Real Madrid will see the early World Cup exits of Spain, Portugal and Germany as a blessing in disguise as Los Blancos only have a few players still at the tournament, meaning they will have a near full squad available by the time they face city rivals Atletico in the UEFA Super Cup.

World Cup summers can be notorious for players taking delayed holidays, missing most of pre-season and making slow starts to the new campaign because they lack fitness, but Real appear confident of actually avoiding such pitfalls in 2018.

Spain's elimination on Sunday ensured that Sergio Ramos, Isco, Marco Asensio, Dani Carvajal, Lucas Vazquez and Nacho can now go on holiday and still return to training long before the Super Cup against Atlteico on 15th August.

The same goes for Cristiano Ronaldo after Portugal were knocked out of the World Cup the day before by Uruguay, while Germany's Toni Kroos, Costa Rica's Keylor Navas and Morocco's Achraf Hakimi had already exited the World Cup at the group stage.

In fact, only five of the 15 Real players who started the World Cup are still in action - Marcelo, Casemiro (both Brazil), Raphael Varane (France), Luka Modric & Mateo Kovacic (both Croatia).

Marca seems to suggest that the Spanish players knocked out on Sunday might even attend pre-season training under new coach Julen Lopetegui as early as 16th July, although that seems ambitious given that a four-week summer holiday is the typical norm for rest and recovery.


Even if the likes of Ramos and Isco do take a whole month off, they could still be able to begin training at the start of August, around two weeks before facing Atletico in Tallinn.