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Real Madrid youngster could replace Neymar in Brazil lineup after injury scare



Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images

Tournament favourites Brazil opened their FIFA World Cup campaign with a 2-0 victory over Serbia. But their joy soon turned into tension as Neymar emerged as the most fouled player in the game, taking on several blows from the Serbian defenders.

In the aftermath of the victory, it was soon revealed that the Brazilian superstar has injured his ankle. Although the Brazilian FA or any of the coaching staff has refused to comment on the attacker’s fitness, many fear this could impact the involvement of the former Barcelona star going forward in the tournament.

As per reports from Globo Esporte, Neymar’s potential absence in the World Cup could force a decision from Tite to find his desired replacement, with Rodrygo apparently leading the race.

The Real Madrid forward has enjoyed a rapid rise to prominence lately, and it appears the local media in Brazil suggests he could be Tite’s desired replacement for Neymar, in case the latter’s injury stops him from featuring prominently.

Rodrygo, after all, has appeared extremely productive in front of goal lately. He has already racked up seven goals and five assists in all competitions this season, building a reputation for being an impact player, who is always capable of changing the complexion of the game.

Rodrygo’s heroics in the Champions League last season was already well documented and they are an indicator of the player’s abilities at the highest level of football.

The Real Madrid starlet, who looked solid on his World Cup debut against Serbia yesterday, therefore, could be an able replacement for Neymar even though he may not necessarily offer the same quality or efficiency when it comes to long-range shooting or dribbling through opposition defenders.

A Brazilian attacking unit with Rodrygo could see the Real Madrid forward operate in the number nine role alongside Richarlison, with additional support from wide attackers Vinicius Junior and Raphinha. Manchester United star Antony is another option for coach Tite, though only as an alternative for Raphinha rather than Neymar.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid still consider Ancelotti as the ideal coach to lead the team – report



Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

According to Jose Felix Diaz of MARCA, Real Madrid still consider Carlo Ancelotti as the ideal man to coach the team next season amid all sorts of speculations surrounding his future.

Ancelotti returned to Real Madrid for a second stint as manager in 2021, replacing Zinedine Zidane. The Italian mastermind led Los Blancos to the La Liga title and the UEFA Champions League triumph in his very first season back at the club.

However, things have not gone according to plans for Ancelotti & co. this season. Real Madrid are 12 points below Barcelona in La Liga, are also behind them in the Copa del Rey semi-final tie and face a difficult route to the finals of the UEFA Champions League.

So even though he has won the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup this season, reports have claimed that Ancelotti could be sacked by Real Madrid if he does not lead the team to a major title.

In the meantime, the Brazil national team have made their interest in hiring Ancelotti as their next manager clear, which has only served to fuel speculations further.

Amidst this, the report states that Real Madrid continue to see Ancelotti as the ideal man to coach the team for the next season. The Italian, for his part, has always maintained that he does not wish to leave the Santiago Bernabeu before his contract expires in 2024.

“I want to continue at Real Madrid. I’m happy. I’ve already said many times that I would continue my whole life at Real Madrid,” he had said in the recent past.

At this point, neither Ancelotti has made any commitments to the Brazilian national team, nor Real Madrid have made a decision on his continuity. The Merengues have not approached any replacement candidates either despite links to Mauricio Pochettino, Raul Gonzalez and Julian Nagelsmann.

Furthermore, it is also claimed that Ancelotti continues to participate and have a say in all meetings with regard to planning for the future at Real Madrid.

However, while the club may remain committed to him at this point, there is no guarantee that the situation will change in the summer, especially if the objectives for the season are not met and Real feel the need to make some changes to their project.

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