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Real Madrid players return to prepare for the 2022/23 season

Friday 8 July saw a number of the Madrid squad undergo medical examinations at Valdebebas, and then Ancelotti’s first training session.

Courtois, Real Madrid goalkeeper.

Real Madrid is back! Los Blancos kicked off their pre-season on Friday, July 8, with the routine medical check-ups and the weigh-in of all the players to see at what point they begin their preparation for next season. As has been the case since 2020, tests are added to this to detect if any footballer arrives carrying covid-19, an issue that no longer has the importance of a few months ago, but that is also being watched to prevent an outbreak inside the Madrid dressing room.

Which Real Madrid players have already returned for pre-season?

Of course, not all players are coming at once. Missing are all those who were called up with their national teams in the first week of June, after the Champions League final in Paris against Liverpool on May 28. All those who were called up by their national teams enjoy a few more days off to compensate for those extra days of work. The South Americans are expected back this Sunday, while the Europeans on Thursday 14.

Real Madrid's Kroos
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Real Madrid's Kroos

The first team footballers who paraded through Valdebebas on Friday morning were: Courtois, Lunin, Lucas Vázquez, Nacho, Vallejo, Mendy, Kroos, Ceballos, Mariano, Borja Mayoral, Kubo, Reinier and Odriozola. The Belgian goalkeeper should have been in the group that joins on the 14th, but injury problems prevented him from being with his team in June, so he joined this first group. They were accompanied by several youth gems from Castilla: goalkeeper Luis López, defenders Vinicius Tobías and Rafa Marín, midfielder Blanco and striker Latasa.

Kubo, Mayoral, Reinier and Odriozola also took their place, those on loan last season who return to await a decision on their futures. Madrid wants Mayoral to be the forward who gives Benzema some rest time, ahead of Mariano, who has options to leave if he finds a team where he fits sportingly and financially. Fenerbahçe, where Jorge Jesús now manages are admirers; the coach previously wanted him for Benfica.

Jovic was the other candidate for that position, but he is off to Fiorentina, in an agreement by which Madrid releases him for free, but keeps 50% of his rights in the hope that, If he plays regularly in Italy and recovers the scoring tone, the club can recover part of the investment made, a whopping 60 million euros.

Real Madrid's Kubo
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Real Madrid's Kubo

Odriozola will stay to take over from Carvajal on the right side, while Kubo and Reinier already know that they must leave, as they are from outside the EU and there are no places available in the team right now (they are occupied by Vinicius, Militao and Rodrygo; the three are in the process of nationalization, but the traffic jam derived from the pandemic in the Ministry of Justice is delaying their Spanishness).

Of the rest of those present, the one with the most uncertain future is Dani Ceballos. He is entering the last year of his contract and wants to play, something that Ancelotti cannot promise him, least of all now that he is has signed Tchouameni and that Camavinga and Valverde are going to gain more status in the team.

On Thursday, Ancelotti was at the Valdebebas offices starting up all the machinery for the preseason. He met with Antonio Pintus, head of physical training for the club, and Luis Llopis, the team’s goalkeeping coach. “We’re back to work. It’s not a job, it’s a joy,” commented the coach in images broadcast on the club’s official website.

The Pintus zone

After the medical exams in the morning, the team train on Friday afternoon in Valdebebas, in what will be the first session of a preseason in which Madrid will partially recover normality after the pandemic. On Saturday the first double session will take place: one at 10am in the morning and another at 5:30pm local time. This is the territory of Antonio Pintus, the physical trainer, the moment in which the Italian’s work becomes more important so that the players get fit as quickly as possible, although all of them have taken the opportunity to work out during their holidays.

There will be no long stay away from Madrid this summer, the initial work being done in Valdebebas and on July 19 the team will fly to the United States to play the three friendly matches it has scheduled.

On the 23rd they’ll face Barça in Las Vegas; on the 26th against America in San Francisco; and then a clash against Juventus in Los Angeles on the 30th.

Another more competitive game is lined up for August 10 against Eintracht in Helsinki, with the European Super Cup at stake.


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