By Habeeb Kuranga
Real Madrid named a starting XI featuring no Spanish footballer for the first time in the club’s history in Saturday’s league defeat against Villarreal at the Ceramica Stadium.
Villarreal’s winger, Yeremy Pino altered the scoreline two minutes into the second half. In the 60th minute, Karim Benzema restored parity for the Los Blancos from the penalty spot after Juan Foyth handled the ball in Villarreal’s box. Two minutes later, Foyth subsequently won a penalty for his side allowing Gerard Moreno to score from the spot and ultimately netted the winner.
It was an entertaining contest from both sides which included 30 shots in total (17 for Villarreal and 13 for Real Madrid). It was a deserved win for the Yellow Submarines who inflicted Real’s second defeat in La Liga after Rayo Vallecano inflicted the first. The defeat has made Madrid lose the chance to outrightly go top of the table.
But the game was a notable one from Real Madrid’s history as they did not select any Spaniard in their starting eleven for the first time in the club’s rich history. In each of the club’s 4,435 matches, they had included at least one Spanish player in the starting line-up.
Although six Spaniards were on the bench for Carlo Ancelotti’s side – Lucas Vazquez, Marco Asensio, Dani Ceballos, Nacho Fernandez, Jesus Vallejo and Luis Lopez – none were included in the side that started the game.
The line-up was made up of three Frenchmen (Aurelien Tchouameni, Ferland Mendy and Karim Benzema), two Brazilians (Vinicius Junior and Eder Militao), alongside two Germans (Antonio Rudiger and Toni Kroos), a Croatian (Luka Modric), a Belgian (Thibaut Courtois), an Austrian (David Alaba) and an Uruguayan (Federico Valverde).