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Bundesliga title-winner ‘is ready for Real Madrid’, says former German great

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Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

Speaking in an interview with Sport BILD (h/t AS), Germany legend Michael Ballack has claimed that Bayer Leverkusen sensation Florian Wirtz is ready to play for Real Madrid.

Wirtz is a player that Real Madrid have been closely monitoring for a while now, with the German sensation being seen as a long-term replacement for Toni Kroos, who announced his retirement yesterday.

A move for Wirtz is being planned for the summer of 2025 and Ballack believes that the Bundesliga title winner with Leverkusen is ready for the big move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

“Wirtz is ready for Real Madrid,” said Ballack.

“In terms of football, Wirtz can definitely play for Real Madrid. You can also see it in Jude Bellingham after his move from BVB: when you play with even better players, you become even better,” he added.

The Toni Kroos replacement? (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)

Wirtz has a contract with Bayer Leverkusen that runs until the summer of 2027. As things stand, the new German champions have no intentions of selling their prized asset this year.

However, there appears to be an acceptance that the German international will be on the move in 2025.

Other top clubs like Manchester City and Bayern Munich are also understood to be interested, but Real Madrid are likely to beat them in the race should it come down to that next year.

A move for Wirtz, though, could cost in excess of €100 million for Real Madrid should they do indeed decide to proceed with his signing next year.

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Real Madrid News

National embarrassment: Real Madrid star faces backlash over poor NT display

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Photo by Rich Storry/Getty Images

Vinicius Jr., the star forward for Real Madrid and a strong contender for the Ballon d’Or, has faced heavy criticism for his recent performances with the Brazil national team. 

Despite his impressive displays at Real Madrid, Vinicius has recently struggled to live up to expectations in Brazil’s preparatory matches for the Copa America.

Brazilian fans and analysts had high hopes for Vinicius, expecting him to take on a leadership role in the national team’s attack, especially after the season he had with Madrid. 

Unfortunately, he has not managed to replicate his club form in these recent games. This situation mirrors what happened when he first joined Real Madrid, where his inconsistent performances initially raised doubts about his abilities.

Ballon d’Or in doubt?

In the lead-up to the Copa America, Brazil played two friendly matches. They narrowly defeated Mexico 3-2 and drew 1-1 with the United States. 

During these games, players like Endrick and Rodrygo stepped up, scoring crucial goals. However, Vinicius failed to make a significant impact, which has led to widespread disappointment among fans and media in Brazil.

Vinicius Jr. has scored just three goals for Brazil.(Photo by Rich Storry/Getty Images)

For what it is worth, Vinicius’ last goal for Brazil dates back to June 17, 2023, when he scored against Guinea in a 4-1 win in a friendly match. In competitive matches, his last international goal dates back to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

This underwhelming performance has resulted in sharp criticism towards the forward, who is considered one of the top candidates for the Ballon d’Or. 

Interestingly, his chances of winning this prestigious award heavily depend on his showing in the upcoming Copa America, which begins this week. 

Public opinion and the press in Brazil suggest that unless he drastically improves and leads his team to victory, his hopes for the award are slim.

Deserved criticism

Critics argue that Vinicius’s level of play with the national team is far below what he delivers at Real Madrid. 

They point out his poor goal-scoring record for Brazil, having only netted three times in 30 appearances, which is seen as unacceptable for a player of his calibre. 

Analysts are particularly disappointed by his inability to finish chances, dribble effectively, make successful passes, and escape defenders to create scoring opportunities.

Vinicius is also criticized for making poor decisions on the field. Commentators have noted that he doesn’t have the same impact with the national team as he does with Real Madrid. 

This echoes the concerns from his early days at the Spanish club, where he was praised for his persistence but criticized for his poor decision-making and lack of precision.

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