No more transfer rumours, no more internationals breaks, no more excuses. The season starts now for Real Madrid.
After a seemingly endless pre-season scathed by injuries, poor results and the ins and outs of the transfer window, Zinedine Zidane and his men can now focus fully on winning football matches, starting with Saturday lunchtime’s clash against Levante at the Santiago Bernabéu.
And win matches they need to after dropping four points from their opening three LaLiga matches.
No, however, there are no excuses. The rumours surrounding the arrival of big-name players late in the transfer window have disappeared and everyone knows their place. Zidane will be counting on his entire squad to turn around their current failing fortunes.
And with the transfer window stretching into the new season, it finally feels like normality will resume in LaLiga starting from this weekend. And what a month lies ahead.
Whilst on paper Levante on home soil may not provide the toughest opposition, Los Blancos will be expected to hit the ground running after a disappointing 1-1 stalemate against Real Valladolid last time out on home soil. There will also be the Eden Hazard factor, with the big-money summer arrival expected to make his official debut.
What follows is a tough four-match line-up that could well lay the foundations for the rest of the season. Los Blancos visit Paris Saint-Germain for their Champions League opener before visiting Sevilla and Atlético Madrid, and a home clash against Osasuna sandwiched in-between.
Madrid will welcome back the majority of their stars from international duty on Wednesday and all eyes will be on the fitness of Hazard ahead of what Madrid fans will hope will be his LaLiga debut this weekend.
It will be intriguing as to where the Belgium international fits given the impressive start made by Gareth Bale in the Madrid attack, while Karim Benzema has also found the back of the net in the opening matches of the season. Zidane will also have a selection headache over the inclusion of Marcelo or the now-fit Ferland Mendy at left-back.
Madrid now have options after suffering from numerous injuries over the summer and will need to hit the ground running in September if they’re to return to the trophy trail. This month will arguably the biggest of the season for Los Blancos. The season starts now.