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Ancelotti talks Benzema, Asensio, Nacho, Hazard following Real Madrid 1-1 Athletic Club

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Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images

Emotions ran over the Santiago Bernabeu today as Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio bid farewell to Real Madrid, playing their final ever games for the club. The duo are among four players who have are confirmed to be leaving.

Real Madrid were halted to a 1-1 draw by Athletic Club, who took the game to the hosts in the hopes of securing European football.

After the game, Carlo Ancelotti addressed the media as part of his press conferences.

“Benzema has thought a lot about what to do. This is a part of the process,” he said about the departing French legend.

Ancelotti continued to sing praises of Benzema, saying, “What Benzema has done at this club is legendary, unforgettable, something that will remain forever. Yes, his departure has surprised me, I think everyone. We have time to think about what to do.”

“Benzema told me about his decision this morning. I respected his decision.”

Real Madrid have organised a farewell for Benzema in the coming week, but Ancelotti was asked about the ‘cold farewell’ given to him by the club today.

“Cold farewell to Benzema? I don’t think so, the club will give him a farewell in the next days. You also have to consider Benzema’s way of being. He’s very shy and doesn’t like big things.”

Apart from the duo, Madrid have also announced the exit of Mariano Diaz and Eden Hazard. With four forwards gone, they only have Brazilian duo Vinicius and Rodrygo as part of the frontline.

“4 forwards have left today. It’s obvious we will [sign players],” Ancelotti confirmed when asked about the need to sign attackers this summer transfer window.

“We want a new striker who score goals and can adapt to our game. But we won’t forget about our youngsters.”

While Asensio and Benzema received their standing ovations from the fans, and tribute from the club, Hazard and Mariano were not brought on for their last dance.

“Hazard and Mariano didn’t even warm up? It’s been a decision. We had only 5 substitutions and they didn’t ask to enter the pitch.”

“I want to highlight Hazard and Mariano because their behaviour has been exemplar even if they did not play a lot. Very professional,” Ancelotti added.

Los Blancos also have to deal with the expiring contracts of Nacho and Dani Ceballos. Both of them have been handed extensions, but have not made a decision yet.

“Asensio, Nacho and Ceballos? We have explained them their roles. The club have offered them renewals. Asensio has preferred to leave, Ceballos and Nacho are still thinking about it,” Ancelotti revealed.

“I think they will both stay.”

Madrid have almost completed the signing of English wonderkid Jude Bellingham, who will sign on a €120 million-plus deal. The Italian manager was asked to comment on the transfer, but as one would expect, he refused to answer.

“Bellingham? I don’t talk about players who are not Real Madrid’s.”

Source: Real Madrid TV

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid trailing Premier League heavyweights in UEFA club rankings

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Photo by DARREN STAPLES/AFP via Getty Images

UEFA has announced its latest club rankings, based on the performance of each team in European competitions over the last five seasons, and despite winning the Champions League last season, Real Madrid trail Manchester City in these standings. 

It must be noted that the coefficients of these rankings are calculated purely on the basis of results in European competitions, without considering domestic league performance. The rankings are crucial as they determine the seedings in UEFA competition draws.

Top teams in UEFA rankings

This time, Manchester City haves outshone Real Madrid, topping the list with a coefficient of 123,000 points, while Real Madrid have 119,000 points. Bayern Munich complete the top three with a score of 108,000 points. 

Man City have been incredibly consistent since 2021, securing a Champions League title, reaching a final, and making it to a semi-final, which has propelled them to the top spot in the rankings.

Manchester City are above Real Madrid in UEFA club rankings. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The competition between Manchester City and Real Madrid has been intense, especially in the Champions League. The two giants of European football have faced each other in four knockout ties since 2020, each winning two ties. 

Their consistent performances have solidified their status as the current powerhouses of European football.

What about the other La Liga teams?

Spanish football, particularly La Liga, is well-represented in these rankings. Alongside Real Madrid, Villarreal, Atletico Madrid, and Barcelona are notable mentions. 

Villarreal, on their part, are in the 7th place after winning the Europa League in 2021 and reaching the Champions League semi-finals in 2022. 

Atletico Madrid are positioned at 17th, just ahead of Barcelona, who is struggling to maintain its usual high ranking. 

Amidst all this, the English Premier League stands out as the dominant force in these rankings. Six of its teams are in the top 20, showcasing the strength and competitiveness of English football. 

The Italian League and the Bundesliga also have a strong presence, each contributing four teams to the top ranks.

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