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Real Madrid defender major doubt for derby vs Atletico, two makeshift replacements identified

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Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images

Real Madrid defender Antonio Rudiger suffered a blow to his left thigh during his tussle with Mason Greenwood in Real Madrid’s 2-0 win over Getafe. While the German defender continued in the first period, obvious discomfort forced him out at half-time.

Right now, there is no affirmation over the gravity of his injury, but if a report from AS is to be believed, Rudiger remains a doubt for the upcoming derby match against Atletico Madrid. 

According to sources within the club, Rudiger has sustained a significant impact on his left thigh. However, the possibility of a muscle injury has been dismissed, leaving open the chance of his participation in the upcoming derby.

So what’s the plan?

It is to be noted that during the game, Eduardo Camavinga was seen warming up during Rudiger’s troubles and by the stroke of half-time, the Frenchman was introduced, forcing Aurelien Tchouameni to move back to central defence.

Aurelien Tchouameni is suspended for Madrid derby. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

Now, during the added minutes of the second half, Tchouameni picked up a yellow, resulting in an automatic suspension for the derby. This means if Rudiger fails to recover in time, Real Madrid will head into the derby with only one centre-back, namely Nacho.

“If we don’t have Rüdiger we will put in another centre-back who will not be used to playing there, but will do it very well,” affirmed Ancelotti after the Getafe game.

Who would that be?

Judging by the look of things, the likes of Dani Carvajal or Ferland Mendy are likely to be used as a centre-back against Atletico.

Carvajal, in particular, has never started in that position, with his only notable appearance as a centre-back occurring during extra time against Chelsea in the Champions League.

On the other hand, Mendy has been deployed as a starting centre-back twice under Zidane in the 2020-21 season. However, there’s a nuance to this as he occupied the left centre-back position in a formation featuring three centre-backs and two full-backs. 

This strategic move paid off, resulting in two victories without conceding any goals, with Mendy even scoring against Getafe. 

The looming question is whether Mendy can replicate the same success in a conventional four-man defensive line. 

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Real Madrid News

Shocking Modric, Vinicius, Cristiano fact makes Real Madrid fans ‘feel old’

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Luka Modric is set to stay with Real Madrid for another season, meaning he will have played more seasons with Vinicius Jr. (7) than he did with Cristiano Ronaldo (6). 

Feeling old yet? We thought so too!

Modric joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2012 after four seasons with Tottenham Hotspur. On the other hand, Vinicius Jr. joined Real Madrid in 2018. 

By the end of the 2023/24 season, Modric and Vinicius will have spent six seasons together. This is the same number of seasons Modric played with Cristiano Ronaldo, who was at Madrid from 2009 to 2018. 

However, with Modric set to stay for another season, he will surpass that, playing more seasons with Vinicius than with Ronaldo, the club’s all-time top scorer.

A new contract for Modric

It is important to note that Real Madrid and Modric have reached an agreement in principle for his contract renewal for another year.

Luka Modric will stay at Real Madrid for another season. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

At 38, Modric’s contract was set to expire at the end of the current season. For a while, it seemed the Croatian star might leave Santiago Bernabeu this summer. 

However, things have changed recently, and Real Madrid have decided to offer him a new contract. 

Interestingly, Real Madrid have also offered a renewal to Toni Kroos with club president Florentino Perez personally involved in the negotiations.

Modric and Kroos will continue

Reports suggest that Modric has agreed to the new proposal, with an agreement in principle now in place. It is also expected that Kroos will accept his offer, meaning Real Madrid will keep both veteran players for another season.

The Croatian was reportedly willing to accept a pay cut and a reduced role in the team to continue playing for Real Madrid. This flexibility may have sped up the agreement process.

His willingness to adapt to a reduced role and accept a pay cut has likely influenced the club’s decision to renew his contract for one more year. 

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