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Cristiano Ronaldo talks Benzema, Saudi Arabian league, and Real Madrid



Photo by FRANCK FIFE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid legends concluding their illustrious career in the Saudi Arabian league is turning out to be a common theme.

After Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Al Nassr, Karim Benzema has followed a similar path, with the Frenchman recently joining Al Ittihad.

While the Saudi Arabian league currently falls behind Europe’s top 5 leagues, the financial muscle on display proceeds to lure football’s biggest stars.

Benzema joined Al Ittihad on a two-year deal with an option for a further season. The 35-year-old will earn almost €200 million per season net salary, commercial deals included. Cristiano, who proved to be the trendsetter, was the first to grant exposure to the Saudi Arabian league.

The Real Madrid legend has frequently waxed lyrical about the league. Having been in Madrid earlier this week, he spoke to the media about his old acquaintance, Benzema, saying (h/t BeSoccer):

“I knew that Benzema is coming to Saudi and that’s why I said that the Saudi will be among the top five leagues in the future, more stars will come.”

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner appears to be proven right as legendary veterans of the game are gradually migrating to Saudi Arabia. N’Golo Kante is set to become the latest signing by Al Ittihad.

In addition to speaking highly of his new environment, Cristiano did not waste the opportunity to sing praises of his old club.

Having played a historic role in Real Madrid’s three-peat and achieving four Champions Leagues as a Madridista, he claimed: “Real Madrid will certainly win more Champions Leagues in the future.”

Highly familiar with the winning culture established at Real Madrid, the Portuguese continues to believe in Los Blancos’ abilities.

While Cristiano played a huge role in Real Madrid’s Champions League titles, the club continued to spread its sphere of influence in Europe as they were crowned champions prior to this season.

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Real Madrid News

Spain midfielder credits Real Madrid assistant manager for career success



Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Spain’s European Championship campaign so far has been one filled with revelations. From young Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams on the wings to the ever-so-solid midfield, La Roja have impressed across the park and have taken the tournament by storm.

One such player who has played a critical role for the team despite not being in many pundits’ squad for the tournament is Fabian Ruiz. The PSG midfielder has been sensational for Luis de la Fuente’s men so far, scoring once and providing one assist in two games.

Despite not having any direct links with Real Madrid, the Spanish midfielder interestingly credits Davide Ancelotti for his success and AS brings the story.

A chapter in Naples

Fabian Ruiz may have never played for Los Blancos in his career so far, but he crossed paths with the Ancelottis in Naples a few years ago.

Ruiz signed for the Italian club from Real Betis in 2018 for a fee of €30 million. At the time, he was not known widely and was just seen as another routine Spanish midfielder aspiring to make it big.

As revealed by the player in a recent interview, however, it was Carlo Ancelotti’s son and Real Madrid assistant manager Davide Ancelotti who first saw the spark in him.

“Meeting him was a very important step in my career. From the beginning, he backed me, and it was not easy to pay what Napoli paid for me, a player who had not played much in La Liga with Betis.”

“If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be here. I have a very good relationship and friendship with him,” he added.

Fabian Ruiz credits Davide Ancelotti for his success. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

A special eye

Ruiz’s comments on Davide Ancelotti only make it clearer as to why Carlo Ancelotti holds his son’s advice in high regard. It is, after all, a testament to the tactician’s keen eye for special talent.

As revealed earlier this year, it was the manager’s son who suggested Joselu’s substitution against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League semifinals when the team was on the brink of elimination.

What happened next was history as the veteran scored twice within minutes to turn the game around and send the Bavarians crashing out.

Davide has been rumoured to be interested in walking his own path soon as a specialist coach, but as it stands, will continue working under his father for at least one more year at Real Madrid.

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