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Ex-Premier League manager questions Real Madrid being named the third-best team in Europe



Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

At the recently conducted Ballon d’Or gala, Real Madrid had a successful day as Karim Benzema won the Golden Orb for the Best Player of the Year, while Thibaut Courtois was awarded the Yashin Trophy for the Best Goalkeeper of the Year.

However, in a strange decision, Real Madrid were voted the third-best team in Europe, behind Premier League duo Manchester City and Liverpool, even though Los Blancos won the La Liga title and the UEFA Champions League trophy.

It has not gone down entirely well with some sections and now, former Premier League manager, Claudio Ranieri has also questioned the decision. Speaking in an interview with MARCA, the Italian tactician said:

“This is very rare. Normally the one who has won the Champions League and La Liga will win. Real Madrid are Real Madrid and they deserve more than others. Many times with the prizes they do what they want.”

Ranieri, who won the Premier League with Leicester City, also insisted that Karim Benzema’s Ballon d’Or triumph was well-deserved, saying: “It is very fair that he wins the Ballon d’Or. He had a magnificent season. He is a great player who deserves everything.”

The Italian tactician also showered praise on his compatriot and Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, as he said: “It’s normal for Ancelotti to beat my records. He’s a phenomenal coach, what he has achieved has been done by very few.

“He is a caring coach and creates a very pleasant atmosphere. All the players respect him a lot, those who play and those who don’t, and that means that he is truly a great person.”

Ranieri also delivered his verdict on the recent El Clasico which Real Madrid won 3-1 against Barcelona. The ex-Watford and Chelsea boss insisted that Los Blancos were deserved winners as they are a team that is ready, whereas the Blaugrana are undergoing a rebuild.

“Real Madrid is superior to a lot of teams and will be in contention to win La Liga and the Champions League,” Ranieri stated.

“Xavi is trying to build a great group of players and he must give encouragement and strength. And that is not easy. Real Madrid are a team that is already made and Barça are rebuilding everything,” he added.

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Real Madrid News

Turkish giants to go all-out to sign Real Madrid outcast – report



There is no way back for Eden Hazard at Real Madrid. The Belgian international has not given the management any reason to have faith in his abilities over his past four seasons at the club and is unsurprisingly the most important departure for the Merengues in the summer.

Hazard has one more year on his contract in Madrid. However, it is clear that Carlo Ancelotti does not trust him and that any potential replacement manager in the summer will echo his stance.

According to reports from Mundo Deportivo, Fenerbahce are willing to go all out to sign Hazard this summer. The Turkish side have made the former Chelsea their prime target, yet face a steep task ahead of them.

The 32-year-old is hellbent on seeing out his contract with Los Blancos despite seeing his career sink right before his eyes. It thus becomes complicated for the party to lure away the forward, especially in a competition outside Europe’s top five leagues.

Fenerbahce attempted to sign the winger in the recently concluded winter transfer market. They reached an agreement with Real Madrid but failed to get over the line as they could not convince the player of the move.

The biggest obstacle for the Turkish side will be convincing Hazard to make the move by letting go of his lucrative contract in Madrid. The chances are slim, but not impossible.

Hazard has made just three league appearances and one start for Ancelotti’s side this season in La Liga, a steep fall from last season’s 18 and seven respectively.

His last appearance for the team came back in January when Real Madrid faced Cacereno in the Copa del Rey. In La Liga however, he last played in September 2022 in a 4-1 win over Mallorca.

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