Real Madrid start their Champions League defence tonight as they take on Celtic at the Celtic Park for the first gameweek of the group stages. As is tradition, the lineup for the game has been released two hours prior to kick-off.
Daniel Carvajal retains his first-choice spot as the right-back, starting alongside the usual suspects of David Alaba and Eder Militao. Ferland Mendy gets the nod as the left-back, while Thibaut Courtois is the starting goalkeeper.
Antonio Rudiger has been benched for this game, contrary to reports and predictions, but fellow new signing Aurelien Tchouameni is starting as the defensive midfielder as part of the trident in the centre of the park.
Toni Kroos returns to the lineup tonight, alongside his partner-in-crime, Luka Modric.
In attack, we will see top scorer from last season, Karim Benzema, spearhead the lineup, donning the captain’s armband. Vinicius Junior takes his place on the left of the trio, while Federico Valverde is on the right.
Confirmed Madrid XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Modric, Tchouameni, Kroos; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius
Real Madrid closely following the progress of 19-year-old Brazilian centre-back
Real Madrid have made it a habit to identify and sign the best young talents from Brazil in recent times. The Merengues recently signed Endrick Felipe from Palmeiras, although the striker will join the club in 2024, once he turns 18 years old.
Now, according to journalist Bruno Andrade on UOL Esporte, Real Madrid have set their sights on 19-year-old Brazilian defender Robert Renan.
The teenage centre-half came through the ranks at Corinthians and went on to make 13 senior appearances for the Brazilian outfit. He left the club last month to sign for Russian giants Zenit St. Petersburg as part of the operation involving Yuri Alberto.
Renan is yet to make his debut for Zenit, but Real Madrid have had their eyes on the 19-year-old for a while now and have been closely following his progress and performances.
The teenage defender is currently a part of the Brazil U-20 team at the South American U-20 Championship in Colombia. And he has performed admirably in the tournament, featuring in each of his team’s five matches so far.
Renan’s performances in the U-20 Championship are said to have further piqued the interest of Real Madrid.
The report suggests that Los Blancos will continue keeping tabs on the young defender’s development at Zenit over the coming months.
With Nacho Fernandez’s contract expiring at the end of the season and Jesus Vallejo’s future uncertain as well, Real Madrid could use a defensive reinforcement in the summer to support Eder Militao, David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger.
Established players such as Josko Gvardiol have been linked with a move to the Bernabeu.
Renan, too, could be an option for Real Madrid in the summer. But, as things stand, the interest in the Brazilian is at a very nascent stage and the Merengues will continue to track his progress at Zenit, where his contract runs until 2028.