Real Madrid boss Santiago Solari: ‘Exclusions are nothing personal’

Real Madrid boss Santiago Solari has focused on the number of young players in his team and added there was ‘nothing personal’ to those left out.

Five players aged 22 or younger – Fede Valverde, Vinicius Junior, Brahim Diaz, Sergio Reguilon and Cristo Gonzalez – featured for Los Blancos during the win.

However, eyebrows were raised not only when Marcelo was dropped from the starting line-up but also Isco not featuring at all, despite eight absentees from the first-team squad.

“Obviously the most important issue is to win the game, take the three points and stay in touch with the teams above us,” Solari told reporters, as cited by Marca.

“We have a lot of youngsters in the squad and many featured today, this is very good news for the club and that was always part of our plans this season – to blood more into the team.

“There are no personal issues with players who do not play, we have a squad and not just a starting XI and it is my job to rotate that and chose the players best suited to the situations.

“Karim Benzema? It was a fracture and he could not continue, it was a bad one and the only good news is that it is ‘just’ in his hand and not somewhere more critical.

“Mounting injuries? It is always a concern but it is the same for every club, but it is true that we lack depth whenever there are many at once.

“We thought tonight we could have taken more of our opportunities early in the game but we are happy with the result.”

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