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Five players who will be fixed starters for Real Madrid next season

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Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

Following a successful campaign, Real Madrid are poised for significant changes in their roster due to a combination of player arrivals and departures.

The responsibility of blending new faces with established stars will fall to coach Carlo Ancelotti and his staff as they aim to maintain the club’s competitive edge domestically and in Europe.

And to predict the team’s probable strategy and performance amidst these changes, it is imperative to identify the key players who will be constant starters.

Kylian Mbappe

The new talisman. (Photo by ROMAIN PERROCHEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

With Real Madrid no longer viewing Mbappe through rose-tinted lenses and finally being able to dress him in the royal white jersey, the Frenchman is expected to be one of the first names on the team sheet.

Owing to his instinctive nature to find the back of the net, he is poised to be paired alongside Vinicius Jr. in attack.

Last season, the 2018 World Cup winner scored a whopping 44 goals in all competitions. Thus Real Madrid will be banking heavily on Mbappe’s ability to ask questions of opposition defenders in the final third.

It is being said that Mbappe is all set to wear the iconic number 9 jersey at Real Madrid, which is indicative of the role he will play, as a focal striker.

Vinicius Jr.

The main man at Real Madrid. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

The Brazilian is in pole position to win the Ballon d’Or this year, and looking back on his season with Real Madrid, it is easy to see why.

Despite losing Karim Benzema, his usual partner in crime over the past few years, Vinicius performed remarkably well in Ancelotti’s new system.

Relentlessly taking on defenders, arriving into space, scoring goals, and stepping up in the biggest of moments, he was one of Real Madrid’s major lynchpins throughout the season as they lifted a historic double.

Vinicius impressively racked up 24 goals last season, and given his importance to the team, the likelihood of him not maintaining a starting role next season is nearly nonexistent.

Jude Bellingham

Real Madrid Fans’ Player of the Season. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Defying all expectations in his debut season, Jude Bellingham established himself as a key player for Real Madrid, demonstrating exceptional versatility, and maturity far beyond his years.

Although the Englishman’s performances wavered in the final stretch of the season, Bellingham’s contributions ensured Los Blancos were able to compete in the Champions League and especially La Liga.

In addition to scoring 23 goals in all competitions, he has constantly been a beacon of reliability in midfield and has proven to be the voice of reason on the pitch.

There have been murmurs about Bellingham potentially being berthed deeper next season as Real Madrid intends to use him as Kroos’ replacement. However, given his versatility, he is expected to be a crucial player wherever he plays.

Antonio Rudiger

A mainstay at the back. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Rudiger is one of the major reasons Real Madrid managed to successfully disguise their injury crisis. Despite players falling like dominos in the back-line, the German stood resolutely as a dependable figure for most of the campaign, arguably enjoying one of his best seasons.

Expertly anticipating opposition strikers’ movements, he leaps forward to thwart attacks before they begin. Moreover, thanks to his large stature and incredible recovery pace, he is able to cover distances behind.

Reports have mentioned that Carlo Ancelotti views him as a crucial component of the squad and potential arrivals, such as those of Leny Yoro and Rafa Marin, in the back-line are unlikely to devalue his presence.

Thibaut Courtois

Back like he was never gone. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

In spite of spending more than half of the campaign on the sidelines recovering from an ACL and MCL injury, Courtois is worth his weight in gold for Real Madrid.

He performed admirably in the final few games of the season and did no wrong against Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League final.

While Andriy Lunin made up for his absence with flying colours, he is placed below Courtois in the pecking order for now, which also has made the Ukrainian lean towards an exit.

The fact that Lunin, after his sublime season, stands no chance of dethroning Courtois between the sticks is a testament to how much the club appreciates the Belgian. Even at the age of 32, the Belgian keeper is anticipated to retain an important role in the team.

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Features

Five Real Madrid stars to watch out for at Euro 2024

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Photo by MICHAELA STACHE/AFP via Getty Images

After hoisting the UEFA Champions League trophy a week ago, several Real Madrid players are already on duty with their respective national teams for the upcoming European Championships.

The tournament in Germany kicks off in a week and several of Los Blancos’ stars will be on display in the much-anticipated event. They may not have enjoyed as much rest as players of other clubs, but that is the price one must pay for European Glory at the club level.

It is safe to say that every member of the Champions League winning squad who has been called up is vital for their team’s chances in the event.

Madrid Universal brings you a list of five Real Madrid players to keep an eye on for the upcoming tournament.

Jude Bellingham

Having just concluded a dream debut season with Real Madrid on both an individual and a collective level, Jude Bellingham will be eager to carry forward his impact into the European Championships with England.

Bellingham will be key for England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

The only catch, however, is that the youngster did not end the last season on a high and was possibly in a lean patch in terms of form. Bellingham was not at his best even in the recently concluded UCL final and all eyes will be on whether he can strike the chord.

Gareth Southgate sees the young phenom as a deeper-lying midfielder in his setup as opposed to the attacking midfield role he played for Real Madrid last season.

A lot, thus, rides on how he can adapt and perform in the role especially considering that the same position change could be imposed in his next season at Real Madrid as well. As a more seasoned player now, it will be on Bellingham to take up more responsibility.

Antonio Rudiger

Antonio Rudiger will look to carry forward his form to the Euros. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Antonio Rudiger was Real Madrid’s star in defence who took the team through unscathed despite the recurrent injury blows suffered by his teammates.

With Eder Militao and David Alaba both suffering ACL injuries at some point in the season, it was the German who stood strong in the face of adversity and led from the front.

Lining up for the hosts in the upcoming Euros, there will thus be a fair share of responsibility on his shoulders to keep the steam going for his country. He is expected to be paired with the likes of Jonathan Tah or Nico Schlotterbeck and will be critical for his team’s chances.

Kylian Mbappe

Mbappe will aim to lead France to glory. (Photo by JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN/AFP via Getty Images)

The newly-arrived Real Madrid superstar will be one of the biggest headliners in the upcoming tournament, especially considering that Les Bleus are one of the pre-tournament favourites to go all the way.

The World Cup Golden Boot winner will look to keep his record of stepping up under pressure and will lead the French National Team as the captain. He delivered a spectacular showing in the team’s recent friendly against Luxembourg and will hope the same form continues.

Heading into a new chapter of his life in Madrid, the coming Euros represents a period of transition in Mbappe’s life. A win in the event, needless to say, will go a long way in making the transition seamless.

Luka Modric

Will Modric finally get international glory? (Photo by KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images)

It has been said many times before, but the coming tournament could well be Luka Modric’s final Euros with Croatia. As a legend of the game and a bonafide national hero, it is thus only fitting that the veteran goes out on a high.

The Croatian national team have pulled off phenomenal results in recent high-stakes events. After making the World Cup final in 2018, they made it to the final-four stage in 2022 in Qatar.

As the perennial dark horses, it is thus not impossible for Croatia and Modric to enjoy a good run later this month. The Real Madrid veteran’s performances, however, will be key as he is the heart and soul of the team.

Toni Kroos

Hoping to sign off on a high. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Days have flown by since Toni Kroos announced that he would retire from football at the end of the ongoing tournament.

The German international’s return to the National Team setup a few months ago was celebrated across the world, but not many expected it to be his way of setting up for a last dance.

Kroos will officially hang up his boots after the European Championships, and the tournament in Germany will give football fans across the globe one final chance to enjoy his magic first-hand.

The veteran expressed that Germany could well win the event in a recent interview, and a dream retirement for the Real Madrid legend would indeed be the best way for him to leave the game. All the spotlight, thus, will be on Germany’s number 8.

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