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 veteran tipped to stay at club by ex-star: “His wish is to renew”
Real Madrid are in for a busy summer ahead. While the club are expected to undergo a massive squad overhaul, they are also facing pressure to renew the contracts of some of the most established players in the squad.
Luka Modric is among the list of veterans, who have their contracts expiring at the end of the season. At the age of 37, there has understandably been a layer of uncertainty over his future at Santiago Bernabeu, especially amid interest from Saudi Arabian entities.
The Saudi league has reportedly offered Modric the opportunity to join any club of his choice in the Middle East nation, with a two-and-a-half-year contract worth €40 million per season.
But in a recent media interaction, Predrag Mijatovic, former Real Madrid player and close friend of Modric, has backed the veteran Croat to continue at Santiago Bernabeu.
“When Luka Modric is well, Real Madrid plays much better. His wish is to renew one more year,” said Mijatovic (h/t El Larguero), who played for Real Madrid from 1996 to 1999, featuring in 118 competitive matches for the club.
Mijatovic’s comments confirm recent reports suggesting how Modric is leaning towards a prolonged stay at Bernabeu. It appears the ageing midfielder has no desire to accept the lucrative terms coming from Saudi Arabia just yet.
The former Tottenham star is confident of his abilities to continue at the highest level for at least another year before he can the next and final step in his career.
Since joining Real Madrid in 2012, Modric has featured in 462 competitive matches, racking up 36 goals and 74 assists. His contributions have been crucial to the club’s success over the past decade. Whether or not the midfielder is now willing to extend his stay for a further year remains to be seen.