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.
Real Madrid veteran has ‘adopted’ Arda Guler, is mentoring him in training
The current edition of the Real Madrid squad is full of young talents, who have shown remarkable potential in recent years.
Arda Guler is among the young players looking to make a mark in European football in the years to come.
The young Turk joined Real Madrid earlier this summer, rejecting many other European giants in the process.
Toni Kroos mentoring Guler at Real Madrid
Guler has not enjoyed the best of starts to his life at Santiago Bernabeu, as he is spending a brief time on the sidelines due to an injury.
However, Guler has not stopped working on his characteristics, as he looks to kickstart his Real Madrid career on a positive note.
To that end, the former Fenerbahce starlet is receiving some key support from one of Real Madrid’s midfield pillars in the form of Toni Kroos.
This is according to MARCA, which suggests that the German international is mentoring Guler in his early days at Santiago Bernabeu.
Kroos: huge ‘sponsor’ of Guler
The report highlights how Toni Kroos is a huge admirer of Arda Guler. The German had even heaped praise on the youngster from Turkey when he joined the club earlier in the summer.
Guler, therefore, is closely training with Kroos, whose years of experience, composure, and knowledge of football, could help the youngster grow at Santiago Bernabeu.
This fits in well with Carlo Ancelotti’s vision at Real Madrid, as the Italian boss wants youngsters to have room to grow, especially with guidance from some of the older guards in the team.
It is one of the key reasons Real Madrid wanted to stick to Kroos and Luka Modric, despite bringing in Arda Guler and Jude Bellingham in the summer.
Guler, therefore, has the stage set for him to start his Real Madrid career on a strong note. After impressing in training, the next step for the youngster is to make a promising debut, which is just around the corner.