Former Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso reckons his old team can still beat their rivals Barcelona to the La Liga title, despite the eight-point gap between the two sides.
Madrid won the league last season, as well as the Champions League, but appear to have lost some of their spark in this one.
Alonso, though, says that Madrid can reignite the race when Barca visit the Bernabeu next month, and the second half of the season can be a completely different shade from the first if all goes well.
“Also, the second part of the season can start in a very different way. If that happens, the league is alive again. These things happen.”
Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t quite been himself either this term, and it’s one of the reasons Real aren’t firing on all cylinders. But the Spaniard insists the Ballon d’Or holder will come through when the team needs him most.
“As always, I’m sure he [Ronaldo] will be there at the decisive moments of the season, with desire and enthusiasm to continue scoring goals and winning titles.”
There was also a bit of praise for Zinedine Zidane, who’s won two successive Champions League trophies with Los Blancos, and in a very short managerial stint.
“Zidane has great merit,” Alonso added. “How he has managed everything, having the players focused in important moments. It comes from winning the Champions League and titles.
“I don’t understand the pessimism that exists there.”