Now that all the wheeling and dealing is complete or is supposed to be complete, considering the two player Madrid really wants are surprisingly out of its price range, let's take a look at Real's most pressing issue.
What formation will Manuel Pellegrini use to accommodate the enormous amount of talent accumulated at the Santiago Bernabeu?
To make things easier, let's assume as all the reports claim that the Dutch contingent will be gone next year, including winger Arjen Robben and midfielder Wesley Sneijder.
Also, the legendary Raul will be in the starting eleven if healthy in spite of what the critics say. Benzema will also likely start alongside Raul as there is pressure to recoup the investment shown in him and showcase all the "Galacticos" in the squad.
First up, the 4-1-2-1-2
Marcelo - Ronaldo
This formation would be ideal if Robben is kept, but Marcelo has proven himself as a capable left-winger. This also keeps the two main galacticos, Ronaldo and Kaka, in their preferred positions. It provides the team with great width, but leaves them weak defensively in the center of the pitch.
Thus, playing this formation against Barcelona would be treacherous as the Blaugrana would be able to hold a chokehold on possession in the midfield.
Next, let's take a look at Pellegrini's preffered 4-4-2 formation.
Guti - Diarra
Kaka - Ronaldo
This is more of a 4-2-2-2, featuring Kaka and Ronaldo as attacking midfielders, and relying on fullbacks to provide the width. Marcelo and Ramos love to play up the field, so this formation would be tailored to their attacking mentality.
Diarra provides the steel in the midfield, while Guti supplies the ball to the plethora of attacking talent in front of him. Guti gets the nod ahead of Gago and the double-pivot, because Madrid fans are demanding attacking football, though the option remains when Madrid are trying to protect a lead.
Ronaldo and Kaka would be given free roles, allowing them to interchange positions. This formation would provide them with ample room to showcase their immense talents. Thus its success would hinge on the relationship developed between Ronaldo and Kaka, and whether they can learn to play with each other.
Guti - Kaka
Benzema- Raul- Ronaldo
A neutral fan's dream as this would place the individual talents of El Clasico in direct comparison. Ronaldo v. Messi, Kaka v. Iniesta, Benzema v. Henry, Ramos v. Alves, Guti v. Xavi.
If their playing the same position, it would allow you to finally judge these individuals against each other and determine who is the best.
Just thinking about El Clasico being played with this formation makes my mouth water, as this game would feature non-stop attack-minded football.
BUT, this dream will never come true, as Pellegrini is too conservative to feature such an attacking formation. But a man can dream right?
Verdict: Barring the addition of Franck Ribery, the most likely formation will be the modified 4-4-2 (4-2-2-2). It allows the most flexibility out of the three formations while highlighting the strengths of the entire squad, not just the new Galacticos.
Any formations I missed or starting eleven I got wrong. Please share your thoughts.
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