Real Madrid are always bound to rank highly in the statistics for most games and most minutes played, due to their history of going far in multiple competitions. Yet amongst the Real Madrid stars, perhaps the most used option will come as something of a surprise.
Antonio Rudiger started off last season as the odd one out of Carlo Ancelotti’s defence, yet no Real Madrid player has been used more often than the German, racking up 63 games in 2023 and 5,224 minutes – this does combine his minutes with the national team too. Only Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United and David Hancko of Feyenoord have racked up more, as per CIES. In addition, Rudiger is the second-oldest on that list.
Diario AS carried the information, and it shows that Fede Valverde ranks 8th in the list, with 63 games and 5,002 minutes. This season Rudiger has missed only the opening 40 minutes against Athletic Club when he came on for Eder Militao, and a league match at home to Valencia. Meanwhile Valverde has started every game but two against Getafe and Union Berlin, but has appeared in every fixture. No doubt injuries to David Alaba and Militao have been a key part in Rudiger playing so often, but now he has the total trust of Ancelotti, after a shaky start.
Like Rudiger, it shows the magnitude of their turnaround that Nemanja Gudelj of Sevilla is on the list in 10th. The oldest to make it, he has played 4,977 minutes in 58 games this year. The Serbian was once considered a shaky option at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, but has become a key leader, be it in midfield or defence. This season he has missed four games, and been brought off the bench in one, although one of those absences was through suspension.