Sergio Ramos Praises Zinedine Zidane & Teammates Prior to Club World Cup Triumph

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has praised Los Blancos’ coach Zinedine Zidane and teammates Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema on the ‘Telefoot’ program on French TV channel TF1.

Zidane’s Madrid are currently fourth in La Liga having played one game less than their title contenders. The Frenchman replaced Rafael Benitez as Real Madrid coach back in January of 2016. 

Since then, the 45-year-old has guided Madrid to two successive Champions League trophies – the first team to retain the European trophy in its current format – and one La Liga title. 

This season, however, his side has struggled both in the domestic league and the Champions League, and Zidane has come in for some criticism. 

Speaking prior to Madrid’s 1-0 Club World Cup triumph over Gremio in Abu Dhabi, Sergio Ramos was sticking by his coach: 

“Zidane is the best, without any doubt,” Ramos was quoted as saying by Marca. 

“We are very happy that he is our coach because with him there is continuity, and it’s rare for good players to become good coaches – but he did it.”

Ramos also praised teammate Karim Benzema. The striker has struggled this season scoring only two goals in ten league appearances for the defending champions. 

“Karim is a very good striker, with qualities and innate talent,”  Ramos continued.

“He’s a scorer and creator and he can cause problems for any defender.

“Playing for your country is the biggest honour for a player, and I know Karim would be happy to be able to represent France in the World Cup,” he revealed. 

The Spanish captain reserved further praise for Cristiano Ronaldo.  

“Our No.7 is a striker like we have never seen before,” he said.

“He is already a legend and will be recognised as one of the best players in the history of football.

“Cristiano Ronaldo has a very important role in the team everyone respects it.


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Luis Suarez Insists Real Madrid Aren’t Barça’s Only Title Challengers Ahead of Upcoming Clasico

Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has admitted that a win against Real Madrid would boost their title chances, but he insisted that Los Blancos are not his side’s only challengers this season.

The ex-Liverpool man spoke after his side beat Deportivo La Coruña 4-0 on Sunday, which saw the Catalans go 11 points clear at the top. 

Suarez spoke after the victory about what a possible win at the Bernabeu would do for his sides title chances, and why Madrid are not the only title challengers this season, as quoted by ​Marca.

“It would be a boost to win at the Bernabeu. However, there are other challengers. Valencia and Atletico Madrid are both pushing us,” he said.

The Uruguayan is correct in his comments as even though Barcelona have an 11 point gap between themselves and second place Atletico Madrid, the chasing pack behind them are not far off. 

Saurez also spoke about his own personal form, after he scored twice on Sunday.

“I’m happy to help the group. I just want to keep contributing. I also want to improve on a personal level.”

Even though the 30-year old started the season slowly, he still has nine goals and one assist in the league this season. These figures would be good for a normal striker. However, due to his previous goalscoring records, Suarez will be looking to increase his tally considerably – starting with the last match before the winter break against Los Blancos at the weekend.


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Barcelona Official Confirms No Guard of Honour for Los Blancos Despite Club World Cup Victory

Barcelona’s director of Institutional Relations, Guillermo Amor, confirmed that Real Madrid will not receive a guard of honour in El Clasico on Saturday despite their recent triumph at the FIFA Club World Cup.

Real Madrid secured a 2-1 victory over Al Jazira in the semi-final before Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal in the final gave Madrid a narrow win over Brazilian side Grêmio.

However, Amor has insisted that no El Pasillo (guard of honour) is necessary as they are usually just for Champions League and La Liga titles.

“In this club, the guard of honour is usually made when we participate in the Champions League or LaLiga… and this is not the case,” Amor confirmed following Barca’s 4-0 victory over Deportivo La Coruña, as quoted by Marca.

Saturday’s instalment will be the third Clasico of the season. Both sides faced each other in the Supercopa de España before the new La Liga campaign kicked off, with Real Madrid securing a 5-1 victory over two legs.

An own goal from Gerard Piqué gave Real Madrid an early second-half lead at the Camp Nou back in August, before Lionel Messi levelled the scoreline from the penalty spot. 

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Ronaldo then moved into the spotlight when an outstanding goal was swiftly followed by his sending off, with Marco Asensio putting the icing on the cake late on in the first-leg.

The 21-year-old then fired in from distance in the opening minutes at the Santiago Bernabéu to put further breathing space between Madrid and Barcelona, with Karim Benzema scoring the final goal of the Supercopa de España and giving Los Blancos the pre-season bragging rights.


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End of an Era: Brazil Legend Kaka Officially Announces His Retirement From Football

​After months of speculation, Kaka has officially announced his retirement from football at the age of 35.

Confirming the news in a tweet posted on Sunday, the midfielder described his career as “much more than I could ever imagine” adding that he is “ready for the next journey” as well as thanking God for his experiences.

​​In a sixteen year professional career, Kaka won the 2002 World Cup for Brazil, making 92 appearances and scoring 29 goals in all for his country. In his club career, he won the 2003/04 Serie A and 2006/07 Champions League with AC Milan, as well as the 2011/12 La Liga title with Real Madrid.

The legendary Brazilian also won an array of individual honours, and his 2007 Ballon d’Or title is the last time anyone other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo lifted football’s most prestigious individual honour.

Kaka’s retirement comes at the end of a three year spell with MLS side Orlando City, where he scored 24 goals and provided 22 assists in 75 league appearances.


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In total, Kaka retires with 746 career appearances, 237 goals, eight major trophies and millions of hearts won around the world of football.

A sad day for football to see this legend hang up his boots!

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Cristiano Ronaldo Wants Clasico Guard of Honour From Barca for Record-Breaking Madrid Side

Following Real Madrid’s record-breaking Club World Cup victory on Saturday night, man-of-the-moment Cristiano Ronaldo sparked controversy in the aftermath of the game by saying that he’d like the Barcelona players to perform a guard of honour when the two sides lock horns for this weekend’s El Clasico.

Last night’s 1-0 win over Gremio saw Real register their fifth trophy in the calendar year, a feat which the team have never reached before.

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Ronaldo’s 30-yard free-kick eight minutes inside the second-half ensured that the trophy would be coming back to Spain for the fourth consecutive season, and the Portuguese couldn’t be happier to be the man to make it happen.

Reported by Spanish publication ​Marca, Ronaldo said: “I’m happy I scored the goal, very happy. I’m having a great season. Real Madrid had never won five titles in a year and we wanted it, it’s a record.”

Not only did the victory ensure Real’s record-breaking fifth trophy of 2017, but it also saw Madrid become the first ever side to win the Club World Cup in two consecutive seasons, while also winning the trophy for the record-equalling third time.

After Real’s recent endeavours, recently crowned Ballon d’Or victor Ronaldo deems his side worthy of a guard of honour, starting on Saturday when Madrid face up against arch-rivals Barcelona in an eagerly anticipated El Clasico.

“It would be nice and I would like Barcelona to give us a guard of honour,” said Ronaldo in the post-match press conference. “I hope we win that game too so that the league is still alive for Real Madrid. We have to enjoy every moment because we don’t know what will happen in the future.”

Though Ronaldo hasn’t been in his typical startling form so far this campaign, the 32-year-old has assured he still has the same hunger for the game and has no plans of hanging up his boots anytime soon.

“I talk on the pitch, I try to give my best and for people to enjoy my football. I don’t lack motivation to continue playing and training because I enjoy football. It’s what I like the most.”


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Real Madrid Wonderkid-in-Waiting Vinicius Junior Puts Hold on Summer Move to Spain

​Real Madrid’s capture of Brazilian starlet Vinicius Junior may have to wait a little while longer than their initial expectations, as the player has insisted he will still be with current side Flamengo until he gets his hands on the league title, despite already securing a £38.7m move to the footballing superpower. 

The 17-year-old had been hotly tipped by the Spanish press to complete his move to Los Blancos in the upcoming summer, after he turns 18, with boss Zinedine Zidane and president Florentino Perez continuing their mandate of developing youth talent to take on the world. 

This has been no more evident in the sharp rise of Santiago Bernabeu Stadium star Marco Asensio, who, since his €3.5m (£3.15m) switch from Mallorca in 2015, has gone on to become a world-renowned all-beating talent and a key figure in the La Liga champions’ set up. 

Real continue to search the market for upcoming diamonds in the rough and have elected that Flamengo youngster Vinicius Junior is to be the next to join the European superpower in hopes of mimicking the success of those before him after agreeing terms earlier this year.  

It was thought that Madrid were to finalise the deal and bring the talent to Spain in June, but following a charity clash promoted by himself, the forward stated his immediate plans are to remain in Brazil and help capture silverware for his current side. 

“We have not decided anything yet”, the frontman told home nation news outlet ​Globo.com. 

“But I plan to stay until the end of the year (2018). After I conquer the Libertadores I can go and play for Real Madrid.”

With the Brazilian domestic season recently coming to a close, it will be some time before the highly-thought-of youngster is able to fight for the chance to get his hands on the title once again, putting a significant delay on the striker joining up with his new club. 


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Real Madrid Win 2nd Successive World Club Cup With 1-0 Win Over Gremio

​Spanish giants Real Madrid have won the World Club Cup for the second year running, defeating Gremio 1-0 through Cristiano Ronaldo’s wonder of a free kick in the United Arab Emirates.

Los Blancos, having won the Champions League at the end of last season, earned their place in the competition and have capped off 2017 with a stunning haul.

French boss Zinedine Zidane led the side to Champions League glory last year, and they repeated the feat this year, becoming the first club to win the tournament back-to-back.

Zidane played quite the strong side against Madrid’s Brazilian opponents, with the likes of Sergio Ramos, Toni Kroos, Casemiro, Luka Modric, Ronaldo,Karim Benzema and Isco all starting.

Gareth Bale also started the match from the bench, a pleasing sight for the fans, who have certainly missed him this season.

“I’m very happy to see Gareth with us again,” Zidane said ahead of the match. “He looks very happy to me and very pleased to be with his team-mates.”

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Rather unsurprisingly, Ronaldo was the one who put Real out in front, dipping a sublime free kick over the Gremio wall from 30 yards out to give his team the lead.

The Spanish side held their advantage until the final blast of the whistle, with the celebrations kicking off in the middle of the pitch as the valiant Champions League holders are set to add yet another trophy to their burgeoning cabinet.


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Five-Time Ballon d’Or Winner Cristiano Ronaldo Reveals Most Treasured Piece of Silverware

Real Madrid and Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has claimed that winning Euro 2016 with Portugal ranks as his most special achievement.

The forward has had a glittering career up to this point, both on a personal and club level, recently capturing his fifth Ballon d’Or Award. He was also given FIFA’s top award prior to that, getting named the Best FIFA Men’s Player for 2017 earlier this year.

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Ronaldo has won three Premier League titles with Manchester United, also winning La Liga on two occasions since moving to Spain. The Portuguese ace can boast winning the Champions League four times, once with United and thrice with Real.

As decorated as he is, Ronaldo considers last year’s Euro 16 victory with his country the grandest moment of his career.​

“It’s something we wanted for years, the first title of the Portuguese national team, and that’s why it was incredible,” he told FIFA.

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Ronaldo also admitted that his rivalry with Lionel Messi is a huge motivating factor behind his success, but the biggest thing for him is giving teammates and fans something to enjoy.

“I’ve always wanted to make my mark in the world of football, and I’ve done it,” he added. “I’ve written a chapter in the history of football [by] winning so many titles, being a player, like Messi, a candidate to win individual prizes.

“I stay motivated because I like what I do, I love playing football and I try to enjoy it, but what I try the most is to make people and my team mates enjoy it.”


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Spanish Report Claims Gareth Bale Has Picked Preferred Move Out of Premier League Trio

According to reports in Spain, Premier League heavyweights Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham are all monitoring Gareth Bale’s precarious situation at Real Madrid. 

The Welshman has come under increased scrutiny this season for not being able to stay fit and his inconsistent performances on the pitch. Bale’s reputation with the notoriously hard to please Bernabeu fans has turned sour and as a result, Madrid may look to offload him to fund a move for their next Galactico, which could be Eden Hazard.

Now according to Spanish rumours site Don Balon (via the ​Express) the Premier League trio are tracking the former Spurs star with a view to a summer move, should he wish to return to the UK. 

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However, according to the report, the 28-year-old has made a return to Tottenham his priority if he is to move away from Real Madrid. 

He spent six years with the London outfit before he made his then world-record move to the Spanish capital. Spurs supposedly want their prodigal son back at their club to help propel themselves to the upper end of the table and simultaneously deal a hammer blow to the other title contenders.

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Zinedine Zidane Reveals Admiration for Liverpool Star & Admits ‘I Rate Him a Lot’

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has been a stand out player within the Premier League this season, and he’s even won himself a fan in Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane.

The 25-year-old had an impressive season whilst playing for Roma in the 2016/17 season, managing to score 15 goals and providing 11 assists. This run of form helped push through a move to Liverpool for £35m prior to the 2017/18 campaign. 

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Since his move to the Premier League, the Egyptian forward has certainly lived up to the price tag. The Liverpool striker has converted 13 goals in 17 appearances and is currently the league’s leading goalscorer. 

Chelsea, most likely, will be kicking themselves for letting the player go. 

However, Salah has been talked up as a target for the European champions in recent weeks, and Zidane has done nothing to dismiss the rumours in his Friday press conference.

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Zidane revealed his admiration for the African player of the year, saying to an Egyptian journalist, via ​FourFourTwo: “Salah is a great player, he has shown it at Roma, now Liverpool.

“He is still young, improving all the time. I don’t talk much about about other players, but he is a player I rate a lot.”

Despite this, with January transfer window around the corner, Salah will remain focused on this Sunday, as they take on AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium. 


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