Chelsea Ace Eden Hazard Builds His Ideal Footballer From Existing Stars & Includes One Odd Choice

​Chelsea talisman Eden Hazard was asked by a French magazine to help come up with the perfect football player by combining attributes from the best of the best to make one super-human star.

The Belgian has played with and against some of the very best in the game, and is a PFA Player of the Year himself, so his credentials for the task are good. However, when picking the best players for a number of set attributes for for France Football magazine (via the Mirror), the 26-year-old made a few controversial choices.

For finishing, Hazard opted for Barcelona goal-machine Luis Suárez, while Karim Benzema was chosen for his impeccable movement.

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Fellow Chelsea star Cesc Fàbregas was chosen for his creative vision, while Spurs’ Christian Eriksen got the nod for his exceptional ability at taking set-pieces. For the ‘class’ category, Barcelona icon Andrés Iniesta was picked by Hazard and Real Madrid superstar and current Ballon d’Or holder Cristiano Ronaldo was favoured for his physicality.

All in all, a fairly safe set of selections from Hazard so far, until he took things up a notch with his next selection.

For heading, Hazard took the rather left field option of Crystal Palace front man Christian Benteke. This choice may be down to the fact that they are international teammates, and admittedly Benteke has a very powerful header.

For the final speed category, Hazard rather cheekily picked himself, justifying his choice by claiming: “For my speed, or rather acceleration, it is thanks to my mother, who has a shape that resembles mine.

“She’s a sports teacher, my dad too. I did not even do exercises when I was a kid, that’s also innate. As far as I am concerned, I have this quality of speed over a few metres, not on a long distance.


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“After that, I am quickly tired. But for the first five metres, at the start, I am not bad.”

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Toni Kroos Returns to Madrid Squad Ahead of Champions League Clash Following Rib Complaint

​Toni Kroos is set to return to the Real Madrid squad for Tuesday night’s Champions League encounter against Borussia Dortmund after missing his side’s 2-1 victory over Alaves this weekend.

Kroos was absent as Los Blancos returned to winning ways in La Liga on Saturday afternoon due to a rib complaint. Alongside the 27-year-old, on the injury bench, sat left-back Marcelo and striker Karim Benzema (both out with hamstring injuries) as well as Mateo Kovacic (adductor tear).

However, the German international has been recalled to Zinedine Zidane’s 20-man preliminary squad ahead of the club’s visit to Dortmund. 

Real Madrid are looking to secure their third successive Champions League trophy. Kroos played a major part in both previous triumphs, and his return will be welcomed hugely by the Madrid fans.

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The current holders started off their second Champions League defence with an elementary 3-0 win over APOEL earlier in September. Though their first opponent proved a simple task – the same can not be said for the remaining two teams in Madrid’s group.

Tuesday’s opponents Dortmund held the Spanish champions to a draw in both ties when the two teams met in last season’s group stage, and will be keen to get points on the board after being on the receiving end of a 3-1 loss to Tottenham last time out.

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Furthermore, Spurs will prove a fresh challenge for Madrid. Mauricio Pochettino’s men have spent the last two seasons building a strong team capable of competing in the Champions League, and continue to improve as time goes by.

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Picking the Best Potential Real Madrid Lineup to Face Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday Night

​Despite Real Madrid’s underwhelming start to defending their La Liga title, they won their opening Group H game in the Champions League and travel to Dortmund aiming to make it two wins in two.

Key players Karim Benzema and Marcelo are out injured, but Los Blancos still have more than enough quality and will hoping that star Cristiano Ronaldo can regain his top form.

Goalkeeper

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​Keylor Navas will start in goal as usual.

Defence

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  • Varane

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  • S. Ramos

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  • Nacho

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​Marcelo’s absence through injury means that Nacho will keep his place on the left side of defence.

Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos will start at the back as usual and extra focus will be placed on the two centre-backs and how they can handle the pace and trickery of Dortmund Striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Midfield

  • Kroos

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  • Casemiro

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  • Modric

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​Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Luka Modric have all improved significantly since first moving to the Bernabeu and have developed into one of the best midfield trios in the world.

Manager Zinedine Zidane will need Casemiro to keep Nuri Sahin and Mario Gotze quiet so that the Dortmund front three will have has little supply as possible.

Forwards

  • Isco

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  • Ronaldo

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  • Asensio

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​Karim Benzema has had a frustrating start to the season, with just one goal in six games, but the Frenchman’s injury means that Cristiano Ronaldo will start down the middle.

Wonderkid Marco Asensio and a revitalised Isco will start either side of the Portuguese star and much will be expected of the front three to improve Madrid’s indifferent start to the season.

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3 Key Battles That Could Decide Borussia Dortmund’s Clash With Real Madrid on Tuesday Night

Borussia Dortmund invite Real Madrid to Signal Iduna Park on Tuesday evening and will be under increased pressure to get three points against the current Champions League holders.

After losing to Spurs in the opening Group H gameweek, Dortmund could fall adrift of the top two spots with a loss, and here’s three battles that could go a long way to deciding how the game pans out… 

3. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang vs Sergio Ramos

It would be very hard to leave Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out of any Dortmund-related article, especially as the Gabonese frontman has scored 11 goals in all competitions this season.

Aubameyang’s battle against Sergio Ramos will be particularly key as the Madrid captain is one of the quickest centre-backs in the world and so may be able to negate the former Saint-Etienne striker’s pace advantage to a certain extent.

Ramos also has a reputation of picking up cards easily, so if Aubameyang can draw a few fouls from the Spanish international early on in the game, the Madrid backline could be put under significant pressure from Dortmund’s pacy attacking trio.

2. Nuri Sahin vs Casemiro

Dortmund’s lightning quick strike force led by Aubameyang may grab all the headlines, but Nuri Sahin’s role of anchoring the midfield will prove crucial on Tuesday night.

Sahin has a passing accuracy of 85.7% this season and will be looking to thread the ball through the backline for rapid wingers Andriy Yarmolenko and Christian Pulisic to run on to.

Casemiro is very much the dark horse of the Madrid side and if the Brazilian ball-winning midfielder is able to cut off Dortmund’s link between midfield and attack then the Yellow Submarines could be looking at two successive losses in Europe.

1. Lukasz Piszczek vs Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo has endured a tough start to the season by his standards, netting just three times and shooting up the infamous list of players with the most shots without scoring in Europe.

Dropped points against Real Betis, Levante and Valencia means that the defending La Liga champions are currently sitting in 5th place and their poor league form could have a detrimental impact on their performance in the Champions League.

Lukasz Piszczek will be coming up against Ronaldo directly in the right-back role, but the Polish defender has been part of a Dortmund side which has conceded just once in six league games, despite a nervy loss against Spurs in the Champions League a few weeks ago.

Ronaldo is the heart of the Madrid attack and his battle against Piszczek will be a crucial one because unless the Portuguese star can inspire a change of fortunes for Madrid, Los Blancos could be looking at more dropped points in an already poor start to the season. 

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Ruud van Nistelrooy & Cristiano Ronaldo Relationship Revealed as Deciding Factor Into Striker’s Exit

​Ruud van Nistelrooy remains one of the most prolific strikers to ever grace European football, but his time at Manchester United is storied as being slightly stained.

The Dutchman left Manchester United in 2006 under poor circumstances, but the exact reason was unknown until now.

Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s ex-communications chief and former Labour Party spin doctor, has spilled the beans in his latest batch of diaries (H/T ​The Sunday Times).

Campbell was quite close to Sir Alex Ferguson back then, and revealed that the former United boss decided to let Van Nistelrooy go following various incidents, with the most grave coming in the form of an offensive remark regarding Cristiano Ronaldo.

Having met with Ferguson in France that year, Campbell claimed that the manager was “not sure what was going to happen with Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Manchester United Press Conference

“[He was] very self-centred. The last straw was when he told Cristiano Ronaldo he had found a new dad in Carlos [Queiroz, Ferguson’s assistant] – just after Ronaldo’s dad, who was an alcoholic, had died.

“Carlos asked him to show respect and he said he didn’t respect anyone there. He later apologised but CR was not having it.

“Alex sent van Nistelrooy home when he heard about it later. He was not sure what he was going to do with him.”

The striker would leave for Real Madrid, where he would spend the next four years of his career. He did play one season with Ronaldo at Madrid before moving to Hamburger SV in 2010.


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Van Nistelrooy bagged 150 goals during his five years at Old Trafford, and will always be regarded as a legend over there despite the circumstances under which he left the club.

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PHOTO: Real Madrid Star Karim Benzema Was Involved in Weekend Car Crash

​Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema was involved in a vehicular accident on Friday night, according to Spanish paper ​El Mundo.

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The Frenchman was left out of Zinedine Zidane’s squad for their match against Alaves, which they won 1-2, with a back injury being reported as the cause.

Benzema was driving on the M-13 motorway in his Audi RS6 when he collided with a Nissan Note. Both vehicles were damaged, but no one was injured.

The report claims that the drivers of both cars were breathalysed and none of them were found to have alcohol in their system.

Friday wasn’t the first time Benzema was involved in an accident. In fact, the striker has had several of those over the years, and this most recent one wasn’t even his first for 2017.

In 2009, he crashed into some barriers in La Finca de Pozuelo; and earlier this year, he was involved in another in Reunion. The Madrd man has also been fined for the offence of driving without a licence, as well as reckless driving.


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The 29-year-old signed a new contract with Los Blancos last week, extending his stay to 2021. Reports claim that a release clause of €1bn was inserted in the deal.

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Super Agents Trying to Woo Dele Alli by Promising Big Money Moves to Man Utd or Real Madrid

​Tottenham Hotspur star Dele Alli could be heading for the Wembley Stadium exit door as a number of agents have promised him moves to Manchester United or Real Madrid following the 21-year-old’s decision to cut ties with long-time representatives Impact Sports Management, according to the ​Mirror

The Spurs midfield maestro has reportedly been approached by a number of ‘super agents’ vying for the England international’s signature, including Cristiano Ronaldo’s communicator, Jorge Mendes, and the man who oversees Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Mino Raiola. 

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The extremely talented attacking outlet has been told by a number of affair handlers that they are the only ones who can orchestrate a transfer to either the Red Devils or Los Blancos, should the PFA Young Player of the Year 2017 winner decide to leave the North Londoners

However, Tottenham have continuously stated that Alli is not for sale, and are in the midst of discussing a new deal for one of their key men.

The new contract will reportedly take the Milton Keynes youth academy graduate, who is believed to currently earn around £50,000-£60,000 per week, up into a similar wage bracket to that of fellow Wembley standouts Harry Kane and Hugo Lloris, who receive around £100,000 per week. 

The Englishman seems to have continued his excellent run of form from last season so far this term, netting three times in seven appearances during all competitions, as well as providing two assists. 

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Real Madrid Sign Midfielder Marcos Llorente to New 4-Year Deal

​La Liga champions Real Madrid have tied down Spanish midfielder Marcos Llorente to a new four-year extension.

The 22-year-old, who joined Los Blancos from Rayo Majadahonda in 2008 – has garnered quite a bit of attention from clubs around Europe, prompting Madrid to sign him to a new deal to possibly ward off interest.

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“A statement on the club’s ​official website reads: Real Madrid C. F. and Marcos Llorente have agreed to extend the player’s contract, which will see him remain at the club until the 30th June 2021.”

“Tomorrow, Sunday, at 2pm, Marcos Llorente will appear before the media in the press room of the Santiago Bernabéu stadium.”

Llorente now plays for Spain’s Under-21 side, having given a great account of himself at the Bernabeu in both the youth and senior side.

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Madrid reportedly rejected over 20 offers for him during the transfer window, and will hope that he can become a regular in the first team soon.

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Alavés 1 – 2 Real Madrid: Los Blancos Return to Winning Ways Thanks to Brace From Dani Ceballos

Real Madrid returned to winning ways against Alavés on Saturday thanks to an impressive brace from Dani Ceballos, who found himself on the score-sheet for the first time in his Los Blancos career.

Despite sitting at the bottom of the La Liga table, the home side proved to be no easy feat as they notched their first goal of the season from a thunderous header by Manu Garcia, as they ensured the Spanish champions found it hard to control much of the games proceedings. 

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Real Madrid settled into possession early at the Mendizorroza as they looked to bounce back from a poor run of form against an Alavés side who had yet to score a single league goal this season.

However, despite a half-chance coming the way of Cristiano Ronaldo inside the first few minutes, it was the home side who came close to breaking the deadlock early as Munir threatened to run in behind the Los Blancos back-line, which was quickly backed up by two dangerous crosses which threatened to undo the unorganised back-line of Real Madrid. 

But, as we know you can’t keep a top team down for long, just as Real Madrid appeared largely lacklustre inside the first ten minutes a special effort from Dani Ceballos who, had found space in the box, dispatched a right footed shot into the bottom left corner to give the visitors an early lead – his first goal for Real Madrid in his first starting appearance. 

​​Despite the set-back Alavés continued to commit players in the final third and take the game to the Whites, which allowed Real Madrid to absorb the pressure and look to counter-attack, a strategy which they seemingly had no qualms about executing as Zinedine Zidane’s side seemed to have moved up a gear half-way through the first period. 

The visitors tested the resolve of the Alavés’ stopper in back-to-back corners, where a close-range headed effort from Nacho had to be superbly tipped over the bar by Pacheco to ensure the deficit remained as one. 

Not to be disheartened Alavés continued to hold their own despite Madrid dominating possession, offering a real threat moving forward which they finally made count when they notched their first goal of their La Liga season when Garcia blasted a thumping header beyond a hapless Keylor Navas. 

The ecstasy and party atmosphere was quickly put to an end however, as Ceballos restored Real Madrid’s lead a mere three minutes later after a weak clearance from stopper Pacheco fell straight into his path, where his first time strike found the bottom right corner with little trouble – ensuring Zidane’s side took a 2-1 lead into the break. 

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A bright start to the second half offered chances for both sides as an early cross into the box from the home side required the intervention of Navas to catch the incoming header, whilst the other end saw Ronaldo scuff a volley which clipped the outside of the left upright. 

As both side’s traded blows in midfield clear-cut chances were momentarily hard to come by, but a superb reading of the offside trap allowed Isco to charge into the opposition’s box unmarked but an untimely slip ensured his strike was saved by the legs of Pacheco – a real let off for Alavés.

Desperate to get on the score-sheet Ronaldo freed himself up in the box and unleashed a stunning strike from the right sight of the penalty area which looked bound for the back of the net, but it once again found the left upright with the rebound unable to be capitalised on as Alavés cleared their lines. 

Just as Real Madrid looked to be pulling away and asserting themselves in the game, the home side almost levelled the scores on two occasions through Pedraza, the first coming when his effort agonisingly hit the crossbar, and the second a toe-poke beyond Navas which found the left upright – a game of small margins. 

Chances to extend their lead continued to fall for Real Madrid as the game came to a close, but none were taken advantage of as Ceballos’s brace ultimately proved to be the difference. 

Deportivo Alaves v Real Madrid - La Liga

The win against Alavés restores Real Madrid back onto the winners list and sends them into fourth position in the table, four points off leaders Barcelona, with their next league fixture coming against Espanyol next Sunday.

Despite scoring their first goal of the season, Alavés remain on the hunt for their first points in La Liga with their next chance now coming against fifth-placed Levante on Saturday.

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Real Madrid Keeping Tabs on Liverpool’s Star Winger Sadio Mane as Senegalese Continues to Impress

​Real Madrid are reportedly eyeing a move for Liverpool’s flying superstar winger Sadio Mane after they shortlisted the 25-year-old as a future transfer target. 

Mane has been an instrumental part of Jurgen Klopp’s plans at Liverpool since his arrival from Southampton in a move worth £34m in 2016, and his consistent dazzling performances for the Reds have seemingly caught the eye of one of Europe’s top sides. 

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According to Spanish outlet ​OkDiario, Real Madrid are continually monitoring the progress of Mane at Liverpool as it is understood they are impressed with his pace and skill which is only set to improve as he enters the prime stage of his career.  

However, they could also face competition from arch rivals Barcelona who have reportedly turned their attention towards Mane after missing out on his teammate Philippe Coutinho in the summer transfer window. 

25-year-old Mane has hit the ground running at Anfield as he made 27 league appearances in his debut campaign – where he scored 13 goals and provided five assists – and the start of his second season has continued in the same vein as he has scored three goals in his opening four league games. 

The Senegal international’s impressive start to the season earned him August’s Premier League Player of the Month award, but a red card against Manchester City stopped Mane in his tracks as he was banned for three domestic matches. 

A linchpin in Klopp’s side will not be allowed to leave easily despite interest from members of Europe’s top table, in which Liverpool’s hand will be strengthened by the fact that Mane is contracted to the club until 2021. 

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Mane will have successfully completed his three game ban following Liverpool’s trip to Leicester on Saturday, allowing him to return to Premier League action next week against Newcastle. 

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