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Man City midfielder says Benzema ‘has what it takes’ to be the next Ballon d’Or winner

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Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images

On Tuesday night, the world will have its eyes fixed on the gargantuan clash between Real Madrid and Manchester City. The two European giants face off for a place in the final of the UEFA Champions League in what will be a treat to watch.

The last time the two sides met, Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos had games to forget. The former had two errors directly leading to goal, while the latter was sent off in the first leg.

Eventually, City walked out of the game with a 4-2 win on aggregate, with two goals from Gabriel Jesus, and one each from Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne.

The first leg is set to take place at the Etihad Stadium and the reverse fixture at the Santiago Bernabeu. Ahead of the game, there is nothing but respect between the two sides, and Ilkay Gudogan is the latest to follow suit.

The German international was asked about Karim Benzema’s unreal form this season.

“For me, Benzema is currently the best striker in the world alongside Lewandowski,” he said, as relayed by SPORT1.

Further, he went on to say that the Real Madrid striker was a clear candidate to take home the Ballon d’Or this season.

“Benzema definitely has what it takes to become the next Ballon d’Or winner.”

The striker has started 29 games for Real Madrid in La Liga, scoring 25 goals and providing 11 assists. In the Champions League, he has found the back of the net 12 times and has recorded one assist, pioneering back to back comebacks for Los Blancos.

Meanwhile, Gundogan has been vital for Pep Guardiola’s plans. In 17 starts for the Premier League champions, he has scored six goals and provided four assists. With 1.5 key passes per game and six big chances created, he has been ever-reliable for the manager.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid forward set for talks with Arsenal this week – report

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

With less than six months left on his contract, Marco Asensio looks to be on his way out of Real Madrid very soon. The Spaniard has not yet started talks to extend his contract with the Spanish giants, which has garnered the eyes from several top clubs across Europe.

One of the clubs interested in his signature happens to be Premier League leaders Arsenal. Mikel Arteta is said to be a fan of the player, and will try to be bring him to North London on a free transfer this summer.

According to Mirror, Asensio’s agents will fly to London this week to get an a better understanding Arsenal’s interest in the player. Talks are scheduled with Arsenal, among possibly other clubs.

Asensio’s priority remains to extend with Arsenal, but not at ‘any cost’. The winger is looking for raise with his new contract to go along with a four-year deal. The report states that he currently earns around €130,000 per week at Madrid.

The 27-year-old has been waiting for an official offer from Los Blancos for a while, but the club will wait for March or April before taking a decision on his extension.

Asensio took a while to grow important for Carlo Ancelotti this season, but has been featuring regularly on the right-wing lately. He even scored in 2-0 win against Valencia in midweek, taking his tally to two for the season, excluding three assists as well.

Arsenal are definitely looking to add more firepower to their squad for next season, having already brought in Leandro Trossard in the winter. Asensio could serve as the perfect backup to Bukayo Saka, who has been in incredible form all season.

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