Ten Real Madrid stars were obliged to give blood and urine samples as part of the UEFA anti-doping visit.
"The Vampires of UEFA" - as Spanish sports portal AS referred to them, better known as the UEFA Anti-Doping Control Unit, paid a visit to the Valdebebas training base of Real Madrid on Thursday, performing mandatory tests as part of their ongoing battle against doping in football.
Among the players who were reportedly selected to give blood and urine samples, following the Thursday training session, were: Iker Casillas, Raphael Varane, Fabio Coentrao, Sami Khedira, Cristiano Ronaldo, Toni Kroos, Karim Benzema, James Rodriguez, Luka Modric and Norwegian youngster, Martin Odegaard.
A visit from UEFA's Anti-Doping Control Unit isn't so uncommon, despite the sensationalism headlined by such visits among the various outlets of the Spanish media, although they seem to take great offence that any of their leading clubs, or star footballers, would even contemplate any form of cheating to enhance their performances.
On this occasion AS also noted that for Real Madrid, the most recent visits were 11th December 2014, along with another in August 2014 ahead of the UEFA Super Cup encounter between the Champions League winners and Europa League champions Sevilla.
Therefore, in fairness, the visits Real Madrid have had to 'endure' aren't actually all that frequent, with just three made over a period of nine months. However, players of all clubs competing in European competitions are more frequently required at random to give blood or urine samples after participating in matches.
For their part, and as an integral aspect of the 'Protecting the Game' campaign, UEFA stated in October 2014: "Any player participating in a UEFA competition may be required not only to undergo a doping control after a match, but also to undergo out-of-competition controls. Doping controls may include samples of blood and urine as well as screening for substances such as EPO and human growth hormones. No advance information is given as to when controls will take place."