Real Madrid have had incredible success in just a season and half years under Zinedine Zidane. During his relatively short period in charge, the young French coach has won virtually all trophies in club football.
He has managed to keep the core of his team and they play some esoteric football when in full flight that confounds even the best teams in Europe; check with Juventus and Manchester United.
The hierarchy at Madrid led by the ever-ambitious Florentino Perez have also been busy. They have sorted out the contract of Isco Alarcon – one of the best footballers of his generation. Two outstanding talents were brought in – Dani Ceballos and Theo Hernandez.
Grit, experience, success and youthfulness all describe the new Real Madrid team. The present is assured while the future couldn’t look brighter.
Barcelona is the stuff of apt definition in modern football artistry. The Catalans are second to none in holding the ball, attacking play and numbing skills. Like their Capital opponents; they have won it all.
Something however turned last season for Barcelona as the powerful fans of the club questioned the commitment of the players and departed coach Luis Enrique.
Barcelona floundered at home and were decimated in France in the Champions League quarter finals first leg.
They picked themselves up and strung together some impressive results. The most outstanding and unforgettable was the grand comeback in the Champions League against Paris Saint Germain.
However, it all came too late as the success driven club won only the Copa Del Rey to end the season that promised so much but yielded so little.
Enrique had already informed everyone that he was leaving and the team of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez had to look forward to tutelage under another.
Now, Neymar Junior has sought greener pastures and left Spain for the beauty of Paris. The famed attack is certainly weakened as it is difficult to instantly replace the Brazilian.
Enersto Valverde is the new helmsman at Camp Nou. He comes with certain pedigree having played the game at top levels over ten seasons. He also did relatively well as the gaffer at Celta Vigo.
But managing Barcelona is another kettle of fish altogether!
While Barcelona had an excellent pre-season under the new manager, the Spanish Super Cup first leg that comes up tomorrow and the second leg three days later will be a baptism of fire and a foretaste of what the future portends.
It had always been a spectacle when these sides meet and tomorrow won’t be an exception.
Real Madrid are fresh off their triumph in the UEFA Super Cup and will fancy a win at home against the Catalans. But, it is never straight forward with these two.
Whoever wins the cup over the two legs would have served a notice of intent for the season. One can only salivate in anticipation!