Will Zidane make Real Madrid a force again?

Zinedine Zidane

There was widespread surprise amongst residents of planet football in March as Frenchman Zinedine Zidane announced he would return as manager of Real Madrid just 10 months after leaving the La Liga kingpins. The former player walked in May of last year after guiding Blancos to a third straight Champions League trophy, but the club has struggled to find success following the Frenchman’s departure and were delighted to see him sign a deal that would keep him in charge until 2022. Zidane arrives at the Bernabeu with the 33-time Spanish…

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Why Alvaro Morata is not the answer to Chelsea’s lack of goals

Back when at Real Madrid, he was the future of the Santiago Bernabeu, and indeed of Spanish football.  In 2012/13 he had made his breakthrough under Jose Mourinho, making regular appearances and even starting in el clasico, playing a key role in a 2-1 victory, and made 12 league appearances that year, netting twice. 2013/14 saw further progress, 23 league matches, scoring 8 goals as Carlo Ancelotti joined the club and Morata found his place in rotation with Karem Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Angel Di Maria and an emerging…

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Mateo Kovacic eyes permanent stay at Chelsea

Mateo Kovacic has admitted he “can imagine” staying on at Chelsea, but acknowledges that Real Madrid will have the final say on his future. The midfielder joined the London club on a season-long loan from the European champions after becoming frustrated at a lack of regular playing time in Spain. Kovacic has taken to life in the English capital, playing 23 times in all competitions for Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea, and with the possibility of a permanent switch now being mooted, the 24-year-old is open to staying if all parties reach an agreement. “I…

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Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio ruled out with thigh injury

Real Madrid midfielder Marco Asensio will be out of action for sometime after suffering a thigh injury in his side’s 3-1 win over Kashima Antlers in the semifinal of the Fifa Club World Cup. The club revealed on Friday morning that the player has a grade II muscle strain in the right quadricep and that they are evaluating the situation. Asensio medical report.#RealMadrid https://t.co/Jx1Lnazh6Q — Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) December 21, 2018 It is unclear how long Asensio will be out for but the 22-year-old will definitely miss the…

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Manchester United draw PSG in Champions League, Liverpool to face Bayern Munich

Manchester United have drawn Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 of the Champions League, while Liverpool will face Bayern Munich and Tottenham will take on Borussia Dortmund. Manchester City were drawn against Bundesliga side Schalke, meaning three of the four English teams will face German opposition. Cristiano Ronaldo will return to the city of Madrid, with Juventus drawn against Atletico. Holders Real Madrid must overcome Dutch side Ajax, while Barcelona will take on Lyon and Roma will face FC Porto. The first legs of the last-16 ties will be split…

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Luka Modric wins Ballon d’or to end Ronaldo and Messi dominance

Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric won the 2018 Ballon d’Or, becoming the first player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the award in more than a decade. Modric, 33, won his third successive Champions League in May before helping Croatia to a first World Cup final. Former Brazil and AC Milan forward Kaka, in 2007, was the last player other than Messi or Ronaldo to win it. Ronaldo, who joined Juventus from Real Madrid in the summer, came second. Barcelona forward Messi finished fifth, with…

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Postponed Copa Libertadores final to be played at Santiago Bernabeu

Conmebol has confirmed that the postponed second leg of the Copa Libertadores final between River Plate and Boca Juniors will be played at the Bernabéu stadium, more than 6,000 miles away from the original venue, on 9 December. Fans of both sides will be given an equal allocation of tickets. Argentina’s two biggest teams drew the first leg 2-2 at Boca’s ground and were due to play the second match in South America’s equivalent of the Champions League final at River’s El Monumental stadium on Saturday. However, three Boca players, including the former Manchester…

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Eden Hazard drops hints at 2019 Chelsea exit

Eden Hazard has dropped his biggest hint yet he could leave Chelsea at the end of the season. The Belgium international has 18 months remaining on his contract and has been linked with both Real Madrid and Paris St Germain and admits a summer departure from Stamford Bridge is possible. Football punters have also been backing his exit with an offer from betdaq, at odds that are surely likely to only get shorter as the summer nears. Hazard himself has played up his interest in joining Real in the past, saying…

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Real Madrid confirm Solari appointment as permanent manager

Real Madrid have confirmed Santiago Solari’s appointment as their permanent manager after receiving approval from the Spanish football federation (RFEF). The 42-year-old Argentine has led the team to four wins in four games since replacing Julen Lopetegui at the helm of the European champions two weeks ago. Though the club have yet to confirm the news, Spanish rules prevent an interim coach from staying in charge for longer than 15 days, a period that expires on Monday. With victories over Melilla in the Copa del Rey, Viktoria Plzen in the…

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Real Madrid sack Julen Lopetegui after Clasico rout

Julen Lopetegui has been sacked as Real Madrid manager after just 14 matches that culminated in Sunday’s 5-1 loss to Barcelona in el Clasico at the Nou Camp. Former Real player and current coach of the Castilla Santiago Solari will “provisionally” be in charge of the first team until a successor is named, the club confirmed in a statement Monday night. The Spaniard succeeded Zinedine Zidane in June and took a training session on Monday but his fate was confirmed following a board meeting. Real, Champions League winners for the past three…

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De Gea breaks silence amid Manchester United contract uncertainty

David de Gea has said that his focus remains on his on-field performances amid uncertainty over his Manchester United future. Manager Jose Mourinho admitted that he is not optimistic that the goalkeeper will pen a new deal with the club, with his current contract due to expire at the end of the season. The club retain the right to extending De Gea’s deal automatically by another year but that has not stopped transfer links with Juventus, with reports suggesting they’ll swoop in to sign the Spaniard on a free. Despite…

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Jose Mourinho denies interest in Real Madrid job for a second time

Jose Mourinho has denied any interest in taking over at Real Madrid, stating he wishes to stay as Manchester United manager beyond his current contract, which ends in the summer of 2020. Reports in Spain have claimed Mourinho is seen by Real as a replacement for Julen Lopetegui following the European champions’ disappointing start to the season. They sit seventh in La Liga, four points behind the leaders Barcelona, following Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Levante. Yet asked about potentially becoming Real manager for a second time having managed the…

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Lionel Messi ruled out of clasico with fractured arm in Barcelona win

Lionel Messi will miss next week’s clasico against Real Madrid with a fracture in his right arm, Barcelona have announced. Messi was injured when he fell awkwardly in the first half of Saturday’s 4-2 win over Sevilla, and the Argentinian now faces three weeks out. Barcelona said on Twitter: “Tests carried out on the first team player Leo Messi have confirmed that he has a fracture of the radial bone in his right arm. He will be out for approximately three weeks. FuerzaLeo.” ❗ [INJURY NEWS] Tests carried out on…

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Lopetegui ‘encouraged’ despite historic Real Madrid loss

Julen Lopetegui has said he his not worried about losing his job after his Real Madrid side slumped to a surprising 2-1 defeat at home to Levante. The loss was Real’s fourth in five games and the result has put further pressure on coach Lopetegui, whose side remain fifth in La Liga, three points behind leaders Alaves and a point behind Barcelona, who have yet to play. “Right now that is the last thing that I’m thinking about,” said Lopetegui when asked if he was worried about losing his job. “I…

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Real Madrid make contact with Antonio Conte – reports

Real Madrid contacted Antonio Conte this week as the Italian is their first choice to replace Julen Lopetegui if he fails to turn his side’s fortunes around, according to reports in his native Italy. The club’s directors have held initial talks with Conte to see if the former Chelsea boss would be keen on taking over the reins. Italian publication Corriere dello Sport suggest current Real Madrid boss Lopetegui has just three games to save his job after a topsy-turvy start to life at the Santiago Bernabeu. Lopetegui will reportedly be sacked if…

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Real Madrid sue over claims club forced Ronaldo to settle in rape case

Real Madrid have taken legal action against a Portuguese newspaper that reported the club forced Cristiano Ronaldo to settle with the woman who accused him of rape. Real said the information published by Correio da Manhã is “categorically false” and was printed in an effort to “seriously damage the image of this club”. Real said they have “absolutely no knowledge of any of the information that the newspaper published with regard to the player Cristiano Ronaldo, and therefore the club was unable to take action on a matter of which…

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Eden Hazard torn between new Chelsea contract and ‘dream’ Real Madrid move

Eden Hazard has admitted he is undecided between signing a new deal at Stamford Bridge and a “dream” move to Real Madrid. The Belgium forward has two years remaining on his contract with the Blues, but was linked with a move to the European champions in the summer. Hazard has scored seven times in the Premier League already this season. “I don’t want to say, ‘yes, I am signing a new contract’ and then in the end I don’t end up signing,” the 27-year-old told the media. “I want what’s…

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Gareth Bale out of Wales friendly with Spain, doubtful for Ireland clash

Gareth Bale is out of Wales’ friendly against Spain on Thursday and is “50-50” for the Nations League match with the Republic of Ireland on 16 October. The 29-year-old forward was replaced in the 80th minute of Real Madrid’s 1-0 La Liga loss at Alaves on Saturday. “Gareth has got a little bit of muscle fatigue and he won’t be involved against Spain,” Wales manager Ryan Giggs confirmed. “We don’t want to take any risks and we are monitoring it every day.” Bale sat out training with the Wales squad…

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French Court set to rule on whether Benzema must stand trial

The Paris Appeal Court said on Thursday that it will rule next month on the validity of a blackmail case against Real Madrid star Karim Benzema and five other men. At a long-awaited hearing on Thursday, prosecutors asked the court confirm the validity of a police investigation into Benzema for his role an alleged attempt to blackmail Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape. In July 2017, France’s highest court, the Court of Cassation, annulled an earlier decision to send Benzema to trial and ordered the Paris court to review the…

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Ronaldo denies attack accusation, calls rape ‘abominable crime’

Cristiano Ronaldo has categorically denied accusations by a former model who says the soccer star raped her in a Las Vegas hotel penthouse suite in 2009. “I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me,” tweeted the 33-year-old, who plays for Juventus in Italy’s Serie A. “Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in.” “Keen as I may be to clear my name I refuse to feed the media spectacle created by people seeking to promote themselves at my expense,” he said. I…

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Keylor Navas admits Real Madrid are missing Ronaldo after shock loss

Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas admitted the La Liga giants are missing Cristiano Ronaldo after their goalless run continued on Tuesday. Madrid suffered a shock 1-0 loss to CSKA Moscow in the Champions League, extending their winless and goalless streaks to three matches. Ronaldo left Madrid for Juventus in July, having scored at an incredible rate at the club, including 44 times last season. While Navas is keen to move on from the Portuguese superstar, he said his team had a big hole to fill following Ronaldo’s departure. “Cristiano left…

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Real Madrid’s Isco set for surgery after appendicitis diagnosis

Real Madrid’s Isco could miss a month of action after the club revealed on Tuesday lunchtime that he has been diagnosed with acute appendicitis. In a statement published on their official website, Real said that the Spaniard is to have surgery “in the coming hours”, having been a surprise omission from Los Blancos’ final training session ahead of Wednesday’s league fixture at Sevilla. Real have failed to win any of their last four trips to Sevilla in all competitions, losing three of those games, and the loss of Isco is a blow…

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Modric breaks Ronaldo-Messi dominance to win top FIFA award

Luka Modric ended Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s decade-long domination of football’s individual awards by being crowned FIFA’s best player of the year on Monday. The Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder starred for both club and country as Madrid won a third straight Champions League, and he inspired Croatia to reach the World Cup final for the first time. He beat Ronaldo and Liverpool’s Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah to the prize. Modric’s success means Ronaldo remains tied with Messi having won FIFA’s award in different guises five times each. At 33, Croatia’s run to the final was…

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Antoine Griezman: I am at the top with Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe

Antoine Griezmann has said that although he is a different player to Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, he is “at the top” in football. Atletico Madrid forward Griezmann, a World Cup winner with France, is targeting the Ballon d’Or after the disappointment of not being nominated for FIFA’s The Best award. “There are different ways to look at football,” he told Diario AS. “It’s obvious that I’m a different player to Cristiano, Messi, Neymar or [Kylian] Mbappe. “I’m at the top but I can get better. I want to be the most complete…

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Zinedine Zidane hints at coaching return amid Manchester United talk

Zinedine Zidane has dropped the biggest hint yet as to when he’ll return to football management with the former Real Madrid manager revealing that he plans to return to management “soon”. The Frenchman has been out of work since leaving Real Madrid at the end of the 2017/18 campaign after winning the third of three consecutive Champions League titles in May. The 46-year-old who has been linked with Jose Mourinho’s job at Manchester United in recent times, and Zidane now seems ready for a return. “Certainly I’ll be coaching again soon because it’s…

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