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Ancelotti unlikely to tinker with Real Madrid’s forward line vs Granada after Napoli success

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Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images

Real Madrid’s recent win over Napoli was pivotal on many fronts. For starters, it solidified Los Blancos’ position at the top of Group C in the UEFA Champions League, taking them to a perfect five wins in five games.

Further, it came as a much-needed confidence booster for the manager who is without some of his biggest names on the field.

Carlo Ancelotti shuffled his cards for the clash earlier this week and made tweaks in his starting lineup hoping that it would create a tangible difference in the final third. His experiment bore fruit, for his men put four goals past the Italians on the night.

The dynamic duo

The Italian gaffer’s starting lineup on the night stuck to the 4-4-2 diamond that he has advocated all season. The two forwards on the night were Rodrygo Goes and Brahim Diaz.

According to reports from AS, Ancelotti really liked the Brazilian-Moroccan combination in the final third and the versatility in the final third that resulted. Diaz and Rodrygo could thus start again in the upcoming game against Granada.

The Brazilian scored Real Madrid’s opening goal on the night in addition to providing one key pass and completing three dribbles. Diaz, meanwhile, provided one assist and a key pass in addition to his two successful dribbles.

Can Rodrygo keep up his form? (Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images)

Red hot form

If there is one player in Real Madrid not named Jude Bellingham who has been on a hot streak, it is Rodrygo Goes.

The youngster endured one of his worst-ever starts to the season and was underwhelming through the opening months of action this season. However, he has turned his situation around in grandstand style in recent games.

The 22-year-old phenom now has a stunning six goals and four assists in Los Blancos’ last four games, and Ancelotti will hope he keeps up his form to step in for the injured Vinicius Jr.

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Real Madrid News

Bellingham, Vinicius reveal their preferred picks for the Ballon d’Or

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Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

As Real Madrid gear up to face Borussia Dortmund in the finals of the UEFA Champions League this weekend, a number of their players interacted with the press today as part of the UEFA Open Media Day.

Jude Bellingham was one of the stars who answered questions from the media ahead of what will be an emotional game for him against his former club, in his homeland.

The England international has enjoyed a spectacular debut season at Real Madrid and is seen as a strong contender for the Ballon d’Or this season.

However, when asked about the Golden Orb, Bellingham tipped his Madrid teammate Vinicius Jr. as his pick to win the prestigious honour this year.

“For me, Vinicius is the best in the world. He creates magic out of nothing. He has everything to be the best,” said Bellingham, as quoted by The Athletic’s Guillermo Rai.

After all, Vinicius has also enjoyed a scintillating campaign and is one of the frontrunners to walk away with the Ballon d’Or, owing to his clutch performances for Real Madrid.

Who will win the 2024 Ballon d’Or? (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

The Brazilian also spoke to the media today and was asked about the Ballon d’Or. Interestingly, he went on to name Bellingham as his pick to win the Golden Ball.

“I would give the Ballon d’Or to Bellingham,” he said, as quoted by Carrusel.

When Bellingham was informed about Vinicius picking him as the favourite for the Ballon d’Or, the England international responded by saying:

“If that’s how he feels, then you can split it in two (laughs).”

The responses show the strong bond and camaraderie that the two superstars of Real Madrid share.

Both are contenders to lift the Golden Ball this year and a win in the Champions League, coupled with strong performances in the summer’s international tournaments, would further enhance their chances.

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