Zidane Warns Man Utd Target Gareth Bale to Rediscover Form or Risk Losing Starting Place

​Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has reportedly issued Manchester United target Gareth Bale a warning to return to form, or risk losing his spot in the side. 

Bale was heavily linked with the Red Devils throughout the summer transfer window and has since struggled to find a consistent level of form, with those at the Bernabeu whistling the Welshman off the field last month following a less than impressive performance from the forward. 


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According to Spanish outlet ​Don Balon, Zidane has thrown down a warning to the 28-year-old to re-discover his best form or run the risk of losing his automatic spot in the side to Marco Asensio, who rose to prominence during an injury-plagued season for Bale last term.

Following a summer of rumours and speculation over his future, which even suggested a £90m fee had been agreed between Manchester United and Real Madrid, Zidane is said to be understanding of Bale’s predicament.

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However, after refusing to make the move to Old Trafford this summer after deciding his future remains at the Bernabeu, Zidane now expects his star forward to put in the effort on the field and deliver for the club.

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If the French manager fails to see an improvement in work-rate, it has been suggested that Asensio – who has scored four goals in his last five appearances – will be elevated to a more prominent role in the first-team in place of the 28-year-old.

After winning seven major honours in just a year-and-a-half at the helm of Real Madrid, Zidane has proved to be ruthless and will seemingly not hesitate to relegate Bale to the bench if he does not see the up-turn in performances which are required to defend their La Liga and Champions League double this season.  

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The Astonishing Net Worth of Football’s Leading Man Cristiano Ronaldo Is Revealed

Real Madrid’s ​Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best, and most famous footballers in the world and it is not surprising that the 32-year-old is also amongst the top earners in the sport, but are you aware of what Ronaldo’s true net worth is?

The forward has played professional football since his teenage years and has since found himself catapulted into superstardom, both on and off the pitch, which has resulted in him currently earning a hefty £30.8m a year with Real Madrid.

With a star as bright as he is, Ronaldo has always commanded a spot in the top bracket of earners at each club he has played for, as well as securing lucrative sponsorship deals which anyone would be jealous of – if you weren’t already. 

The ​Express took their investigation of Ronaldo’s earnings to another level by identifying the 32-year-old’s net worth, which according to CelebrityNetWorth.com is in the region of a staggering £308m.

The result makes him the richest footballer in the world, ahead of his rivals Lionel Messi and Neymar. 

The value has seemingly been calculated based on his career earnings, which first saw him command a £9.5m salary in his first year at Manchester United under manager Alex Ferguson in 2003. 

In 2007, the then 22-year-old signed a new five-year contract extension with the Red Devils worth £23m which made him the club’s highest paid player in history. However, his stay at Old Trafford ended in 2009 after he made a lucrative move to Real Madrid where he was initially paid £19m a year – which has since risen to astronomical levels.

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Although his 15-year career has piled millions into his bank account, it is his off-field deals which have significantly pushed him to become the richest football player in the world as his lifetime contract with Nike is worth an unfathomable £772m alone – with reports suggesting he received a £77m signing bonus in addition. 

Ronaldo has an impressive portfolio of endorsement deals as alongside his partnership with one of sport’s leading brands, he also works with Tag Heuer, Sacoor Brothers, Monster headphones, Armani where he replaced David Beckham as their male face – KFC, Castrol, Coca Cola, Emirates and Konami.


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VIDEO: Real Madrid’s Norweigan Prodigy Scores Absolute Screamer While on U21 International Duty

Martin Ødegaard is the Norweigan wonderkid who earned a high profile move to Real Madrid in 2015. Having spent most of his time in the Castilla side in the Spanish capital, Ødegaard joined Dutch side SC Heerenveen on loan in January.

Despite being a fully fledged member of the Norweigan senior national team, Ødegaard linked up with Norway’s U21 for the current international break. 

Coming up against Kosovo in their first game, Ødegaard showed why Real Madrid signed him two years ago with a stunning first-half free kick to give his side a 2-0 lead. Striking the ball from distance, the 18-year-old smashed the ball into the top right corner of the goal with ease.

The youngster is known across Europe for his incredible technique and his first class dribbling ability, something that was key in Madrid’s decision to sign the youngster for £2.5m.

Formerly of Norweigan side Strømsgodset IF, Ødegaard made just two senior appearances for Real Madrid before being shipped out on loan to Holland. The 18-year-old has gone on to make 20 appearances for Heerenveen since arriving in January, scoring one goal and assisting another three.


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Report Claims Real Madrid Failed to Move for Wonderkid Kylian Mbappe Because of Gareth Bale

​Real Madrid’s failure to sign Kylian Mbappe from Monaco was down to Manchester United’s decision not to pursue a move for Gareth Bale.

That is according to the ​Daily Mirror, who have claimed that Los Blancos missed out on the wonderkid striker to Paris Saint-Germain because United didn’t lure Bale to Old Trafford this summer.

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Mbappe completed a season-long loan switch to Monaco’s title rivals on transfer deadline day, and PSG will be able to make his move permanent next summer for a reported €165m.

Real had been chasing the 28-year-old all summer long, and various reports had suggested that they would win the battle to land Mbappe’s signature ahead of other interested parties.

However, a meeting in July with Mbappe’s father Wilfried appear to turn the entire saga on its head, and Real were left sweating on United moving for Bale to be able to secure the French international.

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Wilfried Mbappe became concerned that his son would not earn enough minutes of the pitch to continue his footballing development at Santiago Bernabeu, given the attacking riches that Zinedine Zidane had at his disposal in Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Bale.

Mbappe himself was thrilled with the prospect of moving to Madrid, but his father stated that he would only allow his son to move to Spain if Real dispensed with one of their superstar forwards.

Real’s board are said to have agreed that Bale would be the man to make way, and held out hope that long-term admirers United would enquire about the Wales megastar with a view to signing him.

However, despite plenty of speculation Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho seemingly opted to not pursue a big-money transfer for Bale’s services – a decision that led to Real missing out on Mbappe.

The Monaco youth product instead held talks with PSG and, after a protracted transfer saga that dragged out over three months, moved to the French capital on Thursday.

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This latest development will likely lead to Real’s and United’s frosty relationship continuing for some time, if the Mirror’s report can be believed.

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Kylian Mbappe Reveals the Reason Why He Selected PSG Over Real Madrid Following Deadline Day Move

​One of the biggest transfer deadline day moments to take place was the controversial acquisition of Monaco star Kylian Mbappe, who signed for rivals Paris Saint-Germain on loan to avoid FFP investigations after Neymar’s monster £200m move.

Despite speculation in the summer revealing the French international, who scored in a convincing 4-0 victory on deadline day following his move to PSG against Netherlands in a World Cup qualifier, the Mirror reports that the striker stayed in Ligue 1 to play more.

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Speaking after the win against the Netherlands, who came on as a late sub in a return to Paris where he was born, the 18-year old forward admitted he is excited about the project at last year’s Ligue 1 runners-up.

“I chose PSG because I will play more, it was the main criteria,” said Mbappe. “It’s a dream come true to wear this shirt and feel the unique atmosphere at the Parc des Princes.

“The club’s project is one of the most ambitious in Europe and I want to keep progressing with my new teammates and reach the goals the club set.”

In a 4-0 France win that also saw Liverpool and Arsenal target Thomas Lemar bag a brace, who shunned a late move from the Gunners to stay at champions Monaco, Mbappe revealed to the ​official website he can not wait to get started in a PSG shirt once his time with the international side ends.

“It’s a great day for me. First, I join Paris Saint-Germain, a great club where there is everything for me to improve, then I score my first goal with the national team. It could have been worse!” added the former Monaco man.

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“Paris Saint-Germain is the ideal project to continue my progress. There are great players in Paris. All the right conditions come together to be able to enjoy myself and work hard. I have one match left with Les Bleus and then I can think about all that.”

After switching to his direct rivals in the league, various sources have questioned his motives following the deadline day move to his hometown. As reports indicate PSG offered more then double what Real Madrid put on the table, money may have been a motivating factor.

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However, the chance to play alongisde Neymar and Edinson Cavani while staying in France during World Cup year appears to be a wise move for now.

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Ex-Real Madrid Star Backs Gareth Bale & Karim Benzema to Bounce Back Despite Criticism

Xabi Alonso has backed his ex-teammates Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema to return to the form at Real Madrid, amid speculation over their futures in the Spanish capital.

Real Madrid had to settle for a draw with Valencia in their last league outing while both Bale and Benzema came in for criticism for missing key opportunities.

Their performances created further speculation that they could even be about to leave the club, but Alonso (speaking to ​Marca) defended his former teammates.

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“They are top players and nobody can doubt what they have done before,” the two-time Champions League winner said.

“The season is very long. We have just played two games. I have no doubts about Karim, or Gareth, or any other player as they will all be important.”

Following back-to-back Champions League trophy wins, Real Madrid remain the team to beat in Europe and while questions have been raised about Bale and Benzema, Marco Asensio has been a revelation.

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“Sergio [Ramos] and the others will help him [Asensio] a lot,” Alonso said. “Bit by bit he will get more prominence, but without burning him out. This is a moment for him to grow, to continue his development. He is taking giant steps, and each day is a more important member of the squad.”

“Madrid are now the reference point in Europe and the world, without doubt. If we look at how they have been playing these four years, and the health of the team, it looks like it can last some years yet. You never know how far they can go, but the feelings they transmit are stupendous.

“Zidane’s great strength is he has known how to manage everything, how to have them all motivated. They even won La Liga, where they had not done well recently. They are going in a very good direction.” 

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Cristiano Ronaldo Has Now Scored More International Goals Than Pele After 48th Career Hat-trick

Cristiano Ronaldo further cemented his legendary status on Thursday night with a hat-trick for Portugal – the 48th of his career for club and country – that saw his tally of senior international goals climb to an incredible 78.

The four-time Ballon d’Or winner hit three for his country in their thumping World Cup qualifying win over the Faroe Islands and has now scored more goals at international level than Pele.

Pele, who shot to global fame as a 17-year-old in 1958 when Brazil when their first World Cup, scored 77 goals for the Selecao during his illustrious career and had long been considered the greatest of all time along with Diego Maradona before Ronaldo and Lionel Messi emerged.

Ronaldo, a Euro 2016 winner with Portugal last year and a four-time Champions League winner with Real Madrid and Manchester United, has now outdone the Brazilian icon on the goal front.

Ronaldo’s three strikes also put him on 14 goals for the current World Cup qualifying campaign, equalling the record for goals scored by a European player in a single qualifying campaign.

The goal Ronaldo scored against New Zealand in the Confederations Cup in June was his 75th international goal and was significant because it saw him move level with Hungarian legend Sandor Kocsis to second on the all-time European list of international goalscorers.

After three more goals, only Ferenc Puskas has now scored more international goals for a European nation than Ronaldo, with CR7 now just six behind the Galloping Major.

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Besides Los Blancos legend Puskas, only three other players in the history of international football have scored more goals than Ronaldo – they are:

Godfrey Chitalu – 79 goals for Zambia between 1968 and 1980

Kunishge Kamamoto – 80 goals for Japan between 1964 and 1977

Ali Daei – 109 goals for Iran between 1993 and 2006


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Football Legend Xabi Alonso Reveals His Thoughts on Three of Real Madrid’s Best Players

Ex-Bayern Munich​ midfielder Xabi Alonso has revealed his thoughts on another of his former teams Real Madrid.

Speaking to ​Marca, the legendary Spanish playmaker aired his views on three of the club’s most talked about players: Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and the promising youngster Marco Asensio.

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Alonso retired from professional football at the end of last season, but that has not stopped him from following the Galacticos closely.

When asked about Benzema and Bale, who receive their fair amount of criticism whenever Los Blancos only muster a draw, he came out in defence of their ability and appeared to play-up the importance of a squad in what is to be a long season:

“They are players of the highest level and their ability isn’t in doubt.

“The season is very long. We’re only on the second day. I have no doubt about Karim, Gareth or any other player because they are all going to be important.”

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Marco Asensio also received praise for his mentality and ability, as the 21-year-old continues his rapid rise within the Madrid side.

“He is handling it all naturally. Sergio and the rest of the guys are going to help him a lot.

“Little by little they will give him a more important role. It takes time to grow and continue your growth. Every day is important but he is improving by leaps and bounds.”

Asked about the youngster’s chance’s of winning the Ballon D’or in the future, the ex-Liverpool man replied with typical calmness, adding: “There are debates that aren’t something to worry much about.”

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Striking Sensation Kylian Mbappé’s Father Reveals Why His Son Did Not Sign for Real Madrid in 2013

Kylian Mbappé’s father Wilfrid has explained why the striking phenomenon decided against a move to Real Madrid as a youth player in 2013.

In quotes reported by Spanish publication AS, via ESPN, Wilfrid Mbappe discussed how the striker would “probably” have moved to Madrid had Zinedine Zidane not become assistant to the La Liga giants’ then head coach, Carlo Ancelotti.

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Mbappe enjoyed a sensational full debut season for Monaco, in which he headlined an exciting young side that blasted their club to a first Ligue 1 title in seventeen years, as well as the Champions League semi-finals.

And now the 18-year-old has all but secured a colossal move to French league giants Paris Saint-Germain, who will initially loan the player before being obligated to purchase him for £166.4m next summer.

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But things could have turned out very differently for the Frenchman had he completed a move to Los Merengues in 2013. Indeed, as a 14-year-old he was flown over to Spain to visit the La Liga giants’ facilities and meet figures such as forward Cristiano Ronaldo and current first-team boss Zidane, who was then in a supervisory role in the academy.

And according to Wilfrid, the deal collapsed following Zidane’s promotion from the clubs youth academy.

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“We had plenty of meetings with Monsieur Zidane but from the moment he became assistant coach to the first team [ahead of the 2013/14 season] I believed that he’d not have the right amount of time for Kylian,” Wilfrid Mbappé explained

“If Zidane had stayed in charge of recruiting and looking after young talent like Kylian, we’d probably just have joined Madrid instead of Monaco.”

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Neymar & Coutinho Both Named Real Madrid as ‘Dream Club’ as Youngsters in 2008

​Neymar and Coutinho, despite their respective sagas in this summer’s transfer window, both shared the same dream as teenagers.

It turns out that the Brazilian duo aimed to play for Real Madrid, not Barcelona, although both expressed their admiration of the Spanish top flight.

Neymar, of course, departed Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain earlier this month, bringing to an end a four-year spell that began when he arrived at the Nou Camp from Santos in 2013.

Coutinho, meanwhile, has been at the centre of a number of failed bids from the Blaugrana, with Liverpool determined to keep the midfielder at Anfield.

But neither had Barcelona as their ideal future destinations when speaking to ​Marca in a 2008 interview, while playing for the Brazil under-16 squad.

Asked of their dream clubs, Coutinho said: “Real Madrid. It is the best team in the world.” Neymar echoed his compatriot. “Real Madrid.”

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And quizzed on their idols growing up, Neymar confessed to admiring then Los Blancos forward Robinho. “I joined Santos aged seven,” he said. “At the start I played football sala and then moved to Portuguesa Santista before returning to Santos. 

“I saw Robinho a lot on the television and I tried to copy him all the time above all the way he looks to beat players. I also love Spanish football. They play attractive football, that is fast and with a lot of quality.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Coutinho’s answer was the same. “I learnt to do bicycle kicks watching Robinho on the television,” he replied. “I like a lot to watch Real Madrid and Barcelona which are my favourite teams in LaLiga.”

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He added: “In the Spanish league there are the best players in the world like Robinho and Ronaldinho.”

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