. ¿La Cuestión? Can Real Madrid concentrate on the Champions League?
posted by Guest Writer on 2013-02-12 12:30:00

A new feature on LaLigaUK, where we ask the experts that know, the all important questions surrounding the amazing world of Spanish Football. We will be asking journalists, writers, pundits, coaches and even players their thoughts on the burning issues.

Can Real Madrid concentrate on the Champions League, despite the distractions at the club and being so far behind in the league?

Guillem Balague - Sky Sports Pundit, AS Journalist and author of 'Pep Guardiola: Another Way of Winning'

Yeah, that's what they are doing basically, it's not necessarily an instruction from Mourinho, but certainly the mind of the players is geared towards the cup competitions now.

Follow Guillem on Twitter @guillembalague

Janusz Michalik - ESPN Press Pass Pundit and Commentator

The coveted Champions League trophy that has eluded Real Madrid for so long now can be and has to be considered salvation for the Galacticos. Expensively built giants of Spain and Europe will have their eyes on the prize regardless of any distractions. They have underperformed in this competition and were brought in alongside José Mourinho to bring the Holy Grail of European Football back home. Great teams and footballers always find a way to put any problems to the side as their reputation will be in question. With La Liga title gone, this should be easier to accomplish. On their day, the amount of talent on display is frightening and formidable as we witnessed in the recent Clàsico vs Barcelona in the Copa del Rey, even with a makeshift back-line and without their inspirational captain Iker Casillas in goal.

Follow Janusz on Twitter @JanuszESPN

Adrian Clarke - Former Arsenal Player and host of 'The Breakdown' on Arsenal TV

I suspect Real Madrid’s players will view the Champions League as their route to redemption, having performed so unexpectedly badly in La Liga this season. With the title lost, they’ll prioritise the competition, and that could make them even more dangerous than usual. The off-field issues surrounding José Mourinho and his future at the Bernabéu won’t have aided morale in the dressing room, but his personal obsession with creating history in the Champions League will almost certainly ensure his players are completely focussed on beating Man United in the last 16.

Follow Adrian on Twiiter @adrianjclarke

Iain Macintosh - Football Writer for The New Paper and ESPN, co-author of 'Football Manager Stole My Life'

I am by no means an expert on Spanish football, but I've seen this Real Madrid syndrome before. Uncertainty breeds uncertainty and Mourinho's decision to drop Iker Casillas comfirmed that no-one's position is safe. I'd be very surprised if Real Madrid were able to put their problems behind them and defeat Manchester United over two legs.

Follow Iain on Twitter @iainmacintosh

David Cartlidge - Freelance Spanish Football Writer and Daily Mirror La Liga Writer

I was of the belief prior to the season beginning, Champions League would be the focus of Real Madrid this season. I believe that still to be true, but events this season have scuppered plans and make that task more difficult. There is a motivation and momentum issue that goes deeper than simply being behind in the league, and I feel this will impact in the Champions League. Cristiano Ronaldo will be more vital than ever, and if he can have one of those special solo nights it could carry them to the final.

Follow David on Twitter @davidjaca

Johanna Garå - Freelance Sports Journalist from Sweden with a passion for La Liga

I am absolutely certain of that. To win ”la décima” is THE big goal for the club, the fans, the players and the coach. The players are professional and hungry enough to put any internal problems to the side while focusing on their common goal. Madrid have not performed as expected this season but when they get their act together they create magic on the pitch. We saw that against Barça in Copa del Rey, when they did not even have their best players available. Also, Cristiano Ronaldo is in great form. He oozes of happiness and harmony, and can carry this team on his shoulders.

Follow Johanna on Twitter @johannagara

We would like to thank all our contributors for taking the time out of their busy schedules and assisting us with this article.

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