The ‘FIFA virus’ has returned to lay Real Madrid low. Zinedine Zidane has said goodbye to over half of his squad until September 6.
Real Madrid squad spread far and wide
17 members of Los Blancos’ squad have travelled back to their home countries to represent their national sides. The vast majority will be taking part in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, while Dani Ceballos and Borja Mayoral will play for Spain Under 21s in a friendly match and a 2019 European Championship qualifier.
The Madrid players in question will fly all over the world. They will play a total of 18 matches in 17 different countries, clocking up a total of 128,500km.
“I hope that upon their return, all the players will be available,” Zidane stated this week. The Latin American contingent is that which will concern the Frenchman most. Between them, Marcelo, Casemiro, and Keylor Navas will travel 67,500km. The Costa Rican ‘keeper will face Mexico in the early hours of the morning of September 5, and will therefore be the last to return to Madrid’s Valdebebas training base.
The rest of the squad will return to training on September 6, leaving just three days to prepare for the home fixture against Levante in LaLiga.
Zidane will work with bare bones
Back at the ranch, Madrid will continue to train with seven players from the first team (including Luca Zidane), and various academy players.
Raphael Varane and Jesús Vallejo are out with injury. If those two had been cleared fit to pull on their national team shirt, Madrid would have had 19 representatives across the globe, a record a recent times.