European champions Real Madrid on Thursday afternoon released its squad list for the FIFA Club World Cup holding from December 12 to 22 with most of the usual suspects such as Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric, Sergio Ramos, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, and new first-choice goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois included in the list.
Madrid head coach Santiago Solari announced the 23-man squad that will be travelling to the United Arab Emirates for the pre-Christmas tournament, which also contains 2018 World Cup winner Raphael Varane, midfielders Isco and Toni Kroos, striker Mariano Diaz, and, curiously, the injured Casemiro and Nacho Fernandez.
Casemiro and Nacho picked up their injuries in the 4-2 win over Celta Vigo in a La Liga match on November 11, with Casemiro spraining his right ankle while Nacho sustained ligament damage to his right knee that was expected to keep him out for around two months. But now both players will pack their travelling bags and make the trip to the United Arab Emirates for Real Madrid’s Club World Cup semi-final on December 19.
With Real Madrid confident Nacho and Casemiro would be fit enough for the Club World Cup, their inclusion in the squad marks the end of an injury crisis, particularly in defence, for the club which had been forced to use inexperienced players at times and consequently struggled domestically. The club currently sit fifth in the league, two points behind local rivals Atletico and five off league leaders Barcelona.
Before Real Madrid’s campaign at the Club World Cup kicks off, the club face a trip to Huesca and host Rayo Vallecano in La Liga, and then would play their final group stage game in the Champions League against CSKA Moscow, where a point would be enough to clinch them top spot ahead of AS Roma who face Vitoria Plzen.
Check out the full squad below:
Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois, Keylor Navas and Kiko Casilla.
Defenders: Dani Carvajal, Alvaro Odriozola, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Nacho, Marcelo and Sergio Reguilon.
Midfielders: Casemiro, Marcos Llorente, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Isco, Marco Asensio, Dani Ceballos and Federico Valverde.
Forwards: Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, Mariano Diaz, Lucas Vazquez and Vinicius Junior.