Category Archives: real madrid

Marcelo has fallen ‘out of Grace’

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He will have to bring out his best version if he does not want to be overtaken.

In the last few weeks there have been reports of Marcelo putting his all into getting back into the starting line-up at Real Madrid.

NoRM‘s known Newspaper reveals the main strategy of his plan to return in style.

Marcelo has been working hard to get back to into the team after the Christmas break. He has reportedly been doing extra work for weeks.

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Alfonso Madrid, his new personal trainer, is getting him in shape and Sport Media known to NoRM has revealed the keys to his plan.

It is based on two pillars: food and extra work. The Brazilian is taking great care with his meals so as not to overweight himself and to be quick on the pitch.

This is partly why he has been seen to be a bit more toned in some of his social network publications.

He is also giving a lot of importance to his physique, aware that his main competitor for the leading role under Zidane’s guidelines is Mendy, seven years younger.

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And, for the moment, that is what is happening. Marcelo has not been on the pitch as a starter since 28 November, just one month ago, in the La Liga match that Madrid lost to Alavés.

Otherwise, he is currently without minutes both in the domestic championship and in the Champions League.

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Options weighing: Isco could leave Real Madrid

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His contribution, in this course, is limited to the 358 minutes that he has been on the field.

On the verge of a new transfer market, Real Madrid’s Isco continues to weigh up the idea of leaving the Madrid club. The Premier League and Serie A being his most likely destinations.

These are not good times for Isco. The Spaniard has only played eleven matches so far and his performances on the pitch have left much to be desired.

Both his quality and his physical condition continue to cause issues at Real Madrid, who may agree to a transfer of the Malaga-born player in this upcoming winter transfer market

Isco has been losing prominence in the ‘merengue’ team and not even Zinedine Zidane has managed to recover that footballer who amazed the world.

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In a period of somewhat muted transfers due to the scarce economic capacity of many teams, the Premier League seems to be the most probable destination for the offensive midfielder, English teams seem to have been the least affected by the crisis. Arsenal and Everton are both reportedly interested in him.

However, Serie A is also being tipped as the favourite to host Isco, as both Juventus and Inter Milan have reportedly enquired about his situation. All this, in the event that the 28-year-old decides to leave the Santiago Bernabeu.

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Real Madrid Still counts on Asensio

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It was expected to be tough for Real Madrid to earn a sixth win in a row. Above all, because Granada are a very serious team and they know exactly how to play their game. They’re well-organised and efficient under Diego Martinez, the kind of team that give Los Blancos the most difficulty. Without Eden Hazard and his ability to win one-on-one matchups, Real Madrid needed Karim Benzema to find solutions. They’ve also been relying on Vinicius, which is not to be sniffed at, but it’s clear that they struggle to find holes in the opposition defence.


It was also complicated because Real Madrid didn’t have Luka Modric and he is able to move the team forward. It was going to be a night of suffering and that was made clear in the first 30 seconds thanks to Raphael Varane and his latest giveaway. Granada made this happen by keeping Sergio Ramos from bringing the ball out and ensuring it was the Frenchman who had to do so.

Granada’s tactics and ability to irritate Real Madrid worked until the 55th minute, when Marco Asensio reminded us all of what a great footballer he can become again, doing so in the space of two minutes. It’s said that players either do or don’t recover from an injury as serious as the knee injury he suffered, but any recovery comes from hard work, time and patience. Real Madrid and the player have bought into this and, given the superb flick off the post that he produced, this seems the right approach. With that attempt and the passes for a Fede Valverde shot and the Casemiro goal, Real Madrid overcame a Granada side that were locking them out. This is what talent brings about, at the moment when it seemed Granada’s organisation couldn’t be overcome.


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Asensio is back on fire, he solves Zidane’s equation better

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Having played the last five games for Real Madrid, three of them as a starter, Asensio is once again a protagonist for Zinedine Zidane.


The wings are the most volatile positions in Zidane’s eleven, where the French coach has opted for several variants over the campaign so far. But in the Clásico, the first important game of the season, Zizou put his faith Marco Asensio.

The previous two defeats prompted Zidane to strengthen the centre of the field for the Clásico, with Kroos, Modric and Valverde accompanying Casemiro. The Madrid boss trusted in the formula that has given him so many successes in the past, opting to start Asensio in a position that, against Barcelona, had the added responsibility of giving support to Nacho (and eventually Lucas Vázquez after Nacho’s injury) to keep Jordi Alba at bay.

Zidane has a lot of confidence in Asensio. The serious injury he suffered last season prevented him from stamping his mark on one of the most competitive positions on Zidane’s team, but to which no one could claim a permanent hold in his absence.

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Asensio takes Bale’s 11 shirt
Asensio has become the owner of the 11 shirt with the exit of Bale, and the appreciation between coach and player is mutual. “We understand each other very well, almost just by looking at each other. He told me to score a goal”, revealed Asensio when talking about what Zidane said to him before he came on in the game against Valencia after the coronavirus suspension. It was his first appearance back after recovering from his horror injury and it took him half a minute to satisfy his coach’s wish. He ended up contributing two more goals on the way to Madrid’s 34th LaLiga title.

Asensio has been envisioned to become a regular fixture in Madrid’s attacking trident alongside Hazard and Benzema – an offensive line of which Real Madrid has been deprived because of both Isco’s injury and Hazard’s recurrent injuries. The three have only coincided on the field for nine minutes, in the aforementioned game against Valencia that marked Asensio’s return.

The prudence that Zidane has shown when it comes to reintroducing injured players to the fold meant that Asensio only played 362 minutes in the final 12 games of last season following the coronavirus suspension.

In the seven games played so far this season, Marco has played 318 minutes, making him the 11th most-used player in the squad. Having played the last five games, three of them as a starter, Asensio is a protagonist once again.


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5 Reasons why haaland Is more better than Jovic

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Luka Jovic cost Real Madrid 60 million euros, and Zinedine Zidane has acknowledged that it was a signing made on his request, yet the Serbian hasn’t yet lived up to expectations at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, all whilst Erling Haaland is going from strength to strength.


There is clear uncertainty with regards to Jovic’s future in the Spanish capital, whilst fans are clamouring for the signing of Haaland to take his place, with some even going as far as to wonder just why he isn’t at the club already.

There are five clear reasons as to why Haaland would be a much better fit with Los Merengues than Jovic:

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  1. Passion against coldness
    Jovic showed his ability as a goalscorer during his excellent spell with Eintracht Frankfurt, but he is a very cold player. He’s too cold for what the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu and Real Madrid stand for. Haaland is the polar opposite, he exudes passion in every single player he is involved in and easily connects with supporters, whether they are in the stands or not. In this regard, Haaland would very quickly create a bond with the club’s fans, something even Karim Benzema didn’t always do.
  2. The speed of the Norwegian
    Haaland is possibly the fastest player in world football right now. His moving starts are barely believable and Los Blancos miss that kind of player in their attacking line. Jovic doesn’t have that speed.
  3. Haaland is a leader
    Despite only joining the club in January 2020 and being just 20 years old, Haaland is already a leader at Borussia Dortmund. On the pitch he makes his teammates better and he drags them forward when things aren’t going well. Jovic is different, on the pitch he is a secondary figure and hasn’t showed the propensity for leadership in any of his appearances for the Spanish club. He doesn’t have the soul of a natural leader.
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  1. Haaland’s reliability is beyond question
    The Norwegian international gets better with every season that passes. He didn’t notice the change from Salzburg to Dortmund, the goals just kept coming, despite the fact the German side are one of the biggest in the world. His goalscoring averages are consistently excellent and you have to consider that the current iteration of Real Madrid is possibly one of the worst going forward that there has been since 2000. Jovic has only had one standout season and that came in Germany, and this generates doubt where there is none with Haaland.
  2. Jovic has too many off-pitch problems
    The Serbian has had a difficult year on the pitch, but also away from it. He has too many problems away from football as we saw with him bypassing lockdown and travelling to Serbia, he then was at a barbecue in the middle of the pandemic, which was clearly prohibited. Finally, he suffered a strange injury whilst he was on holiday. This is simply too many problems for a club like Real Madrid. Where Haaland is concerned, you only ever hear about him scoring goal after goal, nothing away from the pitch.

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Reports claims Zidane’s departure from Madrid will not affect Mbappe’s move

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Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane potentially leaving the club would not impact any deal to sign PSG star Kylian Mbappe next summer, according to reports.


Zidane, who as recently as July won LaLiga in this his second stint as Madrid boss, is suddenly under-pressure after two consecutive losses at home to Cadiz in the league and Shakhtar Donetsk in Europe.

Madrid face fierce rivals Barcelona in El Clasico on Saturday and amid a poor run of form, speculation is building about a potential departure from the Bernabeu for the French manager – yet according to Spanish outlet AS, that would not affect Madrid’s pursuit of Mbappe as a marquee signing in 2021.

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The report details that though Mbappe has spoken glowingly about Zidane in the past, his apparent desire to move to the Spanish capital does not hinge on Zidane being in the managerial hotseat.

Mbappe said of Zidane in May: ‘My first idol was Zidane for everything he achieved with the national team. Then it was Cristiano [Ronaldo]. He has won a lot and is still a winner after so much success.

‘Both have left their mark on the history of football and I want to leave my own chapter in the books.’

Mbappe’s contract at PSG runs until the summer of 2022 and so far he has resisted talks of an extension.

The 21-year-old, who signed for the Ligue 1 champions in 2017 from Monaco, sees his long-term future at Real Madrid according to sources close to the player.

On the other hand, Madrid president Florentino Perez sees the French World Cup winner as the ‘cornerstone of the next project at Real Madrid’.

Madrid will reportedly consider appointing Mauricio Pochettino or former star Raul as their next manager if they decide to sack Zidane.

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According to a separate report in AS, Raul, who won 16 trophies in 16 years at the Bernabeu, is the ‘ideal option’ for Perez.

Another option is former Tottenham boss Pochettino who has previously been linked with the job.

The Argentine has been without a club since he was sacked by Spurs last November and would be a ready-made replacement for Zidane.

Meanwhile, Zidane has received a big boost ahead of El Clasico with news that captain Sergio Ramos will be fit for the clash at the Camp Nou.

Ramos went off at half-time in Madrid’s 1-0 defeat by minnows Cadiz last weekend and was also absent as they crumbled on Wednesday in the Champions League – however, he took a full part in training on Friday.

‘He’s our captain, our leader. He’s over his injury, but obviously we won’t take any risks. He’ll be with us, you need players who are 100 per cent fit and Sergio is,’ Zidane told a news conference.


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Shakhtar Defeat shows Madrid’s defense is nothing without Ramos

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The Shakhtar game was Madrid’s latest European disaster without their captain. Since 2018, the team has suffered defeats to Ajax, PSG, City and CSKA…


Real Madrid’s shambolic first-half display against Shakhtar Donetsk once again illustrated how important Sergio Ramos’ influence is on the team. In Europe, whenever they have been without him, Madrid fall to pieces. The magic that accompanied the team’s eleventh and thirteenth European crowns has long disappeared. And since then, when Ramos has been unavailable for suspension or injury, Madrid have looked listless and leaderless. It was plain to see in the last Champions League game of last season, when Zidane’s team were beaten 2-1 in Manchester on an evening which Varane will be keen to forget. It happened again in the first group game of this season’s edition with Militão seemingly miles away and at fault for much of Madrid’s sloppy defending. Last night both players – Varane for showing no leadership in Ramos’ absence and Militão for a lack of attitude, have come under fire…

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Madrid, weak without Ramos in Europe
And there have been other games in which Madrid have disintegrated without their captain. In the 2017-18 season, Juventus came close to eliminating a Madrid side without Ramos by beating them 1-3 in the first leg of the quarter finals. Then there was the humiliating 1-4 defeat to Ajax at the Bernabéu during the season when the club went through three coaches – Lopetegui, Solari and Zidane. Without Ramos, Madrid lost home and away to CSKA that same season (1-0 and 0-3). Last season, with Zidane at the helm, the Varane-Militão pairing were picked apart by PSG as it ended 3-0 at Parc des Princes and Madrid were left looking exposed once more in Europe without their leader.

Ramos missed the Shakhtar game after taking a knock to his knee against Cádiz at the weekend. Madrid fell behind as early as the 13th minute to a rival with most of its first choice players self-isolating after positive coronavirus tests and yet still managed to open the scoring in a one-on-one with Courtois. After that, instead of improving, it got worse. The Ukrainians put three past Madrid in the first 45 minutes and it could easily have been four or five. The sight of Militão trudging back at an almost pedestrian pace in the move that led to the third goal shocked Pedja Mijatovic, commentating on Carrusel Deportivo, who exclaimed, “I don’t know what is going on with Madrid’s centre-backs but Good God…”

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Result could have been even worse for Madrid
If Militão was at fault, Casemiro, Varane, and Marcelo weren’t much better – the left-back was caught upfield several times and unable to get back. Férland Mendy, a naturally left-sided defender playing out of position as a makeshift right-back was the only one who gave a good account. Dentinhó missed a golden chance to make it 1-4 on 55 minutes and Teté could have made it 2-4 in another one-on-one with Courtois in the 68th minute. Teté was caught offside when Marlos had the ball in the back of the net with 10 minutes of normal time remaining. Madrid’s defending was simply not the standard you would expect from a team which aspiring to win the Champions League – as both Courtois and Zidane claimed in the pre-match press conference.

What’s worse for Zidane is that Wednesday’s lesson could leave psychological scars. Varane admitted that he struggled to regain focus after his two costly mistakes at the Etihad in August. This latest defeat, including an own goal, will only rub salt in the wounds. In the meantime, Ramos isn’t getting any younger and his contract expires in 2021…


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‘Why would I leave when Madrid clearly still wants me to stay’ – Luka Modric

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Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric has made clear that he would like to remain at the club, with his contract currently set to expire next summer. The 35-year-old joined Real Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur for 35 million euros in 2012, and during his time in the Spanish capital he has played a total of 347 games and won 17 trophies for the club.


Modric is currently on international duty with Croatia, where he briefly discussed his Real Madrid future. “It’s the same as with the national team. I go from match to match and then we’ll see what happens,” he said.

“Of course I’d like to stay at Real Madrid. However, I am aware that I am at a certain age and the club must do the best for everyone. As long as I feel that I am an important part of Real Madrid, I would like to stay. When that is no longer the case, I will look for new challenges”. However, this issue is not yet on the agenda”.

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Ahead of Croatia’s Nations League match against Sweden on Sunday evening, which comes four days after Modric came on as a substitute in a 2-1 friendly win against Switzerland, the midfielder emphasised his commitment to the Croatia shirt. “I don’t want to set any limits or dates for myself,” Modric stated.

“I’m going from match to match and I’ll see how I feel both physically and mentally. As long as I feel good, I want to play for the national team.” Modric made sure to thank Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic after he was allowed to miss the internationals in September in order to do pre-season with Real Madrid. “I feel very good. Thanks to coach Dalic for letting me go through the pre-season with Real Madrid,” he said.

“This is extremely important for a player of my age because if you don’t do pre-season, it is difficult to return to the correct rhythm.” With regard to the match against Sweden, Modric is firm in the belief that Croatia will need to leave everything out on the pitch. “Two big matches [against Sweden and France] are waiting for us in the space of three days and we will need all the players to be at a high level,” he said. “It is difficult to predict how many points we will get, but we play at home [against Sweden], in front of the fans and we are always going to go for the win.”


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Bale says ‘GOODBYE’ to all Madrid Squad during his last training

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Real Madrid had their fourth training session of the week on Thursday as they continue their preparations for their LaLiga Santander opener on Sunday away at Real Sociedad.


Gareth Bale, who is on the verge of completing a return to Tottenham Hotspur, was not present on the pitches at Valdebebas as he worked out in the gym.

Officially, this is due to a blow to his left knee which he picked up whilst playing for Wales against Bulgaria, although he was able to see out the full 90 minutes and didn’t appear to have any problems.

Since that day, September 6, and his subsequent return to the Spanish capital, Bale has not set foot on the pitches at Real Madrid’s training ground.

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It seems that there will be no photos of Bale’s final hours as a Real Madrid player, since his return to Spurs – as well as the transfer of Sergio Reguilon – will be closed in the coming hours.

In addition to Bale, Lucas Vazquez and Eder Militao also worked out in the gym, while Isco, Marco Asensio and Eden Hazard did specific work out on the grass.

Luka Jovic, meanwhile, completed a part of the session with the group and is in contention to be in the squad to face Real Sociedad.

The session started with a warm-up and defensive exercises without the ball.

Los Blancos then practiced possession and pressing drills before playing a match on a small pitch.

Finally, they worked on shooting.

Tomorrow, at 11:00 CEST, the Real Madrid squad will train again.


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Asensio and Vinicius Jr battles for Bale’s no.11

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Gareth Bale’s departure will free up an iconic number at Real Madrid, with No.11 left unassigned in the absence of the Welshman.


The number had been Bale’s since his 2013 arrival, but now it will be one that both Vinicius Junior and Marco Asensio will battle to get their hands on.

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It’s a number that would suit him nicely, but he hasn’t made any firm decisions and won’t comment while Bale is still a Real Madrid player.

Vinicius would also suit it well, having worn it at Flamengo. But at Real Madrid he’s had to wear No.28 and No.25.

Should he not take Bale’s shirt, he’ll have to continue with his No.25 or else take James Rodriguez’s old No.16 shirt.

Other options are Brahim Diaz’s No.21 or Asensio’s No.20, should the latter take Bale’s number.


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Bale reaches Real Madrid’s training for one last time

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Gareth Bale has been filmed arriving at Real Madrid’s Valdebebas training ground on Thursday morning as he edges closer to a sensational return to Tottenham.


The Wales international has agreed terms on a year-long loan deal that Sportsmail understands to be worth more than £13million.

Part of the move will be financed by Real Madrid – and Bale is relishing the prospect of reviving his career back in the Premier League.


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Benzema once again ‘On Fire!!!’

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Karim Benzema has started the 2020/21 season with four goals in Real Madrid’s 6-0 friendly victory over Getafe at the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano on Tuesday.


The Frenchman picked up the baton from Cristiano Ronaldo when he joined Juventus in 2018 and, since then, he has scored 57 goals for Los Blancos.

Unlike Gareth Bale, Benzema has been the only Real Madrid forward who has tried to fill the void left by the Portugal international.

Last season he competed until the end with Lionel Messi for LaLiga Santander’s top scorer award, although he didn’t manage to overtake the Argentine.

Real Madrid signed Luka Jovic in the summer of 2019 to help Benzema with the scoring task, but the Serbian striker didn’t live up to the expectations and it was Sergio Ramos who finished as the team’s second top scorer.

The Frenchman’s four goals against Jose Bordalas’ side on Tuesday is just a sign that he is once again in position to help his club meet their objectives.


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Hazard is under microscope

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Eden Hazard arrived at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu last summer as Real Madrid’s Galactico replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo.

However, in his first year with Los Blancos, the Belgian has been far from the talisman and leader everyone was expecting.

A large part of this is due to his fitness issues, with his international boss raising further questions over his physical state going into the new season.

Hazard didn’t play in either of Belgium’s Nations League games this month, despite travelling with the squad.

Roberto Martinez believes the forward is 60 training sessions away from being fit enough to start, which begs the question as to why he was called up in the first place.

Heading back to Real Madrid for the start of the new season, Hazard has a reputation to rebuild, as well as his fitness.

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Appreciated in the dressing room
The Real Madrid squad have no problems with Hazard or any aspects of his behaviour.

He might not have made a good first impression last summer, turning up for pre-season overweight, but he’s had bad luck with injuries since then.

The ankle problem he suffered in November 2019 and the following relapse in February were really bad news for everyone connected with Real Madrid.

When Hazard and Los Blancos returned after lockdown, the former Lille star showed glimpses of his best before picking up a knock against Espanyol.

Now, it’s about finding his feet as a player and regaining his confidence in his injured ankle.

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Mixed emotions for the future
Real Madrid still believe Hazard can become the player they thought he would be at the Bernabeu, but recent events on international duty have prompted some concerns about his fitness.

The club would’ve preferred him to stay at Valdebebas rather than go with Belgium, but they also understand what representing his country means to the 29-year-old.

Amongst the coaching staff, they’ve put a plan in place to allow Hazard to rediscover the form that saw him become one of the best players in the world at Chelsea.

The Belgian was named player of the year three times at Stamford Bridge, most recently in his last campaign there in 2018/19.

Looking forward, Hazard will be focused on reaching full fitness within the next two or three weeks, just in time for the start of the LaLiga Santander season.

Before he goes on international duty again in October, Real Madrid play Real Sociedad, Real Betis, Real Valladolid and Levante.


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Hazard lacks commitment

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Real Madrid’s 2019/20 season finished on August 7, when they lost 2-1 away at Manchester City in the Champions League. While Raphael Varane’s couple of errors stood out in that game, so too did Thibaut Courtois and Kevin de Bruyne. Their Belgian teammate Eden Hazard was much less involved, taken off in the 83rd minute.

Now, this new season has begun with the internationals travelling to represent their national teams before even training one day with their clubs. Courtois, though, was back after three days working with Belgium as he returned to Valdebebas on Friday instead of travelling to Denmark. He had agreed this with his national team coach Roberto Martinez and with Zinedine Zidane. On the other hand, Hazard preferred to stay with Belgium instead of prioritising his club and didn’t even play one minute against Denmark or Iceland.

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Hazard’s main problem isn’t his right ankle, which Martinez said will need to be looked after throughout his career. His main problem is that he hasn’t realised how demanding it is to represent Real Madrid, after a first year in which he practically did nothing. He was signed for a huge fee and he was signed to be a star, which is why his lack of commitment is so concerning. He has all the footballing skills he needs, but this mentality could prevent him from succeeding.

The other problem is that while he keeps playing without being in optimal condition, like during last season, he’ll continue to take opportunities away from young players who are showing ambition. Players like Vinicius, but also Rodrygo, Martin Odegaard and Marco Asensio. Zidane could be making a mistake if he prefers to give out minutes by prioritising status over sporting merit and hard work.


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‘Madrid are making things difficult for me’ – Bale

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Gareth Bale’s future at Real Madrid looks bleak and Ramon Calderón has suggested the outcast forward may even be allowed to leave for free.

Real Madrid turned down a €100million bid from a Premier League club for Gareth Bale last year, according to the Spanish side’s former president Ramon Calderón.

Bale EPL move denied by Madrid
Bale hit out at Madrid in an explosive interview on Wednesday, accusing the LaLiga giants of “making things very difficult” for him to move away from the Santiago Bernabeu.

The Wales international was on the brink of joining Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning in July 2019, only for Madrid to pull the plug on a deal at the 11th hour.

And Calderón – Madrid president between 2006 and 2009 – has claimed an unnamed English club also stepped forward with a big offer for Bale 12 months ago.

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“I know in the last day of the transfer window last year there was an offer from the Premier League,” he told talkSPORT.

“They offered €100m [£89.12m] and Real Madrid turned down that offer because they thought Bale would be a player in their side.”

Asked to reveal the identity of the Premier League team in question, with Manchester United among those linked, Calderón said: “I’m not allowed to say the name, though I do know the name of the club.

“I think at the end there was a disagreement as Madrid decided not to sell the player, because they thought he was a player who could be used and be in the starting line-up.

“But I think the player neither wants to leave nor to reduce his salary. It is true his salary is very high, but in 2016 the club decided to increase his salary.

“It is difficult for any club to pay that salary, especially knowing the situation of football nowadays.”

Bale made just 20 appearances in all competitions in 2019-20 and asked to be left out of the squad to face Manchester City in last month’s Champions League last-16 second leg.

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The former Tottenham player has two years to run on the contract he signed in 2016 and Calderon suggested it may well be a case of Madrid terminating that deal if his situation does not improve.

“I think his agent was here yesterday trying to get a deal,” he said. “But I don’t see any club paying that salary.

“And, on top of that, if Real Madrid want to get a transfer fee, that’s impossible.

“I think Real Madrid would now be willing to let him go without any transfer fee – that would be the solution.

“But in that case, I don’t see any club paying €40m a year for a player who is 31 and who hasn’t been playing regularly in the last two years.”

Just Click

Benzema is the best no.9 in Europe


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‘Live up to your worth Hazard’ – Modric warns

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Luka Modric has called for Real Madrid team-mate Eden Hazard to show his true form this season following a poor first year at the Bernabeu.

Hazard was one of the high profile moves during the summer transfer window of 2019 when he moved from Chelsea to Madrid for £150million.

But a series of injuries restricted the playmaker to just 22 games in all competitions, netting one goal and providing seven assists.

However he was ruled out of a further 24 games due to a series of injuries, mainly a hairline fracture in the foot throughout the winter.

Modric though sympathises with the 29-year-old, claiming he was trying too hard to play through his injury,

‘Eden is a great guy and a special player, but he was playing with pain and when you’re on the pitch, people always expect the best. They don’t care if you have little problems,’ Modric told AFP.

‘I spoke to him and said, “Eden maybe you need not to play now and recover because next season we need you at your best. This is a season where you’re getting to know everything but next season you need to be 100 per cent because if not, it’s going to be difficult”.

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‘Hopefully he comes back without any problems and then I’m sure he’ll show his potential and why the club bought him because we will need him a lot.’

Modric also had advice for another team-mate in Gareth Bale, who also struggled under Zinedine Zidane last term.

The Wales star has fallen out of favour under the Madrid manager and the Croatian star has informed the 31-year-old he now needs to do what is best for his career.

‘Gareth is a great, great player but his situation is not easy. He always has my support but he needs to decide what is best for him and what he wants to do now with his career,’ Modric said.

‘It was not an easy season for him but it is what it is. Maybe now he needs to get back to his best…We’ll see what happens with him.’

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Lionel Messi suggest perfect replacement for Eric Abidal.


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