Glasgow examines Odegaard and Jovic in front of 13,000 spectators

Madrid's first serious friendly against Rangers without the internationals who went to the European Championship. Turn for the meritorious ...


Everything has the aroma of starting over in this start of Ancelotti's second project at the helm of Madrid. Not only for the Italian coach, who sits on the white bench six years after his dismissal. They are also the same faces in a team in which its main players will still be missing, the Modric, Kroos, Courtois, Benzema, Varane, Bale or Hazard, who participated in the Eurocup. Among them, only Alaba has options to travel to Glasgow. I would do it with three training sessions on the legs, but monopolizing the spotlight for being the only real novelty for a game that if it is important to someone, it is for the meritorious.

The friendly has a second reading that feeds the aroma of reunion with football: 13,000 spectators will be in the stands. Madrid return to play before the public 504 days later. The last game in which this happened, before the pandemic, was on March 8, 2020 and they lost 2-1 to Betis.

There could not be a more attractive meeting to start this Madrid 2.0 by Ancelotti. Sitting on the opposite bench in this small cathedral of football that is the Ibrox Stadium will be the legendary Steven Gerrard, Liverpool legend who in just three seasons has put Rangers back in orbit. He lifted the Scottish league championship last season, returning the entity to the path of success after a long journey through the desert. Economic problems pushed this historic club into bankruptcy in 2012. The punishment, which was even voted on by the other teams in the championship, was exemplary. He went down to the Fourth Division, had to change the name (although he kept his track record) and after a long journey to complete reconstruction he conquered that historic league that prevented a record held by Celtic, his eternal rival, who would have won, otherwise, their tenth consecutive league. And those are the years, ten, that elapsed between the 54th and 55th Rangers title, this yes, a European record, as it has two more than the Northern Irish Linfield and four more than its eternal rival, Celtic, followed by the Greek Olympiacos (45), Benfica (37), Juventus (36), and Ajax and Madrid (both 34) .

Rangers appear in the Ibrox Park much more rolled than Madrid, with the entire squad and having drawn 2-2 with Arsenal in this same preseason. The team that Gerrard will have is a mystery, even more so considering that yesterday they played another friendly, this one against the modest Brighton, also with an audience in the stands (7,000 spectators). On Saturday the 31st they start their league against Livingston and on August 10 they will continue in the Champions League against HJK Helsinki.

In a complicated situation.

At Real Madrid it will be impossible to draw conclusions, beyond the motivation with which the players who have the obligation to demonstrate to Ancelotti that they are solid alternatives to the starters start. The team travels to Glasgow today without a list yesterday. Jovic, limping all week, does not want to miss it. Odegaard starts a new life with Ancelotti, like Isco, and Rodrygo is in a kind of limbo, with the uncertainty of whether or not he will have a place as an extra-community. They are the main names that must be claimed. And we will have to pay attention, above all, to the casting of homegrown players: Chust, Gila, Miguel Gutiérrez, Blanco, Marvin and Arribas will have a good handful of minutes.

Not only will the Euro Cup internationals be missing. Nor have the four who were in the Copa América (Vinicius, Militao, Casemiro and Valverde) and Kubo, Ceballos, Vallejo and Asensio are still in the Tokyo Games ... But it does not matter because Madrid is starting again , and he does it with Ancelotti and, above all, with 13,000 screaming throats in the stands.

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