Zidane is putting the finioshing touches to what will be his first pre-season as Real Madrid coach with the player dues back for the first day of work on 15 July. The first two days in Valdebebas will be spent with the players being out through the standard physical and cardiovascular tests before the squad flies out to North America, presumably on the 18th. In the United States. Madrid have three friendlies lined up - against Paris Saint-Germain (27th), Chelsea (30th) and Bayern Munich (3rd August), all of which are part of the International Champions Cup.
Madrid have chosen Montreal on Canada's easy coast as their base for the summer, although plans have yet to be finalized and Toronto has also been mentioned as an alternative. The squad will spend eight days in Canada and during their stay, the players will be taken through the first stage of the physical preparation designed by fitness trainers Bernardo Requena and Hamidou Msaidie. Zizou was very pleased with the results of the mini preparatory plan which the two drew up when he took over the reins from Rafa Benítez. The training programme was essential in allowing the team to compete in the final sprint final at the end of the league campaign in which they pushed Barça to the final day and lifted the Champions League.
The club have booked the Ritz Carlton Hotel for their time in Canada and will train at Montreal Impact's training complex. The sports complex was built just 18 months agoand features four practice pitches (two with natural grass playing surfaces and two with synthetic surfaces); overlooking the training ground is the historic Caserne Letourneux building, designed by Marius Dufresne and contrusted in 1915 which is currently being restored.
Other European clubs have chosen Montreal as their summer base in recent years. Last season, José Mourinho planned part of Chelsea's summer stage in the city. Mourinho explained that "The climate at this time of year is very good”. Daytime tempuratures in Montreal rarely exceed 26 degrees although humidity is generally around 50%. PSG and Oympique Lyonnais also chose the city for last summer's Trophée des Champions.
Madrid are hoping to finalize a friendly during their time in Canada (against Impact) before they set off for the United States. First stop in the US will be Columbus,Ohio where they will take on PSG on 27 July, three days later they will meet Chelsea in Ann Arbor, Michigan and four days after that, on 3 August, Ancelotti's Bayern Munich in East Rutherford, New Jersey. That will be the team's final dress rehearsal before they contest the European Super Cup against Sevilla in Trondheim, Norway on 9 August. An engagement which forced Madrid to cancel a friendly they had pencilled in at Wembley.
For the Canada/USA trip, Zidane will take just 11 first team players who are not involved in either Euro 2016 or the Copa América: Keylor Navas, Casilla, Yáñez, Nacho, Varane, Carvajal, Danilo, Marcelo, Jesé, Isco and Benzema. Joining them will be the players who spent last season out on loan and whose futures will be decided over the course of the pre-season - Coentrão, Lucas Silva, Asensio, Vallejo, Cheryshev and Diego Llorente, together with reserve team players: Mayoral, Mariano and Ødegaard.
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