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The 36th: 5 key men in Real Madrid title triumph

The EA SPORTS LALIGA 2023/24 title winner is now in the history books; Real Madrid are champions for a record-extending 36th time in their history. Having been at the top of the standings for almost all the season, the consistency of Carlo Ancelotti's side has seen them pull away from their rivals, most notably 2022/23 champions FC Barcelona and surprise package Girona FC.

But Real Madrid's season has also stood out for the outstanding performances from a number of players, whose role was key in placing a 36th LALIGA title in the Santiago Bernabeu trophy cabinet.


Jude Bellingham

The emergence of the England international in Real Madrid has been one of the themes of the year in European soccer. At just 20 years old, he's often taken the lead for the side in some of the most difficult moments of the season, and also taken on goalscoring responsibilities to a degree which was not expected back in August.

Bellingham has scored 18 goals from both midfield and attacking positions, including three match-winning goals in both ELCLASICO fixtures against FC Barcelona, as well as crucial points-winners against RC Celta, UD Almeria and Getafe CF. More than just goals, though, the Stourbridge native has slotted seamlessly into the side and looks set to be the lynchpin of the Real Madrid midfield for the next decade.

Antonio Rüdiger

With both Eder Militao and David Alaba out for much of the season with injury – in addition to an early long-term injury for goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois – the 2023/24 season quickly shaped up to be a difficult year for Real Madrid's backline. Step up, Antonio Rüdiger. The 31-year-old German, who joined Real Madrid in 2022, quickly commandeered the rearguard, starring in both LALIGA EA SPORTS and the Champions League.

His performances will give coach Carlo Ancelotti a difficult but welcome headache when Militao and Alaba return to full fitness in time for the new season.

Vini Jr.

Vini Jr continues to show that he is a differential talent. Karim Benzema's departure last summer saw much of the attacking responsibilities fall on his shoulders, but he did not baulk at the prospect of stepping into the shoes of a man who'd led the line at the Santiago Bernabeu for over a decade. The result: 13 goals and five assists on the way to the title, in addition to showing time and time again the ability to break open deadlocked matches in an instant.

Like Bellingham, Vini Jr. has also had to adapt this season to Real Madrid's tactical approach, sometimes playing on the inside as an attacking target, but always looking dangerous when he moves out left and creating one-on-ones with the full-back. There is no doubt that the young Brazilian continues to improve in leaps and bounds.

Toni Kroos

While many considered that Toni Kroos' best days were behind him at 34 years of age, the German international has been as impressive as ever. He remains a fixture for Carlo Ancelotti and continues to take control of games from midfield in the way in which we've become accustomed across his decade at the Santiago Bernabéu, notching seven assists.

Kroos' contract ends this summer, but all signs point to his performances earning an extension for another season. His performances have also seen him revive his international career, and he'll be a key figure in the Germany side gunning for glory in this summer's 2024 European Championships on home soil.

Carlo Ancelotti

The Italian coach has once again shown why he's considered one of the greatest managers of all time. Many may have considered that last summer saw the squad weakened by the departure of longtime fixtures such as Karim Benzema or by time creeping up on Luka Modric, Ancelotti has quickly moulded the team around a young core – Bellingham, Tchouameni, Camavinga, et al. – and adapted it to play to their mental and physical strengths.

This season's title win is his second LALIGA EA SPORTS title, cementing his legacy as the only coach to have won all five of Europe's major leagues (LALIGA, Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1).

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Carlos Volcano


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