Real Madrid have returned to the Spanish capital following their final preseason tour in the United States of America with a feeling of positivity. After a slow start against Barcelona, by their third and final game of preseason, Los Blancos looked confident and dangerous against Juventus.
For most of the squad at least. Manager Carlo Ancelotti was keen to spread around the minutes and often played two entirely different teams during the matches. Yet two players found themselves clearly down the pecking order.
It is not entirely surprising that Mariano Diaz had less minutes, as a succession of managers have made it clear they do not trust him.
Both him and Alvaro Odriozola only had 30 minutes of action across the three games, as pointed out by Marca. The right-back returned to the club after a loan at Fiorentina last season, but found himself behind Real Madrid’s Castilla’s Vinicius Tobias, as well as Lucas Vazquez and Dani Carvajal.
Mariano is unlikely to leave the club as he will struggle to find a similar salary elsewhere, but it might well instigate some action on Odriozola’s part. The right-back was determined to fight for his place on his return, but it’s clear he will have his work cut out. What may work in his favour is that due to the limit on non-EU players, Tobias cannot be registered in La Liga as things stand.