successful team in European football, making them a favourite to take over in Football Manager 2020.
They hold the record for La Liga titles with a massive 33 and for Champions League wins at 13.
For generations they have been the home of the most talented footballers in the world.
In 2000, President Florentino Perez ushered in the Galacticos era and Real Madrid’s global popularity took off. From Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham and eventually Cristiano Ronaldo, if a world-class player has been looking to move, Real Madrid have been interested.
Last summer they brought in Eden Hazard after they failed to claim a major trophy.
Can you take over and lead Madrid back to the top of global football and extend their records?
You would expect “win everything” to be required of you, but actually the expectations of the board are fairly reasonable.
You are expected to win La Liga, which means beating bitter rivals Barcelona, but the quarter-final is your minimum expectation for the Champions League.
You do have to sign high-reputation players and those under the age of 23. That will be tricky but there are some names out there that will want to move to Madrid.
So, if you need to win La Liga you will need some strong tactics to make sure you pick up every point you can.
Tactical style & formation
Real Madrid have a lot of attacking talent, so any forward-thinking style would fit them.
The best in FM20 are gegenpress and vertical tiki-taka. Given Madrid’s squad gegenpress fits best, with a 4-2-3-1 Wide formation to get your best players on the pitch.
Your starting XI will be Thibaut Courtois in goal with a back four of Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, and Marcelo.
A central midfield duo of Casemiro and Toni Kross will help control tempo, while your front four of Gareth Bale on the right, Luka Modric in the middle, Eden Hazard on the left, and Karim Benzema up top score all the goals.
On the bench you’ll want Alphonse Areola, Alvaro Odriozola, Eder Militao, Isco, Marco Asensio, Vinicius Junior, and Luka Jovic.
Be sure to rotate regularly. Real Madrid has a lot of attacking talent who will get upset if you aren’t playing them.
Real Madrid’s squad is full of quality footballers that could be starting for nearly any other team in the world. You will have some selection headaches, but regularly rotating your forwards and maybe loaning out one or two players will help.
|Eden Hazard||AM (RLC)||28||181/185||20 dribbling, 20 agility, 19 penalty taking|
|Karim Benzema||ST||31||174/178||18 passing, 18 technique, 17 vision|
|Gareth Bale||M (L)|
|29||173/186||19 long shots, 18 off the ball, 18 heading|
|Luka Modric||M (C)|
|33||173/180||19 passing, 19 first touch, 18 vision|
|Sergio Ramos||D (C)||33||172/174||20 heading, 20 determination, 19 leadership|
As you can see, Madrid has talent all over the field. One problem on the horizon is that a lot of their best players are starting to reach their decline years and will soon retire. You’ll need to be ready to replace them…
Thankfully, there are some young stars waiting in the wings for Real Madrid. Some are ready to contribute right away despite their age, but some will need a little seasoning.
Vinicius Junior – CA 2.5 star (144), PA 4.5 star (160-190)
Arriving in July 2018 from Flamengo in Brazil, Vinicius Junior is already carving out a role for himself in the first team for Madrid despite being a teenager.
In FM20 he has all the potential in the world. A natural left winger, he already has 18 determination, 17 acceleration, and 17 dribbling. His CA of 144 makes him a comfortable starter against most La Liga opposition, while his PA range of 160-190 means he could be one of the best players in the world eventually.
Rodrygo – CA 2 star (130), PA 4.5 star (160-190)
In a similar mould to Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo agreed a deal with Real Madrid before the age of 18 and moved from Brazil to Spain as soon as he could.
A natural striker and left winger, he comes with 19 natural fitness, 16 agility, and 15 dribbling. His 160-190 PA range means get him game time when you can so he develops into a world-beater.
Martin Calderon – CA 1.5 star (140), PA 3.5 star (140-170)
One of Real Madrid’s issues is that their midfield is aging. Martin Calderon could be the solution. He entered the Real Madrid youth system in 2013 and has progressed up to the Castilla side.
In FM20 he brings 18 determination to the team immediately, with 14 passing, 14 vision, and 14 technique to help move the ball around. His CA is already at the bottom of his PA range, so either loan him out or make sure he gets first-team minutes to push his progress forward.
Starting transfer budget: £51.67 million
Remaining transfer budget: £132,000 a week
There aren’t exactly many weaknesses to the Real Madrid squad, but the inevitability of time will create a few.
Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos are 33, so replacing them is the first priority. Real Madrid helped you out by adding Eder Militao in the summer, so finding a midfielder should be top of the list.
Christian Eriksen may seem out of Madrid’s price range, but he is in the final year of his contract with Tottenham. If you swoop in with a low-ball offer he is likely to refuse to enter negotiations with them, opening the door for you to sign him on a free transfer.
|Mikel Oyarzabal||22||Real San Sebastian||Spain||154/167||£40m||£37k|
|Nabil Fekir||25||Real Hispalis||France||153/158||£37.5m||£59k|
Real Madrid not only have extremely strong cachet with players around the world, but they have incredible financial power too. In future years your transfer budget is going to be enormous, upwards of £130 million.
This means you have the opportunity to go out and buy some true global stars.
Karim Benzema is a quality player, but he isn’t that strong in front of goal. Harry Kane and Lautaro Martinez are both strong options to throw money at. Meanwhile, Dayot Upamecano would be a solid long-term option to be your new centre back in place of Sergio Ramos.
Real Madrid has a few players entering the final year of their contract when you take over.
Several key stars are included here. Luka Modric, Sergio Ramos, Nacho, and James Rodriguez all need dealing with.
Rodriguez should be sold immediately to cash in on his value, while both Modric and Ramos could both be handed one-year extensions but at reduced rates.
READ MORE: FM20: Arsenal team guide
Sergio Reguilon, currently on loan, is a solid left-back that could be retained too.
Karim Benzema, Lucas Vazquez, and Casemiro are all on contracts that expire in June 2021. Casemiro is a must-keep but both Benzema and Vazquez could be let go if you sign a big-name striker.
Win it all, crush your rivals
It’s tough to make your mark on a club that already has such a storied past. However, it is possible with time and success.
The best way to do this is by crushing Barcelona and keeping them off the top of La Liga for year after year. It won’t be easy, and Atletico Madrid should not be dismissed either. However, given the prestige and financial muscle at your disposal, the utter domination of both Spain and Europe is certainly possible.
Full Real Madrid player ratings
|Thibaut Courtois||27||GK||SK||Defend||3.5 star||162/183|
|Dani Carvajal||27||D (RL)|
|Sergio Ramos||33||D (C)||BPD||Defend||4 star||172/174|
|Raphael Varane||26||D (C)||BPD||Defend||3 star||159/172|
|Gareth Bale||29||M (L)|
|Luka Modric||33||M (C)|
|Eden Hazard||28||AM (RLC)||IW||Support||4.5 star||181/185|
|Karim Benzema||31||ST||DLF||Attack||4 star||174/178|
|Substitutes & Reserves|
|Alphonse Areola||26||GK||SK||Support||2.5 star||150/154|
|Alvaro Odriozola||23||D (R)||WB||Attack||3 star||154/163|
|Eder Militao||21||D (RC)|
|Marco Asensio||23||AM (RLC)||W||Attack||3 star||151/165|
|Vinicius Junior||18||AM (L)|
|Luka Jovic||21||ST||Poacher||Attack||3 star||156/170|
|Nacho||29||D (RLC)||WB||Defend||2.5 star||150/158|
|Lucas Vazquez||28||M (R)|
|James Rodriguez||27||M (RLC)|
|Ferland Mendy||24||D (L)|