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Golden Boy Award founder: ‘Bellingham told me Real Madrid prodigy will be better than him’

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Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid made two big midfield signings ahead of the 2023-24 season – Jude Bellingham and Arda Guler.

Just under one year later, one player has won recognition from across the globe and is even one of the favourites to take home the Ballon d’Or. Guler, however, did not enjoy as much luck to his start to life in Spain.

Moving to Madrid from Fenerbahce, the teenage sensation suffered recurrent injuries and even had to undergo surgical treatment for the same.

It was only in January that he made his much-awaited debut for Real Madrid and only made 12 appearances across all competitions.

Bellingham full of praise

Despite competing directly with Guler for a spot in the lineup, it is clear that Bellingham shares a cordial relationship with the Turkish phenom.

Speaking to TZ (h/t Mundo Deportivo) in a recent interview, Massimo Franchi, the creator of the Golden Boy award, revealed that Bellingham spoke highly of Guler to him after winning the Golden Boy award.

“Jude (Bellingham) told me in December of last year that Real Madrid had a fantastic young player who will perhaps even be a little better than him: the Turkish Arda Güler, who scored an impressive goal against Georgia,” he said.

Bellingham rates Arda Guler very highly. (Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images)

“According to Bellingham, he did incredible things in training and then Güler was only 19 years old,” he added.

Guler’s good form has continued into the ongoing European Championships where he scored a sensational goal for Turkey in their opening game of the campaign. Needless to say, he could well be the Golden Boy soon as he is still just 19 years of age.

Uncertain destination

Purely based on merit, Guler deserves to stay in Madrid and compete for a place in Carlo Ancelotti’s plans.

The arrival of Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, however, brings a change in formation and the youngster will likely find no place in the manager’s starting lineup.

After all, Jude Bellingham, Aurelien Tchouameni, Luka Modric, Federico Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga are already competing for just three places in midfield.

Guler could thus spend next season on loan away from the club, honing his skill and staying match-fit for the changes that lie ahead. As it stands, Real Sociedad is spoken of as a golden destination.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid trailing Premier League heavyweights in UEFA club rankings

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Photo by DARREN STAPLES/AFP via Getty Images

UEFA has announced its latest club rankings, based on the performance of each team in European competitions over the last five seasons, and despite winning the Champions League last season, Real Madrid trail Manchester City in these standings. 

It must be noted that the coefficients of these rankings are calculated purely on the basis of results in European competitions, without considering domestic league performance. The rankings are crucial as they determine the seedings in UEFA competition draws.

Top teams in UEFA rankings

This time, Manchester City haves outshone Real Madrid, topping the list with a coefficient of 123,000 points, while Real Madrid have 119,000 points. Bayern Munich complete the top three with a score of 108,000 points. 

Man City have been incredibly consistent since 2021, securing a Champions League title, reaching a final, and making it to a semi-final, which has propelled them to the top spot in the rankings.

Manchester City are above Real Madrid in UEFA club rankings. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The competition between Manchester City and Real Madrid has been intense, especially in the Champions League. The two giants of European football have faced each other in four knockout ties since 2020, each winning two ties. 

Their consistent performances have solidified their status as the current powerhouses of European football.

What about the other La Liga teams?

Spanish football, particularly La Liga, is well-represented in these rankings. Alongside Real Madrid, Villarreal, Atletico Madrid, and Barcelona are notable mentions. 

Villarreal, on their part, are in the 7th place after winning the Europa League in 2021 and reaching the Champions League semi-finals in 2022. 

Atletico Madrid are positioned at 17th, just ahead of Barcelona, who is struggling to maintain its usual high ranking. 

Amidst all this, the English Premier League stands out as the dominant force in these rankings. Six of its teams are in the top 20, showcasing the strength and competitiveness of English football. 

The Italian League and the Bundesliga also have a strong presence, each contributing four teams to the top ranks.

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