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Injury update: Real Madrid superstar could return in time for potential UCL quarterfinal

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Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images

Real Madrid have seen several players fall prey to serious injuries this season. The first serious blow the team were inflicted, however, was that of Thibaut Courtois.

The Belgian shot-stopper was ruled out for the entirety of the season after rupturing his ACL in preseason in what came as a big blow to the team’s plans.

He subsequently underwent surgery and has been working hard towards a speedy return, and Miguel Angel Diaz (h/t Madrid Xtra) brings positive news regarding the same.

A speedy return

As revealed by the Spanish journalist, Courtois’ recovery is going better than expected. The Belgian, who was initially expected to be available only next season, could well make a comeback this term.

If everything goes well, Courtois will be available for the team’s UCL quarterfinals should the team progress past RB Leipzig. A practical recovery date can thus be estimated to be around mid-March.

Needless to say, the 31-year-old will not be rushed. His exact return will depend on his sensations next month. As of now, he is already training on the grass.

Time running out

Both Andriy Lunin and Kepa Arrizabalaga have made a strong impression under pressure this season. Thrown into the deep end, they have stabilised the ship in goal to a reasonable extent.

However, it is clear that neither player has left a lasting impression on the manager as a long-term fix after Courtois. Lunin, in particular, had a good chance to do the same but still fell short in certain arenas.

The coming month, thus, could be Lunin’s final chance to stake claim as a long-term solution for Los Blancos. As it stands, Fran Gonzalez and the new signing Illias Voloshyn are the leading candidates given their high potential and young age.

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Real Madrid News

Bellingham, Vinicius reveal their preferred picks for the Ballon d’Or

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Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

As Real Madrid gear up to face Borussia Dortmund in the finals of the UEFA Champions League this weekend, a number of their players interacted with the press today as part of the UEFA Open Media Day.

Jude Bellingham was one of the stars who answered questions from the media ahead of what will be an emotional game for him against his former club, in his homeland.

The England international has enjoyed a spectacular debut season at Real Madrid and is seen as a strong contender for the Ballon d’Or this season.

However, when asked about the Golden Orb, Bellingham tipped his Madrid teammate Vinicius Jr. as his pick to win the prestigious honour this year.

“For me, Vinicius is the best in the world. He creates magic out of nothing. He has everything to be the best,” said Bellingham, as quoted by The Athletic’s Guillermo Rai.

After all, Vinicius has also enjoyed a scintillating campaign and is one of the frontrunners to walk away with the Ballon d’Or, owing to his clutch performances for Real Madrid.

Who will win the 2024 Ballon d’Or? (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

The Brazilian also spoke to the media today and was asked about the Ballon d’Or. Interestingly, he went on to name Bellingham as his pick to win the Golden Ball.

“I would give the Ballon d’Or to Bellingham,” he said, as quoted by Carrusel.

When Bellingham was informed about Vinicius picking him as the favourite for the Ballon d’Or, the England international responded by saying:

“If that’s how he feels, then you can split it in two (laughs).”

The responses show the strong bond and camaraderie that the two superstars of Real Madrid share.

Both are contenders to lift the Golden Ball this year and a win in the Champions League, coupled with strong performances in the summer’s international tournaments, would further enhance their chances.

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