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Real Madrid unhappy with LaLiga over Christmas fixture schedule

Carlo Ancelotti’s side have been handed a late slot for their matchday 18 fixture away to Alavés, disrupting their festive plans.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side have been handed a late slot for their matchday 18 fixture away to Alavés, disrupting their festive plans.

Real Madrid’s coaching staff are incredibly disappointed with LaLiga’s decision to schedule their away game against Alavés on Thursday 21 December, with the late kick off (9:30 p.m. local time / 3:30 p.m. ET) further adding to their annoyance. The Christmas break immediately follows matchday 18, which would have allowed the roster to have a full week off had they been scheduled to play in Vitoria on the Wednesday, as they had hoped.

How much time off will Real Madrid have at Christmas?

Los Blancos had planned to return from the break on Wednesday 27 December to give themselves seven days to get ready for their matchday 19 fixture against Real Mallorca, which will be played at Estadio Santiago Bernabéu on 3 January (kick off at 7:15 p.m. local time /1:15 p.m. ET).

Preparation time for LaLiga return set to be cut

The main issue surrounds players who will be travelling across the globe during their down time, with several members of the roster, including Brazilian trio Eder Militão, Rodrygo and Vinicius, as well as Uruguay international Fede Valverde, expected to return home to South America. Others, meanwhile, will likely look to jet off to warmer climates such as Dubai for a Christmas getaway.

Jet lag is, of course, one concern, while flights to South America always leave Madrid at night, which means players from that part of the world won’t arrive in their homelands until 23 December at the very earliest. Head coach Carlo Ancelotti is now expected to give those who cross the Atlantic time off until 29 December, cutting their preparation time ahead of the Mallorca game.

Madrid a distraction to European Super League ruling?

Club bosses also believe LaLiga have scheduled them to play on 21 December in an attempt to take some of the attention away from the fact the European Court of Justice (ECJ) will deliver its final verdict on the validity of the European Super League (ESL) on the same morning. The ECJ will decide whether ESL backers, including Madrid and Barcelona, were right to claim UEFA were running an illegal monopoly in European soccer and had broken competition law after they threatened to sanction clubs and players who joined a breakaway league.

A ruling which favours Real Madrid, and therefore goes against LaLiga, would potentially fade into the background somewhat with Ancelotti’s side in action on the very same day.