Real Madrid, under the guidance of coach Ancelotti, boasts a team that unites players representing 11 different national teams, making it one of the most diverse squads in the club’s history. Valdebebas, their training ground, can be described as a mini Tower of Babel, with players from various countries coming together. It is rare for the White’s dressing room to host such a diverse group of players, each hailing from different nations. Ancelotti can almost create a team where every player represents a different national team (though one of the goalkeepers might need to be considered an outfield player). In fact, this season’s Real Madrid has the distinction of having players from 11 different countries, a feat surpassed only in the 2021-22 and 2014-15 seasons. However, this campaign holds several unique characteristics that make this Madrid team more cosmopolitan than ever before…
Carlo Ancelotti’s squad comprises 23 players, all of whom are full internationals for their respective national teams, except for Fran García, who was recently called up by Luis de la Fuente for the Spanish national team but is yet to make his debut. With the recent acquisitions of Jude Bellingham and Arda Güler, Real Madrid now represents eleven different national teams: Spain, Brazil, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, England, Turkey, Ukraine, and Uruguay.
Beyond the national teams they represent, these 23 players also embrace 16 different nationalities. Antonio Rüdiger, born in Berlin, holds a Sierra Leonean citizenship, while Málaga-born Brahim Diaz represents Morocco. Among the three French internationals, Aurelien Tchouameni was born in Rouen and holds dual nationality with Cameroon. Ferland Mendy, born in Meulan-en-Yvelines, a town northwest of Paris, represents Senegal. The youngest member of the French national team, Eduardo Camavinga, epitomizes the cosmopolitan nature of this Madrid side. He was born in a refugee camp in Cabinda, Angola, where his parents sought shelter from the war in the Republic of Congo, which is also his nationality. When he was still a child, his family relocated to a town near Rennes. Additionally, we must also mention the likes of David Alaba. Although the defender was born in Vienna and holds Austrian nationality, he is the son of a Nigerian father and a Filipino mother.
The Spanish contingent in Real Madrid’s squad, with eight players eligible for the national team, along with Valverde, Militao, Vinicius, and Rodrygo, who have acquired Spanish citizenship, adds to the multicultural makeup of the team. In addition to Brahim’s aforementioned dual nationality, there is the case of Joselu, who was born in Stuttgart, Germany, and lived there during his early years before returning to Galicia with his parents.
This Real Madrid squad is home to players born on four different continents: Europe, America, Africa (represented by Camavinga), and Asia. Arda Güler, the latest acquisition, hails from Ankara, the capital city located in the Asian part of Turkey. Although he is the third Turkish international in Real Madrid’s history, he is the first to be born on Turkish soil. (Altintop and Sahin were born in Germany, while Mesut Özil, also of Turkish origin, chose to represent the German national team.)
Interestingly, despite Argentina being the current reigning world champion, Real Madrid has not had a representative from Argentina in their first team since Di María’s departure in 2015. However, with the emergence of Nico Paz, an Under-20 international, this dry spell may soon come to an end. Throughout its history, Real Madrid has welcomed players from a total of 46 countries. The most long-standing foreign community has been the Brazilian contingent, with at least one Brazilian player in the first team since Roberto Carlos arrived in 1996.
Real Madrid’s current squad, guided by Coach Ancelotti, showcases the club’s rich multicultural legacy. With players representing various national teams and hailing from diverse backgrounds, this cosmopolitan group forms a dynamic and international football family. The Valdebebas training ground serves as a testament to the global appeal and reach of this prestigious club. As this season unfolds, it will be intriguing to witness how this melding of diverse talents contributes to Real Madrid’s success on the field.