Spanish coach Marcelino Garcia relied on Algerian international defender Issa Mandi from the start against Real Madrid, on Sunday, in the 17th round of the Spanish League championship.
The “Yellow Submarines” team did not succeed in returning with a positive result from the “La Liga” runner-up field, as they were defeated by four goals to one.
Real Madrid hits hard and temporarily leads the standings.😎🔝
– LALIGA (@LaLigaArab) December 17, 2023
The Algerian’s last major appearance
The Greens’ second captain, Issa Mandi, registered his appearance in Villarreal’s starting lineup when he moved to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium for the first time in two months.
The last match that the Desert Warrior played as a starter was in… La Ligauntil last October 22, on the occasion of Villarreal welcoming its rival Alaves at the “La Ceramica” stadium for the tenth week’s competitions.
Mandy recently missed due to an ankle injury when he participated with the national team in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.
Meanwhile, the dismissed coach, José Rojo Martín “Pacheta”, excluded him on several occasions at the start of the season.
He was content to include him from the beginning in five matches in the local league, and three matches in the European League.
A return that comforts the Greens coach
Issa Mandi is the sixth most capped player for the national team, with 82 matches.
Only the duo Islam Slimani (95) and Riyad Mahrez (89) surpass him in this statistic from the current census.
The pivotal defender is considered one of the experienced elements that coach Djamel Belmadi is counting on in anticipation of his participation in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Ivory Coast.
The player’s return will greatly relieve the national coach, especially since the time factor does not allow any of the names nominated to be on the Cannes final list, which is scheduled to be set before the date of next January 4, to be injured.
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