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Former La Liga manager waxes lyrical over Real Madrid talisman: “He reminds me of Zidane”

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Photo by Rafa Babot/Getty Images

Former Getafe manager Quique Sanchez Flores has likened Jude Bellingham to Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane, saying that his movement and his elegance remind him of the Frenchman.

Bellingham has made quite an impact ever since arriving from Borussia Dortmund for €103 million, with the fee potentially rising to €133.9 million if certain clauses are met.

In 14 games across all competitions this season, he has scored 13 goals and remains Real Madrid’s top scorer so far this season.

Quique Sanchez Flores not surprised by his trajectory

Speaking in an interview with AS, Sanchez Flores was asked about Bellingham’s emergence and he said that he is not really surprised to see the impact he has made at Real Madrid.

“It’s not surprising to me,” said the former Real Madrid youth team coach. 

“To my friends, when Madrid signed him, I already told them: “Be careful, with the player who is coming.” I have followed Dortmund closely for four years. At first for Haaland and when Bellingham arrived also for him.” 

He added that after watching him at Dortmund, he knew the impact the midfielder would make in his career.

Quique Sanchez Flores is not surprised by the impact Bellingham has made. (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)

“I realized right away that he was a “cannon” as a footballer. I didn’t expect him to have so many goals in Madrid, but in Germany, he reached the area so many times that he could also score so many goals. 

“He lacked the great success that he is having here but it was already clear that he was a tremendous player. What I couldn’t imagine was that he would have so much personality upon landing at a club as demanding and big as Madrid,” he added.

Furthermore, when asked if Bellingham reminds him of any other player, he said, “Of the broad panorama that I have in my mind, the one he reminds me of most is Zidane. 

“Because of his movements, gestures, elegance, and movement of the ball, he reminds me of the Frenchman. He is at the head of the new generation of young people coming.”

His thoughts on Vinicius Jr.

Real Madrid forward Vinicius Jr. has been in the news of late and not because of his footballing skills, but because of his on-ground attitude, which is said to be causing some trouble in the Real Madrid locker room.

Several personalities, including former Barcelona captain Carles Puyol, have shared their opinion on the same and according to Sanchez Flores, Vinicius has the best teacher in Ancelotti.

Quique Sanchez Flores says Vinicius has the best teacher in Carlo Ancelotti. (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

“The boy has the best teacher he can have to correct himself. There are few, if any, with more sociability and empathy than Ancelotti. If Vinicius has not yet corrected certain aspects it is because he is on the way to doing so.

“What we cannot do is demand that young people suddenly become adults. A lot has been demanded of Vinicius since he arrived and as he achieves his objectives we ask for more. 

“Besides, we ask for calm from the most challenging player of all because his game causes disorder and confusion for the opponent. You have to love these types of players and encourage them to not stop being who they are on the field. 

“The other part, the darker one, will be metabolized and everyone around him must contribute to this,” he said.

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Features

Euro 2024: Rating every Real Madrid player’s performance at the tournament

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Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

The UEFA Euro 2024 came to an end last night with Spain being crowned the champions of Europe thanks to a 2-1 victory over England in Berlin.

Considering how well La Roja played throughout the tournament and their performance in the finals on Sunday night, they were the deserved winners of the trophy.

With Spain lifting the trophy, Real Madrid veteran defender Dani Carvajal added another title to his already successful campaign finishing 2023/24 as a La Liga, Champions League, and EURO winner.

Nacho and Joselu, who were still contracted with Real Madrid when the Euro started, joined Carvajal on that list while Jude Bellingham finished on the losing side.

Real Madrid had a total of 13 players representing them at the Euros in Germany and not all managed to make a solid impression. Here are how the Merengues’ stars fared at the European Championships.

Spain

Dani Carvajal: 8/10

The Spanish right-back was one of the stars of the show at the Euros, playing an integral role in La Roja’s success. Carvajal kicked off his first Euro with a goal in the opening game against Croatia and continued to be a reliable player for Spain both in defence and attack.

Carvajal forged a strong partnership with Barcelona’s Lamine Yamal on the right flank and even played a key role in the team’s opening goal against England in the final.

Nacho: 6/10

Technically no longer a Real Madrid player, Nacho was still contracted with the club when the Euros kicked off. Starting in the opener against Croatia, he helped Spain to a clean sheet against Croatia.

The veteran defender also put in solid shifts in the quarter-final and semi-final ties against Germany and France, respectively and helped see out the game against England last night.

Joselu: N/A

Behind the likes of Alvaro Morata and Mikel Oyarzabal in the pecking order, Joselu, who left Real Madrid at the end of June, played just 90 minutes across two games.

England

Jude Bellingham: 6.5/10

Failed to deliver. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Having enjoyed a dream season with Real Madrid, Jude Bellingham was unable to replicate those performances for England.

While he did score two crucial goals, including a stunning bicycle kick to keep his team alive against Slovakia, and assisted Cole Palmer’s strike in the finals, his overall display left a lot to be desired.

France

Kylian Mbappe: 6/10

Real Madrid’s newest acquisition, all eyes were on Mbappe heading into the Euros. And even though France made it as far as the semi-finals, the 25-year-old failed to live up to the expectations with a nose injury impacting his displays.

Mbappe finished the tournament with a solitary goal and two assists, but as he admitted after the defeat to Spain, his Euro will go down as a failure.

Aurelien Tchouameni: 6/10

Making a return from injury during the tournament, the Real Madrid midfielder was a solid presence in the centre of the park for France alongside N’Golo Kante without really standing out a great deal.

The 24-year-old provided strength and stability in midfield for Les Bleus and even tried to get upfield in matches. But his shooting from distance was way off the mark.

Not up to the mark. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Eduardo Camavinga: 5/10

Starting just one of France’s six games and featuring as a substitute in three more, Eduardo Camavinga was not a major presence for Didier Deschamps’ side at the Euros which came as a surprise.

The Real Madrid starlet did show glimpses of quality when he did get a chance but not enough for him to make an impact.

Ferland Mendy: N/A

Having made a return to the France setup for the first time since 2022, Mendy did not play a single minute at the Euros, with former Real Madrid left-back, Theo Hernandez being preferred by the manager.

Germany

Antonio Rudiger: 7/10

Carrying on from where he left off for Real Madrid, Rudiger was a solid presence at the heart of the German defence at the Euros in his homeland.

Came up against some tricky forwards throughout the hosts’ quarterfinal run but did well to hold his own, but was guilty of losing Mikel Merino for Spain’s goal that eliminated Germany.

Toni Kroos: 6.5/10

It was not a fairytale ending for Kroos, who waved goodbye to his international career with a forgettable display against Spain during which he could have been easily sent off for the array of fouls he committed.

Prior to that, however, Kroos was instrumental for Germany in their run until the quarterfinals, stringing play together from the centre of the park.

Turkey

Arda Guler: 7/10

Arda Guler made a good impression at the Euros. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

One of the breakout stars of the Euros, Arda Guler showcased his talent and potential, helping Turkey to the quarterfinals of the tournament.

The 19-year-old started off with a wonder-goal against Georgia and also added two assists to his tally in his first major tournament, following in the footsteps of greats like Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney. A bright future awaits.

Croatia

Luka Modric: 6/10

Unlike recent years, Luka Modric’s Croatia were unable to get past the group stages, with the veteran midfielder finishing the tournament with a goal from under 240 minutes.

Ukraine

Andriy Lunin: 2/10

Started the tournament as Ukraine’s No. 1 against Romania but made costly errors that saw him lose his place in the starting XI. Did not feature again after the opener as his team crashed out of the group stages.

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