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Football Reporting
Football Reporting

La Liga

Ancelotti and Real Madrid start with 13 players, 19 absentees and 10 homegrown youngsters


Real Madrid return to pre-season training on Monday, 44 days after ending the 2020/21 season on May 22.

Monday morning will see everyone put through the usual medical examinations and checks before returning at 18:00 CEST for the first session of Carlo Ancelotti’s second spell at the club.

Ancelotti will start off with just 13 players from the first team available. Andriy Lunin, Dani Carvajal, Nacho Fernandez, Marcelo, Alvaro Odriozola, Ferland Mendy, Isco, Martin Odegaard, Lucas Vazquez, Mariano Diaz, Rodrygo Goes, Brahim Diaz and Luka Jovic will all be reporting to Valdebebas. Sixteen more players will be absent, while there will be 10 homegrown players making the step up from Castilla and other underage sides to make up the numbers.

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In Sergio Ramos‘ absence, having now left the club at the end of his contract, Marcelo will be put through his first training session and his first pre-season as Real Madrid‘s first-team captain.


Ancelotti will start leading a revolution at Valdebebas, with his backroom staff also coming in. One of the most notable arrivals is that of Antonio Pintus, who has returned to the club after Zinedine Zidane‘s departure. Luis Llopis is also a returning face, taking charge of the club’s goalkeepers.

Pintus‘ return is particularly important, with him known for his precision when it comes to physical preparation, which is something that questions were asked of last season as Los Blancos suffered around 60 injuries over the course of the campaign.

The week of the ‘signings’

International commitments are getting in the way of Ancelotti‘s early plans. On Monday, he’ll have nine players still away on holidays having finished representing their respective countries at Euro 2020 and the Copa America, though Casemiro, Eder Militao and Vinicius Junior are still in action in Brazil.

As well, Marco Asensio, Jesus Vallejo, Dani Ceballos and Take Kubo are away with their national teams ahead of the Olympic Games.

Toni Kroos

As a result, the week of July 19 to July 25 will be key to getting players back after their holidays. That week will see David Alaba, Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Raphael Varane, Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos report for duty. Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard and Fede Valverde could return towards the end of that same week. By the end of the month, then, Ancelotti should have around 80 percent of his squad available.

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Nothing has been set yet, but Real Madrid are trying to arrange at least three games against European opponents. The location for those is still up in the air because of the pandemic and the ever-changing travel restrictions.

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