Zinedine Zidane may well be the man responsible for Real Madrid’s winning the last two editions of the Champions League but at the same time he could well be two games away from exiting the Santiago Bernabeu, after such a meek defence of their La Liga crown this season it looks as if it is Europe or bust for Los Blancos.
With so much success during his relatively short spell in charge you would think that the former Galactico has a lot of credit in the bank, but his stock is on the wane this season after Barcelona are running away with the La Liga title at present while also winning the first El Clasico of this campaign on enemy territory.
It looks as if Zidane’s group of superstars has lost the energy that the team has displayed over the last two years with many believing that they have come to the end of their cycle. Most cycles are usually on a three year basis at the highest level and if that is to be believed then this one is approaching its final days.
Some will say that this due to the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo’s powers are on the wane, although that is a statement that may hold some truth it is also fair to say that he is saving his best for this competition with the Portuguese icon having already scored nine goal this season.
And you get the feeling that he will have to add to that tally this evening as he and his teammates prepare for the visit of French giants PSG. Unai Emery’s men may well be running away with Ligue 1 this season but it is European glory that the club’s Qatari owners crave.
Only then will they be able to be part of football’s true elite, looking at their squad they certainly have the players in which to do so. One of those is of course Neymar who made his big money move to Paris last summer, however there are rumours that he could be using this year as a pit stop before joining up with Real Madrid after the World Cup.
If that is to be the case then tonight will give the Brazilian the perfect opportunity to put himself in the shop window, these two clashes will certainly be the acid test as to just how good PSG really are in terms of the top clubs across the continent.
Not only that but there is arguably pressure on Unai Emery to deliver this trophy also, you do have to wonder just how secure his job prospects are in the French capital as just league success will not be enough this time around, that said you cannot see the former Sevilla manager departing as soon as March 6 should PSG be knocked out.
Although the same cannot be said for Zinedine Zidane who due to his success over the past couple of season will at least be saved the ignominy of being sacked should Los Blancos be dumped out of the Champions League, that said he will be politely asked to stand down.
The question is whether or not that will happen, Real Madrid are the holders but they are not the powerhouse they once were while PSG are the pretenders to the crown and will fancy their chances, I reckon this will be a score draw and a result that suits the away side more.