Real Madrid has communicated the positive for covid-19 of Raphaël Varane in the tests carried out this Tuesday morning. The French center-back causes a drop for the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals against Liverpool that will be played tonight at the Alfredo Di Stéfano (21.00, Movistar Champions League) and for Saturday's classic against Barcelona, also at home. His absence leaves Zinedine Zidane without his starting center partner, since Sergio Ramos was injured in the inner calf of his right leg last week in the concentration with the Spanish team, and will be out of the fields for about a month. MORE INFORMATION Madrid – Liverpool, naked classic Green shoots in the Madrid attack after a thousand days of longing for the BBC
Varane is isolated at his home within the sanitary protocols. The positive of the Frenchman, who had only missed three games this season, is the seventh case in the Madrid squad after those registered by Mariano, Militão, Hazard, Casemiro, Jovic, Nacho and Zidane himself. The last case among the outfield players was that of Nacho, who tested positive at the end of January and remained out for 14 days, in addition to the previous confinement.
This new casualty opens a huge gap in the center of the white defense at worst possible moment, about to play a large part of the season in the quarterfinals of the Champions League against Liverpool (the return is next Wednesday at Anfield) and in the classic this Saturday. The only pure center-back from the first squad who is healthy for Zidane is Militão , whom he has barely had this season. The 23-year-old Brazilian, the nineteenth player in number of minutes (559) among those left in the Valdebebas dressing room, only ahead of Mariano (545), Odriozola (325) and Lunin (120). Last Saturday, against Eibar, he played to give Varane rest.
Despite being the most expensive defender in the history of Madrid (50 million, from Porto), his weight has been degrading in these two courses. He started as third center-back, behind the undisputed Ramos and Varane, but this season he has been surpassed by a great Nacho. The previous season, when he was still not so in the caboose in Zizou's eyes, he had to contest the round of 16 for Champions against City due to the absence of Ramos.
Beyond Militão, other options that would imply more changes It would be to lower Casemiro to the rear or relocate Mendy there, who has already exercised this season as a center-back a couple of times, although only in a defense of three centrals plus two lanes. In front, Madrid will have one of the most fearsome attacking formations in Europe: Salah -Mané-Firmino, with the possible fourth piece by Diogo Jota.
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