Once the estimated time of absence is known, Sergio Ramo will bes absent from the pitch (between a month and a month and a half), Zidane will have to pull the resources he has in the squad to solve the absence of the captain and pillar of the white team. Just now that the decisive and final stretch of the season begins with a knockout in the Champions League against Atalanta that will define the Madridistas’ campaign.
With the resignation of Ramos, it will be Varane who must assume the role of head of the rear. A Varane who has only missed one league match (against Huesca at Alfredo Di Stéfano) and the Cup match (against Alcoyano) so far this season. Sum 2,295 minutes played (in 26 games) throughout the campaign. A high number of matches in which the Frenchman has completed good performances (against Inter at San Siro) with others in which his work left a lot to be desired (against Shakhtar at Di Stéfano, for example). He has overcome his injury problems.
Along with the French, the player most likely to form a couple in the center of the rear is Nacho. The Madrilenian, who started as fourth defender at the beginning of the campaign, has overtaken Militao and is the third center-back in the squad. So far he has played 10 games between all competitions (807 minutes), and has practically played in almost all defensive positions, except for the left back: he has played seven games as a ventral and three as a right back (Levante, Cádiz and Barcelona) after the losses of Carvajal and Lucas Vázquez. His best performances have been against Inter and Sevilla, both of whom have won the Whites. Before the Neroazzurro team, he was even the protagonist by forcing the first goal as a result of a penalty that they did to him. He returns to the call against Huesca after being two weeks out of the COVID-19 protocol.
Will Militao He was signed by Real Madrid in exchange for 50 million euros in February 2019, but he has not given the adequate performance. Considered one of the best defenders in the Portuguese League, Militao stood out for his speed, but in the white team he has hardly had a leading role. This campaign he has only participated in six games, with just 443 minutes, although it is true that he started the season injured and that he has lost another game because he was positive for COVID. In the League he has completed two games, in another he replaced Ramos at half-time and in the rest he was sent off. His last performance, against Levante in which he was sent off in the 8th minute of the game has left him very marked. However, against Alcoyano he stood out: he scored a goal and they gave him a penalty that was not indicated. His best performance in white was at San Mamés last season.
Zidane can also count on homegrown players Víctor Chust and Pablo Ramón. The former has already debuted with the white jersey in the cup match against Alcoyano (he played the 120 minutes of the match). Despite the defeat, the boy showed very good manners, which he has been promising for a long time. The Valencian, whom Madrid joined in the summer of 2017, has been counting for the Madrid coach, who has been integrating him into the first team discipline. For his part, Pablo Ramón is another of the defenders who are emerging in Castilla, and who should not lose track of him in the not too distant future.
There is still one last possibility: Casemiro. The Brazilian midfielder knows what it’s like to play in the center of defense, but it should be the last resort. Casemiro already played in the lower categories of Sao Paulo as a defense, in addemarcation that in Brazil is called third quarterback, and that comes to be the position of libero, or the broom. He has already played like this when Zidane has looked for the option of playing with three defenders (Osasuna, Celta …), but it would be losing a key position in the center of the field. So far, Casemiro has played 24 games in the four competitions that Madrid has played, with a total of 1,996 minutes. Also add five goals. Now It will be Zidane who decides who accompanies Varane in the center of the rear while Ramos recovers …