The young group of talented players at Real Madrid have relegated the older members of the squad to the substitutes’ bench at the beginning of the 2023-24 campaign.
As Relevo report, in the league opener against Athletic, the average age of the Real Madrid bench was 31.1, and against Almería, it was 29.6. This was a statement of intent about the planning that was done in the summer, when the club’s directors agreed with head coach Carlo Ancelotti that it was time for the young talents including Rodrygo, Eduardo Camavinga and Aurélien Tchouaméni to establish themselves in the starting eleven.
Luka Modric (37) and Toni Kroos (33) started on the bench away to Athletic. It was the first game of the season with no midweek fixture to look forward to and plan for. They were joined on the bench that day by six more first-team players: Antonio Rüdiger (30), Nacho (33), Lucas Vázquez (32), Álvaro Odriozola (27), Brahim (24) and Joselu (33). In total, there were six players over the age of thirty.
In the second league game of the season against Almería, it was more of the same. Although Rüdiger came in to replace Eder Militao after his ACL injury and Kroos replaced Camavinga. The bench had an average age of 29.6. Once again, four players were over 30: Nacho, Lucas Vázquez, Modric and Joselu. A group of players who have won it all sat next to Ancelotti, who now has to find a way to keep them all happy.
For the first time in recent years, Kroos and Modric are no longer undisputed starters and the Italian will once again have to rotate his team throughout the season.
Kieran Quaile | GSFN