The UEFA Champions League returned this week as Real Madrid visited Germany for their match in the Knockout Rounds against Schalke.

Starting Lineup:

Carlo Ancelotti decided to field his strongest possible lineup with the return of Pepe and also was able to give Lucas Silva his first start in a Real Madrid shirt. The starting eleven consisted of:

Iker Casillas, Daniel Carvajal, Pepe, Raphael Varane, Marcelo, Lucas Silva, Toni Kroos, Gareth Bale, Isco, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Karim Benzema


Schalke –

Real Madrid –
Cristiano Ronaldo (26′)
Marcelo (79′)

The Return of Ronaldo?

It may be a little early to speak of “a return” but, then again, it was too early to speak of a “crisis” when it came to Cristiano Ronaldo. He may have been facing some personal problems but he was able to show his true self against Schalke as he came out with a great goal and a wonderful assist on the night. Any other day, he could have probably even scored more! A great night for the Portuguese.

Raphael Varane:

All the talk against Raphael Varane were thrown out the window with an exceptional performance against Schalke. The French defender had a great match and it seems like he is a lot more comfortable playing alongside Pepe than Nacho. But, with that aside, he did greatly last night and it’s a wonderful thing to see him playing consecutive games after suffering from a knee injury. Against Schalke, he was able to make his 100th appearance for Real Madrid and I hope there are many more to come.


Even though Real Madrid were able to come out with a 2-0 win, the tactics were simply not right. The reason that Real Madrid won was because they were playing against a weak Schalke side and, even then, the Spaniards were threatened quite a few times. Carlo Ancelotti must realize that he didn’t get the tactics right on the night and changes need to be made in the second-leg. A 2-0 away win in the UEFA Champions League is always a good thing but improvement is desperately needed.

Lucas Silva:

Lucas Silva was able to make his full debut for Real Madrid against Schalke and also made his first appearance in the UEFA Champions League. He had a great game considering that it was his debut and was able to complete the full 90 minutes on the pitch. He connected well with his teammates and hold his position very well. There is a lot to be seen from the 22-year-old Brazilian in the coming months!


My Personal Player Ratings:

Iker Casillas – 9/10
Daniel Carvajal – 8.5/10
Pepe – 8.5/10
Raphael Varane – 9/10
Marcelo – 8/10
Lucas Silva – 8/10
Toni Kroos – 8.5/10
Gareth Bale – 8/10
Isco – 9/10
Cristiano Ronaldo – 9/10
Karim Benzema – 8/10