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Real Madrid 2022-23 season review - star player, best moment, standout result

Sports Mole takes an in-depth look back at Real Madrid's 2022-23 campaign, which saw them win the UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup and Copa del Rey.

Such was Real Madrid's success during the 2021-22 campaign - winning the Champions League, La Liga and Spanish Super Cup - the bar was set incredibly high for this season.

Los Blancos have not managed to match that impressive achievement this term, finishing second in the La Liga table, second in the Spanish Super Cup and being eliminated in the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Real Madrid have ended the season with three trophies, securing the Copa del Rey, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup, but it has not quite been the campaign that Carlo Ancelotti's side would have had in mind.

Here, Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at Real Madrid's season, which came to an end with a 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao in La Liga on Sunday night.


Real Madrid players throw Karim Benzema in the air after the match on June 4, 2023© Reuters

Final league position: 2nd

Copa del Rey: Winners

Spanish Super Cup: Runners-up

Champions League: Semi-finals

UEFA Super Cup: Winners

Club World Cup: Winners

Top scorer: Karim Benzema (31)

Most assists: Vinicius Junior (21)

Real Madrid only made one big-money signing last summer, with the much-coveted Aurelien Tchouameni arriving from Monaco, while Antonio Rudiger joined on a free transfer from Chelsea.

The team's 2022-23 campaign opened with a 2-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Super Cup, and Real Madrid then put eight straight wins on the board, triumphing in their opening six league games, in addition to their first two Champions League group matches against Celtic and RB Leipzig.

Osasuna at the start of October were the first team to prevent Los Blancos from winning this season, but the team's form remained excellent, winning five of their next six in both La Liga and the Champions League, and it did appear that the team would take some stopping once again.

Included in that run was a 3-1 home success over Barcelona in La Liga, and they did not lose a single match until the end of October, when RB Leipzig beat them 3-2 in the Champions League, ending a 20-game unbeaten run in the process.

Los Blancos were then held by Girona in La Liga, but they responded with a thumping 5-1 victory over Celtic in the Champions League on November 7, which saw them advance to the knockout round of the competition as section winners.

Real Madrid's first league loss of the season proved to be the 3-2 reverse at Rayo Vallecano on November 7; they entered the break for the 2022 World Cup off the back of a 2-1 success over Cadiz, but Barcelona moved to the top of the table ahead of the tournament in Qatar.

The team's only game in December was a 2-0 success at Real Valladolid, and they then opened 2023 with a win over Cacereno in the Copa del Rey, but Ancelotti's side lost 2-1 at Villarreal in the league before suffering disappointing in the Spanish Super Cup final, losing to Barcelona.

Real Madrid continued to progress in the Copa del Rey, beating Villarreal and Atletico Madrid, but their form in the league was inconsistent, and they entered the Club World Cup off the back of a 1-0 loss at Mallorca.

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema lifts the trophy with teammates and coach Carlo Ancelotti after winning the FIFA Club World Cup final on February 11, 2023© Reuters

Ancelotti's side won the Club World Cup courtesy of successes over Al Ahly and Al Hilal, before returning to form in La Liga with a 4-0 success over basement side Elche; Real Madrid also put themselves in a wonderful position to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a 5-2 success away to Liverpool in the first leg of their last-16 tie, but they lost 1-0 at home to Barcelona in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final.

A 1-0 success over Liverpool in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 affair was followed by a 2-1 defeat at Barcelona in La Liga, but they pulled off a huge result in the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final with Barcelona, winning 4-0 at Camp Nou to make the final.

A 3-2 home loss to Villarreal in La Liga on April 8 was damaging, but they won their next four games, including both legs of their Champions League quarter-final with Chelsea. Ancelotti's side were wobbling in La Liga, losing at Girona and Real Sociedad in quick succession, but they managed to win the Copa del Rey on May 6 by overcoming Osasuna in the final.

Ancelotti's side then drew 1-1 with Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final, but they lost 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium in the second leg to exit the competition in comfortable fashion, before suffering a 1-0 defeat at Valencia in La Liga.

Los Blancos ended the season on a positive note, though, picking up seven points from their final three league games to finish second in the table, one point ahead of third-placed Atletico.

Benzema's penalty on his final appearance for the club secured a point against Athletic on the final matchday, which proved enough to claim the runners-up spot, as Atletico conceded a late leveller against Villarreal.

Legendary forward Benzema will be leaving on a free transfer at the end of June, and he is set to move to Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Ittihad, while the departures of Eden Hazard, Mariano Diaz and Marco Asensio on free transfers have also been confirmed.


Wins: 24 (2nd)
Draws: 6 (=7th)
Losses: 8 (=10th)
Goals scored: 75 (1st)
Goals conceded: 36 (4th)
Yellow cards: 64 (20)
Red cards: 3 (=10th)
Passes: 20,540 (1st)
Shots: 587 (1st)
Saves: 95 (16th)


Real Madrid players lift the Champions League on May 28, 2022© Reuters

Real Madrid's 2021-22 season was stunning, winning La Liga, the Champions League and the Spanish Super Cup, so it was always going to be incredibly difficult to match that campaign.

Los Blancos have managed to secure three trophies this season, winning the UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup and Copa del Rey, but they lost to Barcelona in the final of the Spanish Super Cup, while they were beaten by Man City in the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Ancelotti's side only reached the quarter-finals of last season's Copa del Rey, so their performance in the cup was a huge positive, but they ultimately finished 10 points behind La Liga champions Barcelona in 2022-23, which is not something that the club will be willing to accept.

This term, Real Madrid collected 78 points from their 38 league games, scoring 75 goals and conceding 39, whereas last season, they picked up 86 points, scored more goals (80) and conceded fewer (31), so there has been a drop off in the league in 2022-23.

Ancelotti's side also lost eight league games this season, which is double their total from last term, so they will be determined to improve on that in the new campaign.


Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior is spoken to by coach Carlo Ancelotti on May 21, 2023© Reuters

The outgoing Benzema has again finished a season as Real Madrid's leading goalscorer, with the 35-year-old netting 31 times in all competitions, but Vinicius has been the star of the show for Los Blancos this term.

There is an argument that there is not a better left-sided forward in world football than Vinicius, even including the sensational Kylian Mbappe, with the Brazil international enjoying a fine campaign, scoring 23 goals and registering 21 assists in 55 appearances in all competitions.

Vinicius was outstanding during Real Madrid's run to the semi-finals of the Champions League, scoring seven goals and registering five assists in 12 appearances, while he managed three goals and four assists in five Copa del Rey outings, as Ancelotti's side claimed the trophy.

The Brazil international has had to put up with some alleged racist chanting this season, leading to suggestions that he could consider his future at Bernabeu, but it is understood that the attacker has agreed a new long-term deal, and Real Madrid simply have to keep hold of him.


Real Madrid's Luka Modric in action with FC Barcelona's Sergio Busquets on April 5, 2023© Reuters

Real Madrid's 5-2 victory at Anfield in the Champions League in February was certainly memorable, and that result against Liverpool was seriously considered when it came to this section.

However, the team's standout result of the campaign came at Camp Nou on April 5; Ancelotti's side were trailing 1-0 to Barcelona in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey, with the Catalan giants winning at Bernabeu.

A stunning second-leg display from Los Blancos saw them run out 4-0 winners at the home of Barcelona, though, to breeze into the final of the competition, which they won by beating Osasuna 2-1.

Benzema scored a wonderful hat-trick, while Vinicius was also on the scoresheet, and it was a truly outstanding second-half performance from Ancelotti's side at Camp Nou.

Real Madrid might have fallen short of Barcelona in the La Liga title race, but their best result of the season came at the home of their biggest rivals on April 5.

> Click here for a full list of Real Madrid's results from the 2022-23 season


Barcelona's Ronald Araujo in action with Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior on March 19, 2023© Reuters

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the best moment of Real Madrid's season was their four-goal success over Barcelona in the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final.

Both sides won their home fixture in La Liga this season, with Barcelona recording a 2-1 victory at Camp Nou, and Real Madrid running out 3-1 winners at Bernabeu.

Barcelona were in a strong position to reach yet another Copa del Rey final when they beat Real Madrid 1-0 at Bernabeu in the first leg of their semi-final, but Ancelotti's side had other plans, and it allowed Los Blancos to gain some revenge, having lost 4-0 at home to Barcelona in the league last season.

Without the Copa del Rey, it would have been a disappointing campaign for Real Madrid, but they managed to win the competition for the first time since 2014.


Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane claps the fans on May 20, 2023© Reuters

News of Benzema's shock departure has catapulted Real Madrid into the market for a new centre-forward.

Asensio, Mariano and Hazard are also leaving this month, so there will need to be some serious investment in the final third of the field, with Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane and Chelsea's Kai Havertz allegedly both wanted during the summer market.

Havertz has struggled at Chelsea but certainly has the talent to thrive in Madrid, while Kane would surely bring with him a guarantee of goals, and his arrival would send out shockwaves around the world.

Rodrygo has proved that he can operate as a centre-forward, but Los Blancos need to add a couple of genuine strikers to their squad; Erling Braut Haaland is the dream acquisition, but the Norwegian is out of reach this summer, so Espanyol's Joselu could potentially be targeted as a back-up option alongside Kane and Havertz.

There is an argument that Real Madrid do not need to invest heavily in a central midfielder this summer considering that Luka Modric and Toni Kroos are preparing to sign new one-year deals, while Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga and Federico Valverde are also present in that area of the field.

However, the chance to sign a player of Jude Bellingham's ilk does not come around too often, and Real Madrid are in pole position to acquire his signature from Borussia Dortmund, with an announcement expected in the not too distant future.

Bringing in Bellingham would be a real statement of intent, and with Modric and Kroos both set to leave next summer, the move for the 19-year-old makes a lot of sense when looking at the overall picture.


Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema celebrates scoring against Athletic Bilbao on June 4, 2023© Reuters

Three trophies have been added to the trophy cabinet, including the Copa del Rey, which is not a competition that the club have exactly favoured in recent years.

However, Real Madrid were well short of Barcelona in La Liga, finishing 10 points behind the champions, while they were comfortably dispatched by Man City in the semi-finals of the Champions League.

It was always going to be difficult to match last season's exploits, but it has been a learning season for the club, and with the right additions during what is expected to be a very busy summer, there is no reason why they cannot again be major contenders for the biggest prizes during the 2023-24 campaign.

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Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane claps the fans on May 20, 2023
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1Real Madrid1512213392438
3Atletico MadridAtletico13101230121831
5Athletic Bilbao1584330181228
6Real Sociedad157532618826
7Real BetisBetis146621816224
8Las PalmasLas Palmas156361313021
11Rayo Vallecano154741622-619
18Celta Vigo141581424-108

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