It has been around two weeks since Real Madrid lifted their 35th LaLiga title, but Madridistas’ lives have been filled with happiness since that moment, it was multiplied two-fold after Real Madrid’s unbelievable comeback win against Manchester City.
Fans can watch the remaining league games with a lot of relief, fringe players get to play in these games, and the team can focus a lot more on the UEFA Champions League final against Liverpool, all thanks to the early wrap up of LaLiga. The season has been a successful one, and there have been many defining moments in the league that paved the path for the club’s success.
So let us have a look at five such defining moments to Real Madrid winning LaLIga in 2021/22, in chronological order.
1. Vinicius equalizing for Real in a 3-3 draw vs Levante, August 2021
Ever since the greatest goalscorer in the history of Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo left the club in 2018, the club’s attack had not been the same. Karim Benzema stepped up in the best way possible and he became such an important player that Real Madrid don’t look like a Champions League team in his absence. But he didn’t have an able attacker, and he pretty much carried the team on his own in attack, from 2018 to 2021.
But things have been different in 2021/22, thanks to the unbelievable transformation of Vinicius Jr. From a player who could barely score seven goals a season, he has grown into a player that can be Benzema’s partner in crime, registering 21 goals and 20 assists in 4094 minutes this season. In the past, there were signs of Vinicius being a player with consistent output, especially in the last season. But this season there was a confirmation of his consistency, with this match being the one that confirmed Vinicius’ transformation.
It was still early days into the season, and it was just the second official game of the season. Vini started this game from the bench, with Hazard, Benzema and Bale being Ancelotti’s starting attackers. The Brazilian had scored a goal as a substitute in the previous game against Alaves, so he expected an early entry in this game.
He did enter the field in the 59th minute, but the score was 2-1 in favour of Levante at that point. Real Madrid was excellent in the first half, but they were wasteful and they eventually paid the price in the second half.
Not a lot was expected of the Brazilian, but he surprised everyone by scoring the equalizer on the break with a neat left-footed finish, following an inch-perfect through ball from his compatriot, Casemiro. Levante restored their lead soon, but Vini was in the mood and equalized again in the 85th minute with his trademark chip shot from a ridiculous angle. The team managed to draw the game, but had other players been as clinical as the usually wasteful Vinicius Jr, the three points could’ve been Real’s.
Fans didn’t know what to make of that performance. They weren’t confident enough to believe that this is the turning point, and they didn’t want to fill themselves with pessimism either, because Vinicius had an explosive start in 2020/21 as well and then lost his touch in the next few months.
But in hindsight, we can safely say that Vini’s second goal marked the beginning of his time as a consistent match-winner. This moment would go on to set the tone for Real Madrid’s season, with comebacks led by Vinicius being a common feature.