|Real Madrid starting lineup 2011-2012|
The continuity of the project will be the key to the success of the white team. The coach will trust on a starting eleven that has barely changed since the Portuguese took the control of Real Madrid; Casillas, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo, Xabi, Khedira, Di Maria, Özil, Cristiano and Benzema will remain the Mourinho's untouchables. Ten players who will be key again next season.
Only one player has changed in the lineup on which Mourinho bet when he built his first Real Madrid. Carvalho started in the first season and disappeared from the team in the second. His place was taken by Arbeloa, who has every chance to be starter in the team for another year.
Mourinho has built a solid and reliable project that lacks only the icing of the Champions League. The progression has been continuous and the last step is to attack and achieve the continental throne. It's something that all players wish: "My goal for next year is to win the Champions League" Xabi Alonso said yesterday at a promotional event in Indonesia.
The first season, Mourinho's Rea Madrid fought in the Spanish league against Barcelona, reached the semifinals of the Champions and reconquered the Spanish Cup. The second year, whites regained dominance of Spanish football and only penalties left them out of the Champions League final. Now the Tenth is the goal.
Mourinho was clear from the beginning. And he has not revamped his lineup. Few have been able to enter the war for a place in the eleventh. Just Higuain, basic man in the first year of Mourinho and Coentrao, who has also playing important matches, have had coach's confidence.
The starting lineup has been so strong from the outset that neither the signings have options. In fact, this year Mourinho wants to reinforce the squad, not modify the starting lineup. Only Maicon could have had a place in the eleventh, but the Brazilian is no longer a threat to Arbeloa. In addition, many of the players (Özil, Di Maria, Marcelo and Benzema) are reaching a point of maturity that they did not have three years ago. And is that the average age of the Mourinho's team is only 26.5.