Another night of international football, another night of Real Madrid fans praying for the safety of Madrid’s players who are involved during these games. Injuries clearly haven’t been kind to Zinedine Zidane’s squad, well over 40 injuries, most of them muscular have plagued the reigning Spanish champions, and any further injuries could derail any hopes of success from the current campaign.
Five players were in line to make an impact for their respective national teams on Saturday, so we decided to give you a quick wrap from how Real’s internationals got on in their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers:
Croatia 1-0 Cyprus
Luka Modric completed his 10th full 90 minute game without being substituted, which will certainly be a concern to Madrid. The 35-year old is one of the few players who haven’t yet suffered an injury, and his irreplaceable aura means he needs to be wrapped in cotton-wool. Nevertheless, the maestro played every minute to oversee a slender win over the Cypriots, Mario Pašalić scoring the game’s winning goal five minutes before the half-time break. After the game, head coach Zlatko Dalić confirmed Modric would not feature on Tuesday against Malta, because he needs rest. Music to Zidane’s ears for sure.
Norway 0-3 Turkey
Elsewhere, a somewhat surprising result as Real’s loanee Martin Ødegaard captained his national team to a heavy defeat to the Turks, who put on an extraordinary performance in Malaga. Real summer target Erling Braut Haaland was even on the pitch for the entirety of the contest, but couldn’t get himself on the scoresheet. A brace from Ozan Tufan either side of a Çağlar Söyüncü goal sealed a fine victory.
Czech Republic 1-1 Belgium
In Eden Hazard’s absence, Thibaut Courtois was the only Belgian in action during this international week. The goalkeeper couldn’t keep a clean-sheet though, as Lukáš Provod put the hosts in front after 50 minutes, but that was cancelled out by Romelu Lukaku’s equaliser on the hour mark.
Serbia 2-2 Portugal
The reigning European Champions were robbed off a 93rd minute winner when legendary Real forward Cristiano Ronaldo’s stoppage time effort had rolled over the line, but without goal-line technology and VAR, the Portuguese were not awarded their winning goal. Among all the controversy, Madrid’s loanee Luka Jovic remained an unused substitute.
Wales 1-0 Mexico
The Welsh picked up a good victory over their South American rivals, courtesy of an 11th minute goal by Kieffer Moore. Loanee Gareth Bale came on with nine minutes to play, amid reports in Spain today which suggest Los Merengues will not be bringing Bale back into the squad next season, regardless of the intentions of Tottenham Hotspur to buy him outright.
Madrid’s two central defenders will look to guide their respective national teams on Sunday. Raphael Varane will be in action for France when the World Champions face Kazakhstan, and Sergio Ramos could take to the pitch against Georgia for Spain. We’ll update you right here on InfiniteMadrid.