Carlo Ancelotti has announced his 24-man squad that will host Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu for the third El Clasico of the season. Coming off the back of two incredible wins against Paris Saint-Germain and RCD Mallorca respectively, Real Madrid are soaring mentally.
However, their problems start with the absence of Karim Benzema, who has been ruled out of the clash after an injury last weekend. Gareth Bale, Luka Jovic, and Mariano Diaz are listed as possible replacements.
In defence, Ferland Mendy does not make the cut either, as was confirmed by Carlo Ancelotti today. One of Nacho or Marcelo are expected to replace the Frenchman, faced with the task of defending against Ousmane Dembele or Adama Traore.
Rodrygo was substituted off during the Mallorca clash due to injury, but is deemed fit enough to make the cut for the Clasico.
Goalkeepers: Courtois, Lunin, Pineiro
Defenders: Caravajal, Militao, Alaba, Vallejo, Nacho, Marcelo, Vazquez
Midfielders: Kroos, Modric, Casemiro, Valverde, Ceballos, Isco, Camavinga
Forwards: Hazard, Asensio, Jovic, Bale, Vinicius, Rodrygo, Mariano
Real Madrid’s academy breakout star was close to signing for Atletico in the past – report
Nico Paz has burst onto the scene at Real Madrid after his recent heroics. The youngster was long hyped as Castilla’s brightest upcoming star, and his performances in recent games prove why.
Paz was the hero when Los Blancos took on Napoli earlier this week. Coming off the bench, he netted Real Madrid’s winning goal with six minutes left on the clock, thus scoring his first-ever goal with the first team.
Turning the clock back
As revealed in a recent update by AS, Paz’s arrival at Real Madrid was by no means a simple operation. It was made possible only through rigorous scanning and profiling done by the clubs scouts in Tenerife.
The youngster, at the time, was the crown jewel of the youth team in Tenerife. He was only 11 years old when the administration established contact with his father, back in April 2016.
It was only then that Real Madrid was made aware of Atletico Madrid’s strong interest in signing the player.
Los Rojiblancos had already made an important offer, and it was thus only Real Madrid’s timely intervention and negotiation that secured Paz’s signing.
An interesting clause
Paz’s entourage were naturally thrilled by the interest from Real Madrid and possible transfer. However, they had one clause that they insisted be met.
The Argentine ace’s entourage insisted that, as opposed to staying in the club facilities, Paz would reside with his family who would move to Madrid with the player. They value the family nucleus dearly and wished to keep the player in his comfort zone outside of training.
Needless to say, the green light soon arrived and Real Madrid won the race of Atletico Madrid. The rest, as they say, is history.