Real Madrid face off against UD Almeria at the Power Horse Stadium in a couple of hours in Matchweek 2 of the 2023/24 La Liga.
With kickoff not far away, manager Carlo Ancelotti has released the starting lineup that will be taking the field against Vicente Moreno’s side today evening.
There are two changes made to the team that started in the season opener against Athletic Club last weekend, with both alterations coming as enforced ones.
Antonio Rudiger steps into the backline to partner David Alaba following Eder Militao’s ACL rupture. Dani Carvajal and Fran Garcia continue as the full-backs while Andriy Lunin retains his spot in goal ahead of new signing Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The second alteration comes in midfield where Toni Kroos starts in place of Eduardo Camavinga, who is dealing with some discomfort and is left on the bench.
Federico Valverde and Aurelien Tchouameni retain their places in midfield while Jude Bellingham continues as the attacking midfielder behind the forward duo of Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo Goes.
Real Madrid full-back never considered summer exit, would retire at club if given chance
Ferland Mendy finds himself in a difficult situation at Real Madrid. The Frenchman has struggled with injury and fitness woes for a large part of the past year, leading to doubts over his future at the club.
In fact, it had been reported that Los Blancos were considering selling Mendy during the summer transfer window earlier this year itself.
But, such a move did not materialise and the 28-year-old has stayed put at the Santiago Bernabeu although reports suggest that he is likely to be on the move next year.
Mendy would retire at Real Madrid if he could
Despite there having been numerous reports about his future in the summer, The Athletic reports that Mendy did not consider the possibility of an exit at any point.
In fact, the report adds that if given a chance, the 28-year-old defender would retire at Real Madrid.
Mendy’s contract with Los Merengues expires in 2025 and he is understood to be seeking a renewal for a while now, but there has been no move made by the club.
The injuries that the 28-year-old has picked up are understood to be a major deterrent for Real Madrid, which is why they are already looking to reinforce the left-back position with Alphonso Davies next year.
Mendy enjoys Ancelotti’s trust
Despite the non-stop speculations surrounding him, Mendy continues to enjoy the full trust of manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Indeed, as per the report, the Italian tactician has informed the Frenchman that he is the left-back that best fits the defensive requirements needed in the team.
Ancelotti’s decision to bench Fran Garcia in the UEFA Champions League game even though Mendy was unavailable and start David Alaba at left-back was taken as an indicator within the dressing room that the Frenchman remains the first-choice in the position.
So, it remains to be seen how the situation unfolds over the coming months, especially with Ancelotti’s future also uncertain as his contract expires in 2024.