Sunday’s game had zero league significance for Madrid. They claimed the title of “champions” two weeks ago. And unless Cristiano Ronaldo scored 6 goals in the game, the coveted Pichichi had been won by Lionel Messi after Messi scored a ridiculous 7 goals in 2 games to take a solid lead. Messi and Ronaldo shattered records this season and I feel quite fortunate to be watching history in the making as they compete against one another. Real Madrid’s three strikers as a group made their own history this season. Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain all scored over 20 goals which is the first time in La Liga history that three players from the same squad reached that scoring mark. Cristiano Ronaldo also became the first player in La Liga’s history to score against every other team in one season. Remarkable.
It is an understatement to say that Real Madrid was incredible this season. Even José Mourinho stated that it was “a great season with numbers impossible to improve on”. However, in true Mourinho fashion, he only gave the season a score of 9 out of 10. Ever planning, Mourinho is likely reviewing tapes to try and figure out how to win the Champions League next year and make the season a perfect 10. It is that incredible work ethic that found Mourinho setting his own records, winning his 7th title in 4 different leagues (Portugal, Italy, England and Spain), an achievement no other coach has ever managed. A perfect 10, however, would have him winning it all: La Liga, the Copa Del Rey AND the Champions League. He has accomplished two, but clearly has his eye on the trifecta.
There was one final record to be broken on Sunday: the total points scored in a single season. There is a total of 114 points available each year in La Liga. Barcelona held the record at a whopping 99 points. To reach 99 points is incredible. As any lover of football knows, in a long season, on any given day, even the worst team can defeat you or hold you to a draw. Even now-relegated Villarreal was able to hold both Real Madrid and Barcelona to draws in the second half of the season. But with Mallorca at home, Real Madrid had to know they could break this final record. When the win was in the books, #100points and #100puntos were trending worldwide on Twitter. Real Madrid reached a pinnacle that no team in the top 4 European leagues has ever achieved. 32 wins, 4 draws and 2 losses. 100 points. Stunning!
As a team rich with history and tradition, Real Madrid’s past champions include superstars with names scattered throughout the record books: Zidane, Beckham, Raúl, Ronaldo, Figo. The list could go on and on and the list is growing. Many of this season’s players have already broken enough records to be considered legends: Casillas, Ronaldo, Ramos, Alonso. Given the performance of this year’s team, many more names will likely soon be added and it's going to be one he** of a ride! ¡Hala Madrid!
A.J. Nelson can be found on Twitter @FootieObsessed and counting the days to the start of Euro 2012.