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Barcelona icon criticises Real Madrid starlet over performances for national team

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Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

In the ongoing Copa America, Brazil faced unexpected challenges, failing to perform at their usual dominant level.

Despite possessing a talented squad, including several stars from Real Madrid, collective disorder and an inability to rise to the occasion saw them suffer a premature exit from the tournament.

Now, Barcelona legend Rivaldo has come out to reflect on his nation’s underperformance and touched upon Real Madrid forwards Endrick and Vinicius Jr., who endured subpar tournaments.

Rivaldo criticizes Endrick and Brazil coach

Indeed, the 1999 Ballon d’Or winner did not shy away from pointing fingers, claiming that Brazil coach Dorival Júnior’s substitutions were perplexing and his decision to play Endrick the entire 90 minutes against Uruguay was strange.

While he affirmed that Endrick has a bright future ahead of him, Rivaldo stated that he looked like a deer caught in the headlights.

“Something is not right when you see that the coach takes out veterans who make the difference to try to win in the last minutes of the game.

“And even so, you keep a 17-year-old like Endrick, who, with all due respect, is going to be a great player… but he was lost,” Rivaldo remarked to Betfair (h/t SPORT).

Endrick failed to deliver on expectations at Copa America. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

The former striker did not question Endrick’s attitude but proclaimed that he simply seemed out of sorts competing at a high level.

“Endrick couldn’t play. He wanted to win, but he was lost and couldn’t play. The match was very tough, with lots of clashes and high physical tension,” he affirmed.

Throwing the focus on Vinicius

Although Vinicius produced a great display in the group stages against Paraguay, having scored two goals, he could not maintain that level of performance in other games.

Rivaldo believes that Brazil’s early exit from the Copa America could affect the Ballon d’Or and Vinicius’ chances of being named the victor.

Still, he argued that due to his achievements with Real Madrid and overall contributions over the course of the campaign, Vinicius deserves the Ballon d’Or.

“The end of the season is the Copa America and the Euro Cup, so it can have an effect, of course.

“In fact, these competitions make people start thinking about other names and candidates. But even though he lost with Brazil, I think he deserves this award for everything he did this season,” he stated.

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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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