A lot of people get excited for the international breaks. Usually I do, but this time, I want to shove a fork into my eyeballs. It’s an exciting time of the year because the 2014 World Cup qualifying matches have officially begun. Supporters branch out from clubs to their nation’s team, wearing patriotic colors and teaching the ways of the game to new fans who’ve decided to pay attention to the world’s biggest sport.
For me, it’s been the least bit exciting. I am one of the few girls that writes for Aerys that doesn’t support the USMNT. I was born in Alcorcón, a city south of Madrid in Spain. My mom is a Spanish citizen and my dad is a US Air Force Veteran but I grew up supporting the Spanish National Team at a young age while my dad ignored the beauty of football.
And with the recent success of Spanish football, millions of other people have adopted them as their team too. It has its pros and cons, I suppose. Spain has built a dynasty these past 6 years with a 2008 and 2012 Euro victory and securing their first World Cup title in 2010. They missed the mark in the 2012 Summer Olympics but are one of the favorites in the 2014 World Cup. So needless to say, the international breaks are very important. But there’s times where this thing called the FIFA Virus will decide to show itself and make one club’s future, very rocky and unstable.
The latest culprit? Real Madrid.
Today Spain faced France, a nation rising fast with their growing talent. The match ended in a 1-1 draw with Sergio Ramos scoring a goal and France’s Olivier Giroud to tie it up just before the final whistle.
Of all the matches played in during this international break, 3 (almost 4) players were quickly injured, preventing some sort of club play.
Marcelo is out at least till the end of the year with a broken right foot after a training injury with Brazil.
Portugal lost Fabio Coentrão is out for a little bit with a groin injury during their loss against Russia.
Then today, Alvaro Arbeloa was sent off with an injury during Spain’s match against France (which will sideline the player for 3 weeks) while Karim Benzema also suffered a minor leg injury later in the match and will be out for Madrid’s match against Celta Vigo.
So as of right now, Real Madrid are sitting with NO natural full-backs. If it was only Marcelo being injured, at least we’d have Coentrão, but with him injured (and not knowing for how long he’ll be out) and slight injuries to both Sami Khedira and Gonzalo Higuaín, this is not looking good for the Madridistas.
With the next three months of Champions League action, missing Marcelo could put Real in a bit of a bind, especially the match next week against Borussia Dortmund. In the end, it all comes down to how serious Coentrão’s injury is. Without him, Jose Mourinho will have a difficult tie filling in the cracks on the backline, most likely with Raphael Varane and Raul Albiol.
It’s a tricky time for Real Madrid and it’s up to the rest of the team and coaching staff to stay strong and focused on the matches ahead. Only time will tell how fragile this club will be without key players. At least we still have Ronaldo, right?