Real Madrid continued their preparations for the restart of the 2022/23 campaign later this month with a friendly match against Leganes earlier today.
It was a behind-closed-doors friendly encounter that saw Carlo Ancelotti give game-time to the players who were not part of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. And as reported by El Chiringuito TV, the contest ended in a 1-1 draw.
It was a training match with two halves of thirty minutes each as per the report and Toni Kroos was the player who found the back of the net for Real Madrid on the day.
What will please the fans is that Karim Benzema was seen back in action for Real Madrid. The French centre-forward has not played a game for Los Blancos since November 2, when he made an appearance against Celtic in the UEFA Champions League.
Benzema receiving some valuable minutes ahead of the resumption of the 2022/23 season later this month will certainly come as a boost for the Merengues.
Along with Benzema, David Alaba, who also rejoined training only recently, was also involved for Real Madrid in the training match against Leganes.
Journalist Hugo Cerezo reports that Real Madrid started with Andriy Lunin in goal, with Lucas Vazquez, Jesus Vallejo, Nacho Fernandez and Ferland Mendy forming the backline.
Kroos started in midfield along with Dani Ceballos and Alaba. Alvaro Odriozola played as a winger, partnering Benzema and Mariano Diaz in the frontline.
Benzema was taken off at half-time for Sergio Arribas while fellow Castilla prospects like Carlos Dotor and Rafa Marin also received minutes.
The reigning La Liga champions will return to action in the league on December 30 when they visit Estadio Jose Zorrilla to take on Real Valladolid.
Real Madrid are currently trailing arch-rivals Barcelona by two points in the La Liga table. Therefore, it is important that they make a winning start when the campaign resumes in a couple of weeks.
Ancelotti’s team are expected to play a few more friendly matches before facing Valladolid on December 30, by which time the manager should have the full squad at his disposal.
Real Madrid the most likely destination for Kylian Mbappe with Liverpool not pushing for transfer
Journalist Florian Plettenberg has affirmed that despite Liverpool’s continued interest, Real Madrid remain the most realistic destination for Kylian Mbappe either for next year or the year after that.
As far as PSG are concerned, the Ligue 1 champions are totally relaxed over the drama as they are now financially secure for his possible departure. Nonetheless, Liverpool are not at all pushing for the player which leaves Real Madrid as the only team as suitors.
Mbappe has declined an extension offer from PSG, as his current deal is set to expire in 2024 and the 24-year-old forward seems poised to determine his future destination sooner rather than later.
As for Real Madrid, while they have denied holding any talks with the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner, the interest in him has always been there as he remains one of the club’s main targets for 2024.
One last attempt for Mbappe?
Real Madrid have been chasing Mbappe since 2021 and while there have been instances when he almost joined, the move has always failed to materialise for some reason.
Last year, he ended up signing a new contract and this year, as he looked certain to leave PSG, a sudden change of heart saw him stay put. Now, there are going to be some repercussions of his continued ignorance.
These repercussions Mbappe will experience if rejects Madrid once again as it is said that the team from the Spanish capital is fed up with playing this game and if the move fails next summer, the door for Mbappe will be closed forever.
On the contrary, Plettenberg reports that it is not a matter of if for Mbappe, but a matter of when.
So even if they somehow miss out on his acquisition this summer, they will be able to sign him in 2025 as they are currently the only team running for his signature.