Thibaut Courtois; Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Ferland Mendy; Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric; Eden Hazard, Karim Benzema, Marco Asensio.
This is the strongest XI of players that Real Madrid can field, in the opinion of the club’s boss Zinedine Zidane. The problem is, as highlighted by Marca, he has not been able to play that team since the start of the 2019/20 campaign.
That is a period of 550 days which has covered every Los Blancos match from across last season and during this campaign when Zidane has not been able to field the precise line-up that he would like as Real Madrid news continues to be dominated by muscular injuries.
Courtois, Mendy and Hazard were three signings that the Frenchman wanted in his line-up that arrived since he left the club in May 2018, alongside the eight custodians in the side.
However, there have been so many injury setbacks in that timeframe that those 11 players have never played together.
A long-term injury to Asensio meant that, when football returned last June, that XI was still not feasible while multiples injuries to Carvajal, Ramos and Hazard since have hampered that line-up further.