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Real Madrid working hard to avoid any physical concerns ahead of UCL final

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Photo by MICHAELA STACHE/AFP via Getty Images

As the days advance, Real Madrid’s impending Champions League final clash with Borussia Dortmund edges closer.

The Merengues have the opportunity to secure a historic double and conclude the season on a high note, but complications are cropping up in the lead-up to the grand showdown.

Physical concerns

Real Madrid are set to play two games in eight days: a low-stakes clash against Real Betis followed by the Champions League final versus Borussia Dortmund.

While Ancelotti is getting ready for the final, there are worries about the injuries to important players, such as Aurelien Tchouamani, who sustained recently.

As such, according to SPORT to make sure the players are at their best for the final, Ancelotti has given his fitness coach, Antonio Pintus, charge of the players’ physical preparation.

The Italian manager is reported to start his best team against Real Betis as a warm-up for the Borussia game.

Real Madrid play the UCL final in over a week. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Still, the staff is taking extra precautions to prevent injuries, particularly in the cases of Jude Bellingham, Dani Carvajal, and Ferland Mendy, who have suffered many injuries over the course of the campaign.

In fact, with Bellingham, Madrid have devised a ‘mini pre-season’ to effectively manage his play time and evaluate his fitness levels.

Ancelotti has no intention of backing down from Real Betis despite these reservations, though.

After 10 seasons with Real Madrid, Toni Kroos will play his final game in front of the home crowd on this occasion and Los Blancos intend to make it a special occasion.

Ancelotti excited to create history

While the physical challenges pose some problems, Real Madrid have been dealing with an excess of injuries throughout the season and did not let those setbacks disrupt their winning momentum.

Playing in the final, they will once again be banking on their resolve and mentality.

Ancelotti even professed that his men must enjoy the special occasion, indicating his confidence ahead of the game.

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti’s dilemma: How will he handle a fully fit defense next season?

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Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Real Madrid’s manager, Carlo Ancelotti, is set to face a challenging situation in restructuring his defence for the upcoming season and that is largely down to key players like David Alaba and Eder Militao are returning to full fitness. 

Interestingly, this situation might put Antonio Rudiger’s spot in the starting lineup under significant pressure.

Back when Rudiger joined Real Madrid he was supposed to strengthen a defence already featuring Alaba and Militao. Despite their young age, these two had firmly established themselves in the team. 

Over the past two years, however, Ancelotti has consistently relied on the duo, with Rudiger and Nacho serving as their main substitutes. 

A big decision awaits Ancelotti

As the new season approaches, Ancelotti faces a dilemma similar to the one he had with goalkeepers Andriy Lunin and Thibaut Courtois. A similar situation is likely to unfold with Rudiger and Militao vying for the right centre-back position.

It must be remembered that Militao suffered an untimely injury last season, prompting Ancelotti to choose Rudiger over Nacho, who, although right-footed, is also adept on the left side. 

Carlo Ancelotti needs to assess his defensive duo for next season. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)

As the season progressed, Rudiger proved his worth, becoming a mainstay in the defense. His physical strength, bravery, and aerial prowess made him a reliable choice. 

His ability to play out from the back earned him the respect and confidence of his teammates, overshadowing Militao’s absence.

Rudiger’s importance has grown

Rudiger’s importance grew further when Alaba got injured in December. He became the cornerstone of the defence, often partnering with Nacho or Aurelien Tchouameni. Even when Rudiger played on the left side, the defensive structure remained solid.

When Militao returned in the last month and a half of the season, he struggled to regain his previous form. The long recovery period left emotional scars, and he was not the same player he had been before the injury. 

Consequently, Ancelotti opted to keep Rudiger in the lineup for crucial matches towards the end of the season.

With the new season on the horizon, Rudiger’s strong performances will present a significant challenge for Ancelotti. 

As Alaba also returns from injury, Ancelotti will have to decide who among Rudiger, Militao, and Alaba will be benched. 

Rudiger has proven his capability, often outperforming the Brazilian, whose post-injury form is still uncertain. 

Adding to the competition, Real Madrid might sign Leni Yoro and even Rafa Marin could return from his loan spell which could further complicate Ancelotti’s decisions.

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