Carlo Ancelotti using Real Madrid’s pre-season to experiment with his starting lineup

Barcelona beat Real Madrid 1-0 in Las Vegas on Saturday evening thanks to a first-half strike from Brazilian forward Raphinha. But the game was notable for a couple of interesting decisions by Carlo Ancelotti, note AS. Eden Hazard played as a false nine and Antonio Rudiger, a centre-back, played at left-back.

Rudiger, famous for his aggression and confidence on the pitch, left quite an impression on the game. He got into a brawl with Barcelona counterpart Ronald Araujo after a fight broke out just before half-time between the two teams. In the 45 minutes he played he enjoyed a pass completion percentage of 85.7%, completing 18 good passes, and recovered the ball three times.

Rudiger’s speed – he was the fastest player in the Premier League last season with a top speed of 36.7km/h – enables him to bound forward with confidence. He’s also more than capable on the ball – only Rodri, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric completed more passes than him in the Champions League last season while only Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte did so in the Premier League.

Whether Rudiger returns to centre-back in Madrid’s final games of the season is unknown. They play Club America next before taking on Juventus and playing the first game of the competitive season against Eintracht Frankfurt in the European Super Cup. Their La Liga season begins against Almeria on August 14th.

Tags Barcelona Carlo Ancelotti Real Madrid
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