Lopetegui's Real Madrid staffing: World Cup and holiday demands
With 15 members of Los Blancos' playing staff at the 2018 World Cup, others have been jetting away on holiday, some who should hit the new season fresh.
Real Madrid's new manager Julen Lopetegui has joined at a time where there is much uncertainty about when he is going to be getting down to work with his playing squad. And with the start of his new LaLiga campaign due to kick-off on August 18, he'll be looking to get them back as soon as possible, while mindful of the long seasons his particular squad has had over the last three seasons.
Real Madrid's World Cup commitments
One of the challenges he faces at the moment is that 15 players are currently competing at the World Cup in Russia. By law they must have 30 days off, which means that for some, Costa Rica's Keylor Navas for example, the clock will soon be ticking. For others, they nations dreams will be driving them to still be involved well into July. Time to get familiar with these players in the Real Madrid setting - the coach does of course already know the Spanish players rather well - and get them prepared for a demanding season is going to be more difficult.
Freshness for Real Madrid 2018/19
On the other hand, there are nine players from Los Blancos' first team squad who have been enjoying their downtime since the end of May. Benzema, Bale, Theo Hernández, Marcos Llorente, Casilla, Ceballos, Mayoral and Luca Zidane have all been officially on holiday while some of their friends and teammates compete in Russia. For those players that remain, this could prove to be a valuable rest.