La Liga 2018-19: Potential Real Madrid lineup for the season after Ronaldo's departure
A new season is about to begin and the maestro has already left.
Real Madrid were expected to splash out big money to fill the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo but didn't do so. New manager Julen Lopetegui might expect Marco Asensio to get into Ronaldo's boots.
Toni Kroos and Luka Modric are among the untouchables of the squad, so the former Spain boss might bench Casemiro to bring in his one of the most reliable talents, Isco. Sergio Ramos will pair up with World Cup winner Raphael Varane at the heart of the defense and the rebellious Thibaut Courtois can be the man guarding the post.
Keeping all that in mind, here is how Real Madrid might line up for the upcoming 2018-2019 season.
Thibaut Courtois is on the verge of signing for Real Madrid, with Chelsea already eyeing Jack Butland as his replacement, according to reports from Sky Sports. The former Atletico Madrid keeper has his family in Madrid and has said in public that his heart is in Madrid.
If he joins, Courtois will be the first choice keeper over Keylor Navas. The Belgian international was nearly flawless in the 2018 World Cup held at Russia and has been eyeing a move to Real Madrid since the last transfer window.
Courtois became a top priority for Madrid after they failed to lure David De Gea from the Red Devils.
Marcelo, the Brazilian skipper, will start at the left back position for the Galacticos. According to reports from the Metro, he has been linked with a move to Juventus which would have allowed him to join his former superstar teammate Ronaldo in Italy. But with Alex Sandro not leaving the Italian champions this summer, Marcelo will likely have to stay with Real Madrid.
Marcelo is known for his key passes and runs on the left flank. He is undoubtedly one of the best-attacking full-backs Los Blancos have ever had.
Left Center Back
Sergio Ramos, the Spanish leader of Real Madrid, is one of the untouchables in the team. Ramos was a regular starter under the former Spanish boss who would start him at the center back position.
The 32-year old Spaniard took an early exit from the World Cup but played an important role in Real Madrid's title defense of the Champions League. He was accused of injuring Salah on purpose in the Champions League final, but he also put in solid defensive duties.
The center-back is known for his aggressive behavior on the pitch and of course, for the deadly headers which we never expect him to miss.
Right Center Back
Raphael Varane, the World Cup winner from France, booked his place for the season by winning the most delightful competition on the planet. He was a regular starter in Russia alongside Samuel Umtiti, and was a big factor in his team's win.
The 25-year-old is said to be one of the best in his position. Varane is known for his speed despite being a center back. He can serve as a perfect partner to Sergio Ramos as he used to under old boss Zinedine Zidane.
Dani Carvajal, the first choice right back last season, injured his right hamstring in last year's Champions League final against Liverpool and left the field in tears. Carvajal also missed the World Cup opener against Portugal and played just 230 minutes of football in Russia during which he provided one assist.
Carvajal is fit now and will start as the right back for Los Blancos this season as he used to under the former coach. He is also the first choice of the new manager, who is Carvajal's former Spanish boss.
Central Defensive Midfielder
Toni Kroos went home early from the World Cup as the former world champions got knocked out in the group stage. But that won't stop him from performing well domestically this season.
Kroos has the qualities to play as defensive mid given his ability to tackle the ball occasionally. He is like a sharpshooter with the ball at his feet. Kroos completed 628 passes in last year's Champions League with a passing accuracy of 95%.
Right Central Midfielder
Luka Modric is probably the best player Los Blancos currently have in stock. The Croatian made it to the World Cup final and won the Golden Ball by scoring two goals and providing one assist in seven games.
Modric is a complete package of dribbling, passing and shooting. Many have backed him for this year's Ballon d'Or too.
Reports from Evening Standard say that Inter wanted to get Modric from Real Madrid, bidding around €15 million for an initial loan and offering to pay €25 million at the end of the loan spell to make the move permanent. But the Galacticos wanted more, and rightly so.
Left Central Midfielder
Isco was the new manager's favorite in the Spanish squad and will now definitely start for the Los Blancos. He didn't get to play regular club football under Zidane, but even then Lopetegui made sure that Isco started most of the matches for his country.
Isco is known for his fine dribbling skills across the pitch. He scored 6 goals and created 45 chances in 28 appearances in last year's La Liga.
Karim Benzema is all set to be the sole main striker for Real Madrid. Though the 30-year-old Frenchman wasn't invited to be part of the 2018 World Cup, he has put up a consistent display the last few years.
Benzema appeared 32 times in last season's La Liga, finding the net five times and providing 10 assists.
Gareth Bale has a chance to become the new face of Real Madrid after the departure of Ronaldo. Bale is known for his speed and long shots, but he would require extra training in finishing and positioning if he is to replace the great Ronaldo.
Bale's Real Madrid career has suffered through occasional periods of injury, but now the Welsh International is more than fine for the new season considering he had extra time for training and rest as he didn't appear in the World Cup. Bale scored 16 goals and provided two assists in 26 La Liga matches last season.
Marco Asensio will be pairing up with Bale to fill the spot left by Ronaldo since one man will not be able to do so - unless Real Madrid make a big money signing for the likes of Kylian Mbappe or Eden Hazard. What it looks like, at least for now, is that Asensio will be playing at the left wing where Ronaldo used to play.
Asensio has massive speed and exceptional finishing qualities, but he can't bear the sole responsibility of replacing the great Galactico. Asensio appeared 32 times in La Liga last season, scoring six goals and providing six assists.