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Marco Asensio talks Ancelotti, Benzema, Real Madrid future, Barcelona statements



Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Speaking in an interview with Radio MARCA, Real Madrid winger Marco Asensio has opened up on his situation at the club, with his contract expiring at the end of the season.

The 26-year-old had looked set for an exit as a free agent at the end of the season, but has seemingly turned his situation around at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Indeed, recent reports have indicated that Real Madrid are now keen on handing him a renewal and tying him down to a new contract at the club.

Talking about the speculations, Asensio said: “There is talk that I am changing Real Madrid’s mind. But I’ve always tried to give the maximum I have inside me and then we’ll know. It’s also up to the club to decide, it’s not just up to me.

“After the World Cup, we’ll both make a decision. Do I want to renew? I hope it happens and that I can be very happy at Real Madrid for many years to come, I hope everything works out so that I can stay for another 10 years.”

Manager Carlo Ancelotti had been hard on Asensio at the start of the 2022/23 campaign, hardly using him in matches. But that changed in the weeks before the World Cup break, with the winger seeing increased involvement.

Opening up on his relationship with the Italian tactician, Asensio said: “He hasn’t told me that it’s too cold at Real Madrid. He has a lot of confidence in me and I’m focused on the World Cup.”

The 26-year-old also spoke about his Real Madrid teammate Karim Benzema, who was recently ruled out of the World Cup after injuring his thigh.

“I send him all my encouragement and support from here. These are things that happen in football and it has weighed on him not to be able to reach 100%. He was very excited about this World Cup,” Asensio said.

During the interview, Asensio was also quizzed about his statements regarding former teammate Sergio Ramos wanting him to be given more responsibilities by using the metaphor of putting more stones into his teammate’s backpack.

“That is a thing of the past. I’m ready for whatever comes, to be given responsibilities. The team and the players, even though they’re young, have a lot of self-confidence and the desire to give their best. Those of us who have already played in the World Cup will try to bring experience, but we will also learn from the younger players.”

In the recent past, Asensio made statements about him being open to the possibility of joining Barcelona in the future. It has given way to speculations that the Catalans are tracking him and could look to sign the winger on a Bosman deal in the summer.

Talking about his statement about Barcelona, the Spanish international said: “I was interpreted in many ways, like that of the stones and the backpack, I just said that I was comfortable at Real Madrid.”

Asensio has been part of several trophy-winning sides at Real Madrid and has seen the club make some historic remontadas during that time. Talking about the club’s ability to mount a comeback from the unlikeliest of situations, he said:

“There may be some explanation such as seeing the moment or taking advantage of the opponent’s weakness, but especially the Bernabeu.”

Spain have been drawn in the same group as Costa Rica, Germany and Japan. Asensio will thus come up against his former Real Madrid teammate Keylor Navas when they face Costa Rica in the opener later this week.

The veteran goalkeeper had recently appeared on Radio MARCA and said that he wished the best for Asensio. Responding to that, the winger said:

“What a great guy! I want to give him a little treat… I wish him all the best from Thursday because he is a top person.”

Talking about his call-up to the Spain squad for the World Cup, he said: “Yes. I am very happy to be here. It is a goal that I had for a long time and it is a joy to be here. I have worked a lot with my club. Luis Enrique has given me the opportunity, I have taken advantage of it and now I’m happy and looking forward to starting.”

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Real Madrid’s best lineup next season with Kroos retiring, Mbappe and Endrick joining



Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images

It is set up to be a transformative summer for Real Madrid. After the UEFA Champions League final has concluded and the grand showdown finally has a victor, the Merengues are expected to undergo a squad revamp.

Indeed, the Santiago Bernabeu is preparing to welcome several high-profile signings, while also bidding farewell to some beloved Madrid legends.

Considering the potential arrivals of Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, as well as Toni Kroos’ recent retirement, here is how Real Madrid could shape up next season:


Having made a long-awaited return from injury, Thibaut Courtois is anticipated to guard Real Madrid’s goal next season once more.

The Belgian goalie has already started featuring in the starting XI and is expected to play against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final, too.

As such, his place for next season is hardly in doubt. However, unlike previous seasons, he will face much fiercer competition from Andriy Lunin, who has enjoyed a stellar campaign.


Fortifications in the defensive line remain high on Real Madrid’s priority list in the upcoming summer transfer window. However, even with the given options the Royal Whites boast assurance and grit in their back-line.

The likely occupants on the flanks would be Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy, who have both produced great exhibitions throughout the campaign.

Ferland Mendy has the full trust of Carlo Ancelotti. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Carvajal is known to punish defensive lines and on the defensive end, his anticipation of forwards has been equally appreciable.

Meanwhile, Mendy’s resurgence this season has earned him immense faith from the coaching staff, as his defensive aptitude continues to set him apart.

In the centre-back positions, Real Madrid are expected to rely on the dependable figures of Antonio Rudiger and Eder Militao.

Real Madrid consider Rudiger to be indispensable owing to his front-footed style and the important role he has had to play amidst the injury crisis. Similarly, Militao is valued by the team as he proceeds to regain match fitness after recovering from a long-term injury.


The void of Toni Kroos in midfield will compel coach Carlo Ancelotti and co. to
reconsider their midfield strategy.

Real Madrid will be unable to count on Kroos next season. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Thankfully for Real Madrid, their succession stage had begun a while ago and they have ample options to trust in the center of the park.

With Aurelien Tchouameni protecting the base of midfield, Real Madrid will possess security and deep progression.

Ahead, occupying the interior midfield positions, Fede Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga are well-suited to provide a combination of energy off the ball and threat in possession.

And to put the cherry on top, Jude Bellingham’s place as the number 10 behind the two strikers would certify his status as a pivotal playmaker and scorer in the team’s setup.

However, he is adept at making third-man runs and connecting the midfield with the offence and could play deeper to not only make up for Kroos’ absence but also facilitate more options up front.


Real Madrid’s offensive department is where the largest reform is expected to take place.

Kylian Mbappe’s goalscoring instincts need little introduction by now and he is thus anticipated to be fielded as the striker.

Vinicius Jr. is expected to take up the position as a secondary striker drifting from the left, something he has become quite accustomed to this season.

Endrick will have to battle for a starting spot. (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)

It is worth noting that Endrick could also play a part by either replacing Vinicius off the bench and playing off Mbappe.

It remains to be seen how many men forward Ancelotti will commit to but the presence of Mbappe and Vinicius seems set in stone, given their huge profiles and status in world football. How the manager uses Rodrygo Goes will be interesting to see as well.

All in all, considering Ancelotti’s proficiency in profiling players, Madrid fans can expect to see these stars play in favourable environments.

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