A couple of weeks ago, Real Madrid's dream would have been to return from the Champions League final in Paris with the trophy and their newest signing in tow.
But with Real now reeling from Kylian Mbappe's contract renewal in the French capital, there are fresh concerns about the club - just as things were starting to look bright again.
Real are coming off the back of a well-earned but relatively easy Liga title victory after what threatened at times to be a difficult season early on, but had expected the Paris Saint-Germain striker to arrive this summer to usher a new era of Galacticos.
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Instead, they must find a way past Liverpool on Saturday to remind everyone they are still Europe's most unstoppable force.
Eurosport’s Jorge Ordas gives us an insight of how things are going in Spain ahead of the match with Jurgen Klopp’s men.

'Everyone took Mbappe for granted'

Ordas believes that the failure to land Mbappe is a huge disappointment, but the team will keep their focus ahead of the cup final.
“The non-signing of Kylian Mbappe has caused a great storm in Spain,” he explained. “Everyone took it for granted and, suddenly, they will not have their big star. However, I don't think that affects the team.
“These players are the ones who have taken the team to the final with memorable performances and it is they who deserve to play and, if possible, win the trophy.”

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'Difficult to see Real Madrid as underdogs'

Given the quality of the Liverpool team they will come up again, Real know it will be a hugely tough game, but their pedigree in the tournament gives the Spanish media hope they can emerge triumphant yet again.
“The Spanish press is confident that Real Madrid can win the final,” Ordas added.
“I don't think it's more or less confidence than in other games, but it's true that Real Madrid, when it comes to the Champions League, always approaches it with optimism. It is difficult to see them as underdogs in this competition.”

Ancelotti 'worthy of continuing as coach' regardless of result

While there had been difficult moments for Ancelotti earlier in the campaign, Ordas sees the Italian as safely installed at the club for the start of next season, regardless of the outcome on Saturday evening.
He continued: “I don't think there is danger in Carlo Ancelotti's future. During the season, with the elimination in Copa del Rey and the doubts generated after the last 16 match at PSG [a 1-0 first leg defeat], there was speculation about a change of coach at the end of the season.
“However, the spectacular comebacks in the Champions League against PSG, Chelsea and Man City and the Liga title won with great authority have made him worthy of continuing as coach without question.”

'Every ball he touches is a goal' - Benzema the leader

Perhaps unsurprisingly, French veteran striker Karim Benzema, one of the favourites for this year’s Ballon d’Or given the quality and importance of his contributions this season, is looked at as a central part of the team’s chances.
“Karim Benzema has been Real Madrid's flagship player for two years. He scores goals, creates chances and is the great leader he couldn't be when Cristiano Ronaldo played. This year, moreover, he converts every ball he touches into a goal,” he said.
“I would also focus on Rodrygo, he is never considered a star but he has the gift of scoring in important moments. It will also be necessary to see how players with no experience in these games, such as Eduardo Camavinga, Fede Valverde, Vinicius Jr or Rodrygo, take part in a final.”
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