Real Madrid’s squad have taken part in a number of training-ground matches this summer, but they have only played one confirmed friendly and suffered a 2-1 defeat to Rangers in the outing in question on July 25.
The team’s preparations for the new season have been far from ideal due to the number of players that have been away following international commitments, but Carlo Ancelotti’s squad is now taking shape, with the new La Liga campaign beginning next weekend with a trip to Alaves.
News of Lionel Messi’s shock Barcelona exit has rocked the world of football, but Real Madrid have financial issues of their own and have only managed to make one signing this summer, bringing in David Alaba on a free transfer, with Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane both moving on.
For all of the criticism that came the team’s way last term, Los Blancos were only two points off champions Atletico Madrid and will believe that they can launch a strong challenge for the title this term.
On paper, the start to the season is kind for Ancelotti’s side, and there is certainly a chance that they could be top of the division heading into the first Clasico of the season against Barcelona towards the end of October.
Milan, meanwhile, are technically behind Real Madrid in their preparations for the new season, as the Italian giants do not start their Serie A campaign until August 23, facing a trip to Sampdoria.
However, Stefano Pioli’s side have had a busy pre-season in terms of matches, beating Pro Sesto 6-0 and Modena 5-0 in their opening two friendlies of the summer towards the end of July.
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Milan then drew 1-1 with Nice on July 31 before losing to Valencia on penalties following a goalless draw at Mestalla on Wednesday night.
The Red and Blacks have been busy during this summer’s transfer window, signing Fikayo Tomori, Mike Maignan, Sandro Tonali, Fode Ballo-Toure, Brahim Diaz and Olivier Giroud to boost their squad ahead of the new season.
I Rossoneri finished second behind Inter Milan in Serie A last term, which proved to be their highest placing since the 2011-12 campaign, and the club’s supporters will be hoping more progress can be made in 2021-22.