Schäfer Set For Santiago Bernabéu?
Christian Schäfer Is Among Main Contenders To Succeed Rafa As RM Manager
Days after Rafa Benítez announced his retirement from Real Madrid, and from football management as a whole, Real Madrid fans have been clamouring for news on his successor. Real Madrid chairman Emilio Butragueño has let no word slip of his shortlist of managers, but many football experts are expecting German Christian Schäfer to take the helm at the Santiago Bernabéu, having recently departed from his role as manager of newly-crowned Copa América champions Brazil.
Christian Schäfer has enjoyed plenty of success in recent seasons at Dynamo Dresden and at Brazil. During his time with the German club, Der Professor
earned two back-to-back promotions from the third division of Germany. In his third season in the Bundesliga, Dynamo were crowned champions, and went on to win three-in-a-row. The season of Dresden's third Bundesliga victory proved to be Schäfer's last at the club, and he marked his final game in charge with a win in the UEFA Champions League final against domestic rivals FC Schalke 04.
In search of a new challenge, Schäfer left the industrious of land of Germany to take the reigns of the Brazilian national team. The Seleção
had just endured a disappointing World Cup 2022 campaign and were bereft of confidence. During his one year with Brazil, Schäfer lead his side to the Copa América 2023 title, the country's first major trophy in 16 years. Over the course of Schäfer's one year spell at Brazil, he was in charge of the Seleção
for fourteen games, winning all fourteen.
Christian Schäfer has shown a high amount of tactical flexibility over the course of his eight years as a manager to date, using a variety of different team shapes and game-plans to defeat his opponents. At Dynamo Dresden, Schäfer's team-shapes were predominantly of a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1, while Der Professor
preferred shapes with just three defenders during his time at Brazil.
Despite showing a high amount of tactical flexibility, one key aspect lines Schäfer's tactical approach; his desire to keep a strong defensive core. With Schäfer in charge, Brazil conceded just seven goals in fourteen games. Throughout his entire career, Schäfer's teams have played a total of 312 games, conceding just 272 times. With limited resources available to build a squad at Dynamo Dresden, this figure is certainly an impressive one.
Should Schäfer become the new Real Madrid manager, he would have the opportunity to manage a defensc which already includes Raphaël Varane (DC, 106 France caps), Leonel Cardozo (DC, 30 Argentina caps), Alessandro Florenzi (DR, 90 Italy caps) and Juan Bernat (DL, 26 Spain caps). With the financial power available at Real Madrid, Christian Schäfer would certainly be able to build a defence capable of withstanding the best of attacks.
Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas has expressed his desire to see Christian Schäfer become Real Madrid's new manager, while he would also be welcome to the possibility of José Mourinho (Chelsea manager) returning, with Pep Guardiola (Paris Saint-Germain manager) and Diego Simeone (Manchester City) also among his favourites to take charge.
"I would love to see Christian Schäfer take charge at Real Madrid. He's a young and exciting manager with plenty of title-winning experience under his belt already. He knows how to build a team with defensive strength and from his time at Brazil, he has shown he can faze older players out to bring in new, exciting talent. I firmly believe that he could be the one to take Real Madrid to a new level of dominance, and to bring a new age of glory to the club.
The squad at Real Madrid is an aging one, with a number of players reaching the end of their careers. Cristiano Ronaldo, Toni Kroos, James Rodríguez and Alessandro Florenzi are all beyond their best years and the new manager will have to begin preparing for life without them. It will be all about signing the right players to ensure that the future of Real Madrid is a bright one.
If Christian Schäfer isn't a possibility, then I would be more than happy to see José Mourinho return to the club. His success at Real Madrid previously was undoubted, while has he masterminded a spell of domestic dominance at Chelsea since leaving Madrid for London in 2013. Pep Guardiola and Diego Simeone would be my other preferred choices. Both have contrasting managerial styles but they are fantastic squad managers and would certainly get the best out of the players available to them."
Would Cristiano Ronaldo Welcome Christian Schäfer?
One player Christian Schäfer would have to handle with care, should he take charge, is club captain Cristiano Ronaldo. Now thirty-eight years old, Ronaldo has vowed to hang up his boots after one final season in the white of Real Madrid. Ronaldo's final season will be his fifteenth at Real Madrid, and his twenty-second in total. Schäfer would have to balance supplying game time for Ronaldo along with keeping him fresh and able to compete in the big games.
Cristiano is certain to have some influence over the club's decision regarding their next manager, and his previous relationship with José Mourinho would point towards the current Chelsea manager taking the reigns at Madrid for a second time. However, Schäfer's immediate availability and current lack of employment makes him the bookies' favourite to succeed Rafa Benítez with odds as short as 5/4. Who will become Real Madrid's next manager? Will it be Schäfer, or will Mourinho return for a second round in the ring?
Real Madrid's Next Manager Odds:
Frank de Boer:
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