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



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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Real Madrid News

Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Napoli | UCL GW 5



Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Real Madrid are back in the Champions League following their impressive win against Cadiz on the weekend as they host Napoli at the Santiago Bernabeu for gameweek five.

They have already secured qualification to the round of 16, and even a point today would secure first place in the group.

With several players still injured, Carlo Ancelotti has opted for his best available starting lineup, with Daniel Carvajal taking responsibility of the captain’s armband at right-back. He will be aided by Ferland Mendy, who starts on the other side.

Meanwhile, in between them, David Alaba returns to the fold as the starting centre-back, partnering Antonio Rudiger. This duo has the responsibility of screening Andriy Lunin, who continues in goal in Kepa and Thibaut Courtois’ absence.

With both Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni out, Toni Kroos gets the chance to play as the holding midfielder for two games in a row. Federico Valverde retains his spot, as well, while Dani Ceballos comes in for the injured Luka Modric in central midfield.

Rodrygo will spearhead the team’s frontline as one of the two twin forwards, while Brahim Diaz gets the nod over Joselu. Jude Bellingham is the final, and arguably the most important piece of the puzzle, playing behind the front-two.

Confirmed Madrid XI: Lunin; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Ceballos; Bellingham; Diaz, Rodrygo

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