Real Madrid will be without five and possibly six of the side that won the Champions League in June for next week’s UEFA Super Cup against Sevilla.
AS notes Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos, Keylor Navas and Pepe will all miss the game against the Europa League winners and Karim Benzema is a doubt as well.
Bale and Kroos are only due back in training on August 6, three days before the fixture in Trondheim, and Pepe and Ronaldo are only due back on August 10.
The four were given extended breaks after Euro 2016 and by the time they are back, Kroos will have had 29 days’ holiday and Bale, Pepe and Ronaldo 30 days.
Navas, meanwhile, suffered a heel injury in early July and isn’t expected to be fit, and Benzema is carrying a hip problem and has been since the middle of last month.
The Madrid coaching staff is said to be concerned the striker won’t make the game, while the striker’s camp are believed to be optimistic he will.
If Benzema doesn’t make it then Madrid would likely field a front two of Alvaro Morata, returned this summer from Juventus, and Castilla forward Mariano, who has impressed in pre-season.