It'd be understandable for Madrid's La Liga-winning players to want to take a break, sit back, relax and perhaps have a few alcoholic beverages along the way this summer. The energy-sapping season they've just had was worth it, but to win La Liga, knocking Barcelona off top-spot, and reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League must be draining - both in mind and in body. A refreshing, easy, summer break must have been the order of the day.
Enter Euro 2012. And no signs of tiredness. Just success, even more of it for those from the Bernabeu.
Madrid had been pipped by Bayern Munich as the side to have most players in this summer's European Championships in Poland and Ukraine. The Bundesliga giants had 12 players across numerous nations, with Madrid coming a not-too-shabby second with eleven.
Fast-forward to the knock-out stages and Madrid still have those eleven players involved - with some already through to the semi-finals. Bayern don't, so Madrid have the most players now remaining in the competition ahead of tonight's game between Germany and Greece.
It's an impressive, if not wholly unexpected feat, that shows the strength in Madrid's squad currently. Success is breeding success, and the success Madrid's players have had last season seems to be rubbing off on their national team-mates.
Those eleven? Five are representing Spain - one of, if not the, tournament favourites. Goalkeeper Iker Casillas, defenders Sergio Ramos, Raul Albiol, Alvaro Arbeloa and midfielder Xabi Alonso have all helped the national side into the quarter-finals against France, who include Blancos striker Karim Benzema in their ranks.
Portugal are already through to the semi-finals, largely thanks to the brilliance of Cristiano Ronaldo. Oh, and Pepe and Fabio Coentrao have helped out there, too. Cristiano was out-of-sorts in the early games, mis-firing and coming in for a bit of criticism. The last two games in particular, however, the forward has shone, scoring the winner in Thursday night's quarter-final against the Czech Republic. Ronaldo is getting better each game, and is playing with a fire in his belly that will cause concern to Portugal's remaining opponents.
Defender Pepe is excelling, too. Proving a rock at the back, he's also showing a maturity and discipline (he's yet to be booked in the tournament!) that will hopefully bode well for his future at the Bernabeu. Coentrao, too, is proving a key part of Portugal's progression.
Last, but certainly not least, is Madrid's German contingent. The sublime Mesut Ozil and the battling Sami Khedira, both helping the Germans to tonight's last-eight clash with Greece one they should get through.
And could we have seen more future Madrid players in action? Speculation is growing over Croatia and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Luka Modric, with reports in England suggesting a £30 million deal has been struck between Spurs and Los Blancos for his services. Modric is certainly expected to leave White Hart Lane this summer, with Manchester United and Chelsea also linked with him. A replacement for Kaka? Possibly, although I expect the real speculation to start once Euro 2012 has come to a close.
The number of Madrid players involved in the semi-finals has to dwindle - there are Blancos involved in the Spain v France contest tomorrow night. But it's still been a remarkable competition - and the likelihood is that we'll see at least one Madrid player lifting the trophy - the Spanish and Germans are still favourites for glory.
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