After leading Real Madrid to the club's 10th European title in May following a truly prolific continental run, Carlo Ancelotti's outfit appeared to be shaping up ominously for a lethal 2014-15 campaign.
Having successfully navigated through the initial adjustment phase under the Italian—a transition that included a change in shape to best cater for Gareth Bale—it seemed Los Blancos were set to have a cohesive edge over their two primary La Liga rivals next season.
That, however, has all changed amid another characteristic summer escapade from club president Florentino Perez, who, through his acquisition of James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos, has forced Ancelotti to undertake another period of reconstruction.
Now, a side that seemed set to have the early-season running over a rejigged Atletico Madrid and a Barcelona team preparing to modify their methods to integrate Luis Suarez has selection headaches of its own.
Across the following slides, we examine the five most pressing selection quandaries facing Real Madrid's decorated manager ahead of the new season.