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Why are Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid not playing this weekend?

real madrid, atletico madrid
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Only 16 of the 20 La Liga teams are in action for the first time since the international break ended, with the likes of Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid missing.

Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Athletic Club, and Granada are all missing from this weekend’s round of La Liga games.

For matchday 9 of the new season, Real Madrid were scheduled to play Athletic at home. Atletico, meanwhile, were set to continue their title defense with a trip to Granada. Both matches would’ve started at 20:00 (CET) on Sunday evening in Spain.

But FIFA’s decision to hold three South American World Cup qualifiers during the international break meant several key players could not return to their clubs in time for these fixtures.

Therefore, the Spanish Superior Sports Council (CSD) granted La Liga’s request to postpone these two fixtures.

“In light of previous considerations, and using the attributes which are legally conferred on me I have resolved to grant the injunction requested by [La Liga president] Javier Tebas Medrano Lopez, representing the National Professional Football League [La Liga],” read a statement from CSD president Jose Manuel Franco Pardo on Wednesday.

Who was missing for Real Madrid?

Carlo Ancelotti’s side would’ve missed Brazilian duo Vinicius Junior and Eder Militao (who is now injured) and Uruguay star Federico Valverde for the match against Athletic.

Casemiro would’ve been available for Los Blancos as he pulled out of Brazil duty because of a dental infection. Marcelo, meanwhile, hasn’t played for the Selecao since 2018.

Who was missing for Atletico Madrid?

Colchoneros boss Diego Simeone was without Argentina stars Rodrigo De Paul and Angel Correa, and Uruguay pair Luis Suarez and Jose Maria Gimenez – who suffered an injury problem during the international break.

What next?

La Liga is yet to release new dates for the Real Madrid-Athletic and Granada-Atletico fixtures.

So until further notice, the focus turns to the Champions League games coming up this week. Real Madrid will visit Shakhtar Donetsk in Group D, while Atletico welcome Liverpool to Spain in Group B. Both of these games take place on Tuesday.