Fans have reacted to Fran Garcia not starting Real Madrid's UEFA Champions League opener at home to Union Berlin at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday (September 20).
Los Blancos are record 14-time winners of the competition and made the semifinals last season. They were eliminated by eventual winners Manchester City, who won the treble.
Carlo Ancelotti's men have made a sparkling start to the new season - winning their first five league games - before welcoming Berlin for their Champions League opener. This is the first meeting in any competition between the two clubs.
Garcia, 24, has started all five La Liga games for Madrid this season. He registered two assists in his last outing, which Los Blancos won 2-1 at home against Real Sociedad at the weekend.
Fans, therefore, found it perplexing that the left-back isn't starting against Berlin, with Nacho getting the nod instead. One tweeted about Garcia's absence:
"This is not fair on Fran. He deserves to start."
Another chimed in:
"Why is Fran benched?"
Here are some of the top reactions on X, formerly called Twitter:
Madrid and Berlin are in Group C, which also has reigning Serie A champions Napoli and Portuguese side Braga.
"Everyone wants to play in the Champions League with Real Madrid" - Eduardo Camavinga
Real Madrid commence their quest for a record-extending 15th Champions League title at home to Union Berlin. Ancelotti's men won their most recent title in 2022.
Ahead of the game against the Bundesliga team, midfielder Eduardo Camavinga said that every player looks forward to playing Champions League games with Real Madrid.
The Frenchman, who starts in a four-man midfield comprising Jude Bellingham, Luka Modric, and compatriot Aurelien Tchouameni, said in the pre-game press conference (as per Los Blancos website):
"Everyone wants to play in the Champions League with (Real) Madrid, and I just want to win and keep on winning.
"I'm really looking forward to playing in the Champions League with Madrid. Obviously, if you've won five Champions League titles already, it's normal to feel a little bit bad if you don't win it one season".
The 20-year-old, who has played all five league games this season, added that the presence of top players makes Los Blancos a perennial favourite in the Champions League:
"Real Madrid are always favourites when it comes to the Champions League and we have a lot of top players in this team".
Camavinga has made 21 of his 25 previous Champions League appearances for Los Blancos, making three assists overall.