With the World Cup wrapped up, it’s now – very unusually – time to immediately turn our attentions back to domestic football.
Whether heartbroken or in an anchored state of euphoria, the clock’s ticking for the stars of the 2022 World Cup to get back to the regular season with their respective clubs.
Real Madrid had 12 players on international duty in Qatar, with some faring better than others on football’s biggest stage. Los Blancos have a while to prepare for their next engagement, returning to action with a La Liga clash against Real Valladolid on 30 December.
Four of the Los Blancos roster fell at the first hurdle in Qatar, so they’ll be very well rested and up for the fight come the trip to Valladolid.
Germany’s Antonio Rudiger and Uruguay’s Federico Valverde both missed out on the final 16 in dramatic fashion, while Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois also flew back home early after a deeply disappointing group-stage exit with Belgium.
Real Madrid later welcomed Marco Asensio and Dani Carvajal back to training following Spain’s round-of-16 dumping by Morocco, while Eder Militao, Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior are expected back in training-ground action shortly after Brazil were shocked by Croatia in the quarter finals.
Luka Modric, who put in another stellar performance in the Vatreni’s World Cup campaign, should also be ready for Los Blancos’ next fixture after earning a bronze medal with his nation. Meanwhile, Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga will also be available for their club soon after suffering a dramatic defeat in the World Cup final with France.
As previously mentioned, Carlo Ancelotti will take his side to Real Valladolid on 30 December.
Real currently sit two points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona and find themselves in the midst of some patchy form. A victory in their final game of 2022 would elevate them at least temporarily to the La Liga summit, before they travel to Villarreal on 7 January.