Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico's eye-wateringly expensive benches
Valverde, Lopetegui and Simeone had an embarrassment of riches on the bench for their opening LaLiga matches against Alavés, Getafe and Valencia respectively.
Both Barcelona and Real Madrid got their league campaigns off to a winning start, and one of the notable aspects for both sides was the quality available to each on their respective benches. Barça struggled somewhat in the first half, but could call on the entry of star Coutinho at half-time to fire up their attack, with the Brazilian scoring the second goal in what finished as a 3-0 triumph. Real Madrid could also count on bringing game-changers off the bench in their win over Getafe and in addition to the subs available to the two biggest names in Spanish football can be added Atletico Madrid, who faced Valencia at Mestalla with a more than decent selection of players in the dug-out, though they were unable to have the desired impact for Simeone's lot, the match finishing 1-1.
Barcelona, Real Madrid & Atlético Madrid's power benches
In total, the Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atlético benches for the opening LaLiga matches had a total market value of 788.5 million euros. Barcelona could count on seven potential substitutes with a value of 314 million euros according to website Transfermarkt. Valverde could look along his bench at Cillessen (20 million), Lenglet (36), Arthur (30), Vidal (35), Rafinha (28), Coutinho (120) and Malcom (45). In the end he borought on the former Liverpool player at the break, Arthur after 76 minutes and Vidal with 84 minutes gone.
Real Madrid bench
A fair amount has been said about the strength and depth of the Real Madrid bench after the departure of major names in recent years including James Rodriguez, Morata and Kovacic, in addition to the farewell of Cristiano Ronaldo, without the club plunging into the market for replacements.
In the match against Getafe Lopetegui’s bench though included big name players who will be likely to have a major impact on the destination of this year’s silverware: Courtois (65 million euros), Varane (80), Casemiro (60), Modric (25), Lucas Vázquez (25), Vinicius (35) and Mayoral (7.5) with a total estimated value of 297.5 million euros.
Atlético only made two changes to the eleven who started the European Supercup against Real Madrid with Filipe Luis and Correa coming in for the game against Valencia. On the bench Simeone had Adán (3 million euros), Giménez (50), Thomas (25), Rodrigo (25), Vitolo (25), Gelson Martins (35) and Kalinic (14) with a total value of 177 million euros (note too that Lucas Hernandez was out suspended).
Subs worth more than the entire opposition
In the case of Barcelona and Real Madrid the strength of their respective benches is even clearer taking into account that their seven substitutes far exceeded the total value of the starting eleven of their rivals Alavés and Getafe respectively. Alavés put out an eleven with a market value of 27.8 million euros, meaning that their eleven players together did not reach the value of six of the seven Barcelona substitutes. Pacheco (9), Maripan (1.5), Duarte (2), Laguardia (1.8), Aguirregabiria (1.5), Wakaso (1.2), Manu García (1.8), Dani Torres (1.5), Ibai Gómez (3.5), Jonny (2), Nephew (2) were chosen by Abelardo.
Getafe’s situation was very similar with their starting XI worth just 42.6 million euros, less than each of Courtois, Varane and Casemiro. Bordalás went with Soria (3), Damián Suárez (2.5), Bruno (1), Djené (15), Cabrera (0.6), Arambarri (5), Maksimovic (5), Portillo (2), Shibasaki ( 3), Amath (5) and Jorge Molina (0.5).
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