Real Madrid saw their nine-game unbeaten streak in all competitions come to an end on Thursday with their Spanish Supercopa loss to Athletic Club Bilbao.
A report in Marca has outlined how Madrid have paid the price for the refusal of boss Zinedine Zidane to rotate his players, and they even played the same XI that laboured to a scoreless draw at Osasuna the previous weekend.
Raphael Varane – who has played 16 games in a row and missed just one match this season, against Huesca – had to be withdrawn at half-time, likely due to an accumulation of minutes exacerbating an injury.
Lucas Vazquez – who had a bad night, making errors for both goals – had also started for 16 consecutive matches, while Thibaut Courtois had not missed a game all season as goalkeeper.
Also in midfield, Toni Kroos has played 14 games in a row, Luka Modric has in 15 of the last 16 – with the one absence being due to injury – while Casemiro is also an ever-present, with Fede Valverde and Martin Odegaard frozen out of the selection for the line-ups.
Karim Benzema has started 10 games in a row, having missed three due to a muscular injury, and prior to his strike on Thursday he had gone three games without scoring or assisting.
Eder Militao, Nacho Fernandez, Marcelo, Alvaro Odriozola, Luka Jovic and Mariano Diaz are among the other players who simply have not been a consideration in the starting line-up for a hectic schedule over the past month.