VALENCIA, SPAIN - JANUARY 27:  Real Madrid starting XI line up prior to the La Liga match between Valencia and Real Madrid at Estadio Mestalla on January 27, 2018 in Valencia, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

End of Season Review: Real Madrid's Report Card From the 2017/18 Campaign

On the back of the heroics of the La Liga and Champions League double heading into this season, a comprehensive victory over Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup hinted that it could well be another year of dominance for Real Madrid


However, a slow opening half of the term, as well as a costly January brought an end to any domestic success in what was, overall, a somewhat underwhelming campaign - despite the heroics of Kiev.


So, with that in mind, let's take a look at Zinedine Zidane's men's season review. 

1. League Performance

Heading into the season as defending champions, Real Madrid should have provided a much greater challenge to Barcelona and their stroll to the La Liga title. 


Shock defeats to Girona and Real Betis, as well as dropping points against Levante, Valencia and Athletic Club set Los Blancos an almost insurmountable task to catch Barca, which was worsened further as the Catalonians strolled to a 3-0 victory inside the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu before the winter break. 


Alongside that, failing to overcome city rivals Atletico Madrid, either at home or at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano - as well as finishing up three points behind Diego Simeone's men after 38 games - rounded off a forgettable campaign. 

2. Domestic Cup Performance

Similar levels of disappointment were felt in the Copa del Rey this year, with Zidane somewhat underestimating Leganes in January and crashing out of the competition at the quarter-final stage on away goals. 


It followed the theme of Los Blancos' run in this campaign's Copa del Rey after being held by 10-men Segunda side CD Numancia at home in the previous round, although their first leg showing was enough to see them through. 


The Madridistas will be keen to end Barcelona's dominance of the competition next term, with Ernesto Valverde leading his side to their fourth consecutive success.  

3. Continental Cup Performance

As has become Real Madrid's speciality in recent years, it was in the continental competitions where they found their success, clinching their third successive Champions League crown against Liverpool in Kiev as well as claiming the Club World Cup title in January. 


Despite Los Blancos failing to top their group - following their defeat to Tottenham Hotspur - the Spaniards got past the champions of Italy, France and Germany on their way to the final; a testament to their success this term. 


Before this year's final, no side had ever won three straight Champions League titles, and number four will now be the goal for Zidane's men. 

4. Best Player

Although it would be easy to place the 'best player' title on Cristiano Ronaldo this year, Real Madrid's woeful start to the campaign clearly coincided with the Portuguese forward's crisis of both form and confidence. 


However, Gareth Bale has been an almost continuous shining light for his side this year - when Zidane has opted to play the Welshman - and, of course, his Champions League final heroics certainly did not do him any harm. 


Whether the 28-year-old will be at the Bernabeu next season remains to be seen, but this year will always be remembered as one which defined the former Tottenham man. 

5. Worst Player

Again, with such contrasting halves throughout the season this year, it is difficult to pinpoint one particular player as Real Madrid's 'worst'. 


However, when you take into account what is expected of certain members of the Spanish squad, and how they performed in regards to those expectations, Karim Benzema seems to be the standout candidate. 


Although the Frenchman sometimes made up for his lack of goals in other ways, the primary responsibility of a striker is to put the ball into the back of the net, and with just five to his name in 32 league showings - 11 across all competitions - the 30-year-old simply did not do it enough. 

6. The Manager

The very fact that Zidane has won the Champions League title every year he has managed in the competition is remarkable, and becoming the first coach to claim three consecutive titles in the competition deserves enormous praise. 


However, during the opening months of the season, there was speculation surrounding the Frenchman's future - and for good reason. 


His side's underwhelming year was indeed saved by their showing in Kiev, but should Real Madrid repeat their domestic performances next season, and not get their hands on the continental showpiece, the 45-year-old's time may be up in the Spanish capital. 

7. Overall Grade

As already alluded to, if Los Blancos had failed to retain the Champions League this season, it could have quite feasibly gone down as one of the club's worst in recent history. 


However, as it transpired, their continued love affair with continental success afforded them the chance to celebrate an immense achievement. 


But unless a considerable rebuild is undertaken this summer, and both Bale and Ronaldo's futures are addressed quickly, it may well not be such a happy ending in 12 months' time. 


Overall Grade B-