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



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

Nacho set to stay at Real Madrid, will be new club captain – report



Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Real Madrid have finally received some good news as MARCA confirms that Nacho has finally made his decision about his future, and is set to continue at the club for the foreseeable future.

His contract expires in the summer, and Real Madrid had tabled an extension for the player, which was not accepted by the Spaniard at the time. Now, however, he has decided to reject offers from Juventus, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Inter Milan, and AC Milan.

Nacho will sign a one year extension, with the option to extend for another year if both parties reach an agreement.

His continuity also means that he will be the new club captain for the 2023/24 season, since Karim Benzema is leaving the club on a free transfer in the summer. Luka Modric will be second captain, followed by Daniel Carvajal and Toni Kroos.

Carlo Ancelotti has also spoken to the player, confirming that they trust him for next season in the team, which has gone a long way in helping convince the player.

The Italian gaffer also spoke about the Spanish defender’s contract situation after the game against Athletic Club yesterday, saying:

“Asensio, Nacho and Ceballos? We have explained them their roles. The club have offered them renewals. Asensio has preferred to leave, Ceballos and Nacho are still thinking about it.” 

While a centre-back by trade, Nacho has played across the defence for Madrid continuously, including putting shifts at left-back, right-back, and even centre-back.

His departure would have probably pushed Madrid to sign another defender, especially since they are considering selling Ferland Mendy if a good offer arrives.

Regardless of that, though, Madrid are moving to sign Alphonso Davies, and have already made initial contacts with the player. Bayern Munich have not rejected their advances.

Further, the los blancos management have already met with Davies’ entourage twice, cementing their interest in the Canadian ace.

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