Real Madrid have been relatively quiet in the transfer market this year. However, what more can one add to a team that conquered Europe just a few months ago?
The Champions of Europe return to action on Sunday night when they take on newly promoted Almeria at Estadio Mediterraneo.
While their La Liga title defence will not be easy after Barcelona’s busy summer, Real Madrid’s winning mentality could be what gives them the slight edge.
Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the press ahead of the first game of the 2022-23 season. During the interview, he talked about the new signings and roles of specific players, but the highlight was a shocking revelation about his professional future.
On his future: “After Real Madrid, I will retire. Real Madrid is the top, it makes sense to end (my career) here.”
On Antonio Rudiger: “Rudiger will play as CB. We will use him as fullback only when it’s needed.”
On rotations in the team: “The plan is to rotate more this season.”
On Eden Hazard: “I don’t know if Hazard will play tomorrow, but he’ll play more than last season. He can play in several positions.”
On the defensive midfield options: “Casemiro & Tchouaméni can play together as a pair of pivots.”
On Toni Kroos being snubbed of a Ballon d’Or nomination: “It’s a little strange that Kroos didn’t get nominated like Valverde, Militão or Alaba. For me, they all deserve to be on the list.”
On Thibaut Courtois: “Courtois is the best in the world right now.”
On Casemiro and Tchouameni: “They can play together, they’re CDMs with different attributes. Tchouameni is more box-to-box and Casemiro is more of a positional player. They can play together in a double-pivot system. The line-up could be 4-4-1-1 or 4-4-2”.
Source: Real Madrid
Real Madrid maintain full confidence in Turkish starlet despite injury woes
Arda Guler’s Real Madrid stint has not gotten off to the start he would have hoped to have given the expectation that preceded the transfer.
Having joined in the summer after Real Madrid outbid their competition to win him over from Fenerbahce for a 20-million-euro fee, buzz was high as the winger was expected to slot into the team quite seamlessly, albeit on a rotational basis.
Unfortunately for the 18-year-old, he has been constantly marred by injuries since completing the move.
Reports have stated that after Guler picked up his third injury since his move, Real Madrid have been concerned and want to take things slow with the player to ensure he is fit as soon as possible after an injury to his quadriceps this time.
The Turk is yet to make his competitive debut for the club, and Real Madrid even sacked their medical chief in November, in light of their injury crises since the beginning of the season.
No loan deal for Guler
However, according to Fabrizio Romano in a recent YouTube video, he states that Madrid maintain full trust and patience in the youngster.
Despite his bad luck with injuries, the latest of which he is scheduled to return from after Christmas, the Galacticos have no intention of loaning out Guler to Turkish clubs despite lots of speculation of them doing so of late.
Romano states that Madrid remain firm on not shaking things up too much with the squad, and they want to keep their roster stable, including Arda Guler.
They want to extend their full support and protection to the player as he aims to return to full fitness and finally make his bow for Madrid either by the end of this month or in 2024.