Monday, September 26, 2016

UEFA Super Cup: Can Real Madrid Win Without Ronaldo, Bale & Benzema?

UEFA Super Cup: Can Real Madrid Win Without Ronaldo, Bale & Benzema?

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Real Madrid has announced its squad ahead of tonight’s UEFA Super Cup clash against Sevilla. The match will be played in Trondheim, Norway at 8:45 p.m. CEST. Notably absent from the list are Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos. With many of the team’s superstars absent, can the Los Blancos bench deliver the season’s first trophy?

Team manager Zinedine Zidane earlier announced that Cristiano Ronaldo is still recovering from the knee injury he sustained at the Euro 2016 final. He begs for patience both from the fans and from Ronaldo himself, who is reportedly eager to get back on the pitch.

Meanwhile, ESPN reports that French striker Karim Benzema will not be suiting up for the UEFA Super Cup either, despite being named in the initial 20-man squad. He had also been recovering from a hip injury, but is now back in training. However, Zidane does not want to take any chances. He decided to call up comeback kid Alvaro Morata, who just returned from a successful spell in Juventus.

Gareth Bale from Wales and Toni Kroos from Germany have both returned to Madrid to train with the club last week. However, they were granted an extended break after strong performances for their countries in Euro 2016. This means that they have had limited time to train with the rest of the squad over the summer.

With Cristiano’s Portugal teammate Pepe also injured, Sergio Ramos will be left to hold the fort. Perhaps this will give second stringers like James Rodriguez a chance to shine. Here’s a full list of Zidane’s squad for the UEFA Super Cup, which notably includes his son Luca.

Goalkeepers: Casilla, Yáñez and Luca
Defenders: Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Nacho, Danilo and Marcelo
Midfielders: James, Casemiro, Kovacic, Modric, Isco, Asensio and M. Llorente
Forwards: Lucas Vázquez, Morata and Mariano