It’s possible, perhaps even probably that Real Madrid holds itself to the most unrealistic standards in the world of club soccer.
With 10 European titles and a bevy of other honors, the club preaches winning and winning well. It doesn’t preach 4-3 home losses to Schalke and squeaking by its opponents.
[ MORE: Ancelotti says home boos “deserved” ]
So while Madrid cruised to an admirable 2-0 road win in the first leg, this second leg loss is being treated as a big, big problem despite moving on to the quarterfinals. And when that loss comes after picking up a single point total in two La Liga fixtures while dropping behind Barcelona? The negative feelings go to a dark, dark place.
Here’s Iker Casillas, who had a poor evening on Tuesday, from Goal.com:
Casillas, who was arguably at fault for three of Schalke’s four goals, said: “It’s true we have hit rock bottom in a most resounding way. But the positive is that we will be in the draw next Friday. When that draw is made we will forget what has happened over the past 10 days — they have been dramatic.
“We must think about tomorrow, we cannot look back, nor dwell on the 22 successive wins [earlier in the season] or anything else we have achieved.”
No offense, Iker, but I wish my rock bottom was in such privileged air.
Plus, it would seem like now would be a pretty swell time to consider how good Real Madrid looks when it’s flying. The current No. 2 team in Spain is the reigning UEFA Champions League champion and could use the viewing of some proper winning game film before Sunday’s visit from Levante, and the following week’s El Clasico at Barca.