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Real Madrid confirm team captains for 2023-24

The club put together a video to announce the four players who between them, will skipper the side during the new campaign.

The club put together a video to announce the four players who between them, will skipper the side during the new campaign.
Michael ReganGetty Images

It was unofficial, until today. Real Madrid announced through a video on their social media platforms the four players who will wear the captain’s armband for the coming season. Nacho, Modric, Carvajal and Kroos - in order, the first, second, third and fourth captain for 2023-24.

Karim Benzema, acted as vice-captain in 2021, before taking the armband when Marcelo left last summer. But he too has since moved on (to Al-Ittihad), leaving a vacancy to be filled ahead of the new campaign. It was only natural that Nacho, the second captain last season, was promoted after he decided to renew his contract - preserving his status as a one club player at least until his situation comes up for review again next summer.

Nacho has plenty of experience as the team’s leader - he wore the armband in the lower categories, including his time with Castilla and also with the first team on the odd occasion. “An exemplary Real Madrid player and sportsman who has demonstrated his worth” explained the video voice-over. When Nacho is not on the pitch, his second in command, Luka Modric will perform the honour.

Luka was another player whose contract expires this month and kept Real Madrid on edge over his future. But he too will continue after renewing until 30 June 2024. He first captained the team in the 2021-22 season but on the whole it was Benzema who skippered the side up until his departure. Modric is captain with Croatia and at 39, he has racked up years of experience for the job.

Next summer, three of Madrid’s captains will have to meditate with the club again. Nacho, Modric and Toni Kroos, the fourth captain, all agreed one-year extensions. The German also captained Madrid for the first time in 2021-22 - some thing he could repeat when the other three are unavailable.

Valverde learning the ropes

Dani Carvajal is next in line when Nacho and Modric are out. As a kid, he was in charge of laying the first stone at Madrid’s new training complex in Valdebebas together with Alfredo Di Stéfano in September 2005 - an historic moment shared in the video which Madrid published on Wednesday. He was captain of the Under-12s at the time.

Four players who were part of the generation that won five Champions League titles - another, Fede Valverde will be learning everything he can from them. El Halcón has said on several occasions that his dream is to captain Uruguay and Real Madrid and he is already a step closer to that. He wore the armband during last year’s pre-season and will be in contention for a full-time role this time next year...