Real Madrid: 4 ways the defense can improve for the rest of the season

Raphael Varane of Real Madrid (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Raphael Varane of Real Madrid (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos
Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid had the best defense in La Liga last season, but they have been shaky at the back through the first couple of months of the 2020-21 campaign.

As it stands at the November international break, Real Madrid are fourth in La Liga and third in their Champions League group. In the league, they have allowed more than one goal per game, and only nine teams in the league have allowed more goals than Los Blancos.

It’s a far cry from their defense in 2019-2020, which allowed fewer goals than any other club in Europe’s top five leagues, boasted the goalkeeper with the best ratio of clean sheets in La Liga, and led the team to their 34th league trophy.

Real Madrid need more from their defense. Ferland Mendy and Sergio Ramos have been as good as usual, but the same cannot be said for Raphael Varane. Meanwhile, Real have sorely missed starting right back Dani Carvajal, and even his backup, Alvaro Odriozola, has been out due to injury. And whenever Marcelo starts for Mendy at left back, disaster is soon to follow. 

Los Blancos have some huge games coming up after the international break, including matches against Villarreal and Inter Milan immediately when play resumes.

Here are four ways Zinedine Zidane’s defense can improve. This unit has so much more potential than what we’ve seen thus far.