Real Madrid ceded the advantage to FC Barcelona in La Liga title race after dropping points against Villarreal. But they will be looking to bounce back as they travel to Saudi Arabia for the Spanish Super Cup.
The reigning Spanish champions are slated to face Valencia this midweek. Heading into this contest, the club have already confirmed the absence of David Alaba from the teamsheet, which may alter Carlo Ancelotti’s plans, especially in the defensive department.
However, while Ancelotti may miss out on the services of a reliable Alaba, the Real Madrid boss has been handed a potential boost ahead of the Valencia clash, as Dani Carvajal appears to be in contention to start this midweek.
This has been reported by Diario AS (h/t Madrid Xtra), who suggests the right-back has overcome his problem and could feature against Valencia in the Super Cup.
Regarded as the undisputed first-choice right-back at Real Madrid, Carvajal had missed out on the Villarreal clash due to muscle discomfort. But he might return to the pitch just in time for Real Madrid’s clash in the Spanish Super Cup.
Carvajal, in fact, was the significant inclusion in Real Madrid’s official squad for the game. It will not come as a surprise to see him starting either, as Ancelotti looks for a more natural option at right-back than Eder Militao, who had started against Villarreal.
With Carvajal back and Alaba injured, we might see Militao partnering Antonio Rudiger in central defence, although veteran centre-back Nacho Fernandez is also in contention to start in this Super Cup affair.
As for the fullback slots, Carvajal could start on the right, with Ferland Mendy retaining his place on the opposite flank.
Inter Milan star claims he is the best playmaker in the world, ahead of Real Madrid superstar
Hakan Calhanoglu raised many eyebrows in the summer of 2021 when he left AC Milan to join arch-rivals Inter Milan on a free transfer.
It was a move that surprised many, but more than two and a half years later, Calhanoglu’s acquisition has turned out to be a masterstroke from Inter Milan’s end.
During his time at Inter, the former HSV starlet has featured in 125 competitive matches, racking up 23 goals and 24 assists. He has eclipsed his AC Milan numbers, which is quite a feat to achieve.
Calhanoglu hails himself as the best playmaker
Hakan Calhanoglu’s performances have been particularly impressive in the ongoing campaign. The midfielder has been involved in 14 goals this term, including 11 goals.
In light of his performances, Calhanoglu has raised eyebrows by hailing himself as the best playmaker in the world, in a recent interview.
“I’m the best playmaker right now,” Calhanoglu said, shortly after Inter Milan’s narrow 1-0 victory over Atletico Madrid.
Calhanoglu ranks Toni Kroos as the ‘next best’ after him and Rodri
The Turkish international went on to name a few more players who he thinks are the best playmakers after him.
Calhanoglu notably mentioned Real Madrid superstar Toni Kroos, stating (h/t DAZN), “After me Rodri, then Toni Kroos, Kimmich and Enzo Fernández.”
The Turk’s decision to add Kroos to his list is highly surprising as the German maestro has been quite important to the Real Madrid team this season.
Even at the of 34, Kroos has remained an integral part of the Real Madrid midfield. His experience and leadership have been crucial in guiding an otherwise young midfield unit.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for another veteran Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric.
The Croat is reportedly unhappy with his current role in the first team and is likely to leave Santiago Bernabeu at the end of the season.