The Red Bulls will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing start to their Champions League campaign when they travel to take on Real Madrid in the Spanish capital. The duel against Carlo Ancelotti’s side will be RB Leipzig’s first-ever meeting with the Spanish giants. After lifting the Champions League last season and winning the Spanish league title for the 35th time, the most successful team in the world have begun the current season in red-hot form.
Real Madrid have started the season as strongly as they finished the last, winning each of their opening five league games of the campaign. Their 15 points see them once again at the top of the league standings.
Real also got their Champions League campaign off to a good start with a 3-0 away win over Scottish champions Celtic FC.
There was no real need for major changes to the side that won the league and Champions League last time around as Real’s star-studded squad remains relatively unchanged. In terms of incomings, Germany international defender Antonio Rüdiger joined on a free transfer from Chelsea. Over the past few years, the 29-year-old has developed into one of the best centre backs in the world and was the only German player to be named in the 2021/22 UCL team of the year. The second summer arrival set the capital club back around €80m. 22-year-old Aurélien Tchouaméni has already made ten appearances for France and has already impressed for his new club in central midfield.
Heading into his second season in the Spanish capital, former Bayern man David Alaba has developed into a fan favourite and chief of the defence at Real. The 30-year-old defender, who has made 94 appearances for Austria, is part of the usual four-man defence and is also a threat from free kicks. Ahead of him, Luka Modrić and Toni Kroos have been mainstays in the centre of midfield for years. The world-class midfield duo each have five Champions League trophies to their name and Kroos, who retired from international football in 2021, is the most successful German player of all time with 29 trophies and lifted the World Cup in 2014.
Karim Benzema usually leads the line and was named Europe’s footballer of the year for 2022 and top scorer of the Spanish top flight after scoring 27 goals. With 327 goals, Benzema is second in the club’s list of all-time goalscorers behind Cristiano Ronaldo. The French forward will be out of Wednesday’s game due to an injury suffered in his side’s opening UCL game, but there is still plenty of quality going forward for Real, including Vinicius Junior. The 22-year-old Brazilian combines electrifying speed with impressive dribbling skills and technique and knows how to find the back of the net.
Real Madrid’s stars are directed on the sideline by legendary coach Carlo Ancelotti. After coaching the side between 2013 and 2015, the 63-year-old returned for a second spell in charge of the club in June 2021. The Italian is one of the most highly-regarded coaches of all time and has won the Champions League four times (twice each with AC Milan and Real Madrid).
Ancelotti also has the unique feat of having won league titles in each of Europe’s big 5 leagues – something no other head coach has achieved. Off the pitch, Ancelotti has a reputation for being approachable and communicative. On the pitch, he’s tactically versatile.
Real Madrid's last fixtures:
- 11.09.2022: Real Madrid – RCD Mallorca 4-1 (Primera División)
- 06.09.2022: Celtic – Real Madrid 0-3 (UEFA Champions League)
- 03.09.2022: Real Madrid – Real Betis 2-1 (Primera División)
- 28.08.2022: Espanyol – Real Madrid 1-3 (Primera División)
- 20.08.2022: Celta Vigo – Real Madrid 1-4 (Primera División)
No team has lifted more European trophies than Real Madrid. The 35-time Spanish champions have lifted the Champions League trophy 14 times in addition two UEFA Cup wins (now Europa League) and have won a further twelve international trophies.
Real have won the Champions League five times in the past nine years alone and are defending champions of the competition, having defeated Liverpool 1-0 in last year’s final in Paris.