Euro 2020 is finally underway after a year-long delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Real Madrid will be represented in the tournament by eight players who have been called up by their respective national teams.
It was a surprise when not a single player from the club was called up to Luis Enrique's Spain squad for Euro 2020. This is the first time in Spain's history that the country will be playing at a major tournament without any Real Madrid players in the team.
Captain Sergio Ramos has struggled to stay fit all season, managing only 21 games in all competitions. Meanwhile, Lucas Vazquez, Dani Carvajal, Marco Asensio and Isco failed to put in consistent performances for Los Blancos. Nacho was also a notable absentee who was dropped in favor of French-born Aymeric Laporte.
This will put the spotlight on Real Madrid players from other European nations. The future of some of these players depends upon their performances at the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament.
With Real Madrid in a transition phase, returning manager Carlo Ancelotti will be keeping a keen eye on the following three players at Euro 2020.
#3 Gareth Bale (Wales)
Gareth Bale has had a torrid time at Real Madrid over the last few years, to say the least. The Welshman spent last season on loan at Tottenham Hotspur but will look forward to returning to Madrid and reuniting with old boss Carlo Ancelotti.
Being one of the most distinguished players in Wales' history, Bale will lead his country into Euro 2020 hoping to recreate the magic again. In the 2016 edition of the tournament, Bale's goals fired Wales into the semi-final round only to be knocked out by Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal, who eventually won the tournament.
Since then, Bale has lost the pace he was known for. The Welshman had an underwhelming loan spell at Spurs under manager Jose Mourinho as he struggled for game time due to fitness-related issues.
However, in the limited minutes played, Bale managed to score 11 goals in the Premier League - averaging one goal every 80.78 minutes in the English top-flight.
Carlo Ancelotti will be eager to work with Gareth Bale again, who was one of his most trusted forwards during his first spell in charge at Real Madrid. A successful Euro 2020 campaign could help Bale win over Madrid's fanbase once again and help in the team's rebuilding process this summer.
#2 Eden Hazard (Belgium)
Eden Hazard is back with his national side - Belgium for Euro 2020 - after missing out on the mid-season international break due to injury. Hazard, who has endured yet another injury-hit season, will be hoping to contribute more to the national team.
Although Hazard is still recovering from injuries and is not yet match fit as he claimed in a recent interview, Madrid fans will be keeping a close eye on his performances.
"To begin with, it will be the head coach's decision, but I'm still not 100 percent so we'll see what we'll do," said Eden Hazard on his fitness ahead of Euro 2020.
Hazard was bought by Real Madrid in 2019, to replace the departing Cristiano Ronaldo. However, the left-winger has been riddled with injuries, making sporadic appearances in the past two seasons.
Carlo Ancelotti has highlighted Hazard's unfulfilled potential at the club and seems eager to work with the Belgian after Euro 2020. He even claimed that Hazard will do well under his management and will be monitoring Hazard's performances at the Euro 2020.
#1 Karim Benzema (France)
Karim Benzema has finally been called up to the French national camp by Didier Deschamps for Euro 2020 after a five-year absence from the international scene.
Benzema has taken over Real Madrid's scoring responsibilities since Cristiano Ronaldo's departure a few seasons ago. Goalscoring comes naturally to the French striker, who has scored 65 goals in the La Liga over the last three seasons. Only Lionel Messi has scored more goals in the Spanish league than Benzema in the same period.
Apart from goalscoring prowess, Benzema is also a complete forward who brings his others into the game. He can drop deep to find space and create chances for runners like Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann. The Frenchman is also handy in set-pieces because of his aerial ability.
France already have a well-settled squad and are considered hot favorites heading into the tournament and Benzema's inclusion makes the team even stronger.
Although the striker suffered a scare in France's warm-up game against Bulgaria, Didier Deschamps has claimed he will be ready to start in their tournament opener against Germany.