When José Mourinho was appointed manager of Real Madrid in June 2010, he stated that his teams are always better in his second season. It appears he was right, because his Real Madrid is currently the runaway leader of La Liga, and on course to break 3 major historical records.
Real are averaging a staggering 3.4 goals a game, and look almost certain to break the current La Liga record of 107 goals in one season, held by the 1989/90 Toshack managed Los Blancos side. That team had a 2,8 goal average, and finished with a +69 goal difference. It was the famous “Quinta del Buitre“, led by legendary striker Emilio Butragueño. Their dominance of the Spanish League was obvious, with 5 La Liga titles in a row as well as 2 UEFA Cups. But the current Madrid side has 13 more goals than the 89/90 side had at the same time in the season, and a much better goal average. Should Madrid continue to score 3.4 goals a game, they will end the season with a whopping 129 goals, 22 more than Toshack’s side.
Another record on the line is the number of points in a season, currently held by the 2009/10 Barcelona team, which finished the season with 99 points(31W 6D 1L). Madrid has so far played 25 games (22W 1D 2L), winning 89% of their games. Should they maintain this winning form, they will end the season with 101 points, or to put it another way: Real Madrid can allow themselves to lose two games and still beat Barcelona’s points record.
Of course, to get the most points in a season, a team must also have the most wins, and that is the third record Madrid are set to break due to their great run of form this season. This record is currently shared by Real Madrid and Barcelona, again from 2009/2010, with 31. With 22 wins already and 13 games remaining, Madrid must win at least 10 of them to achieve 32 wins or more. But considering that Madrid has so far only dropped points in a total of 3 games , this also looks like a record which is bound to be broken.
While there is no doubt that Real Madrid’s current squad is very good, it shouldn’t take the credit away from José Mourinho, who himself has just broken a historical record in La Liga. Last week he became the fastest coach ever to win 50 games, needing just 62 games to do so. By doing this, he has beaten all the great coaches in La Liga, including Pep Guardiola (67 games needed), Real Madrid legend Miguel Muñoz (70 games), Capello and Cruyff (both at 80 games), while Vicente del Bosque, who won 2 Champions Leagues with Real, had to wait till his 92nd game in charge. Mourinho has taken a very good Madrid squad and turned them into a world class team. A team many are calling “the best counter-attacking team in the world today”.
Finally, Cristiano Ronaldo has done the impossible and actually improved his goal scoring form from last season, when he scored a record 40 league goals (some claim he scored 41, due to one goal being given to Pepe because of a small deflection). Let’s say he scored 41 goals, that gives him a goals to games ratio of 1,07. However, this season he already has 30 goals in only 25 games, which equals 1.2 goals a game. If he maintains his form, he will end the league with an incredible 46 goals! The fact that Messi is breathing down his neck will most certainly motivate him more.
When looking at the numbers, one would almost instantly conclude that no team in La Liga history is better than Real Madrid. But the one team they are set to knock off the top, Barcelona, is still a thorn in Mourinho’s side. Real Madrid have yet to find the right formula against Barcelona, and should they succeed in beating all these records and winning the league, the achievement will still be bittersweet if Madrid can’t beat Barcelona at the Camp Nou in April. Or even better, in a potential Champions League final between the two Spanish giants.