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Official: Hazard, Courtois crash out of World Cup, Modric’s Croatia through to the knockouts

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Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images

After a tightly-contested affair that ended in a goalless draw against Croatia, Eden Hazard’s Belgium are out of the FIFA World Cup 2022. Luka Modric’s side, however, have made it through to the Round of 16, finishing second in Group F.

The Belgian Red Devils had looked sub-par throughout the tournament even though they had managed to pick up a narrow win over Canada in their opening fixture. But the 2-0 loss to Morocco last time out put them under intense pressure.

Needing a win to stand a chance to qualify, especially with Morocco getting the better of Canada in the other Group F match, Belgium could not get the job done.

In a brave call, Roberto Martinez opted to drop Hazard from the starting XI. His Real Madrid teammate, Thibaut Courtois, did brilliantly to keep Belgium alive in the match, pulling off several clutch saves.

However, at the other end, Romelu Lukaku missed three sitters after coming on at half-time, as the match ended in a goalless draw. Hazard, who came on as a substitute in the latter stages of the game, could do little to change things.

While the Real Madrid duo’s journey in Qatar comes to an end, another Los Blancos star goes through to the knockouts as Modric and Croatia advance again. Having drawn against Morocco in their opener, the Vatreni had beaten Canada resoundingly to put themselves in a good position.

But a loss would have sent them out. However, the team managed to pull through and hold things together. Special mention for Josko Gvardiol who had a top game against Belgium to help Croatia go through.

This Belgium side, considered the ‘Golden Generation’, had advanced to the semi-finals of the last World Cup. But things have been rocky for them for a while now, with recent reports of infighting within the squad only adding fuel to that.

Eventually, Hazard, Courtois & co. are out, while Modric will lead Croatia into the Round of 16, where they could likely face Spain.

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti-favourite defender will leave Real Madrid if club signs 23-year-old ace

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

With Kylian Mbappe’s signing now a completed objective, Real Madrid turn to what was always considered the second most critical operation of this summer – Alphonso Davies.

The Canadian full-back has been on Los Blancos’ radar for a while now, but with his contract with Bayern Munich running until 2025, his signing is seen to be a tad bit more complicated.

The Bavarians’ firm stance that they wish to persist with the speedster, needless to say, has only made the objective more complicated for Los Blancos.

No room for three

Despite Bayern Munich’s repeated advances towards Davies in recent weeks, Real Madrid are firm that they will attempt to sign the player this summer.

In light of the Canadian full-back’s possible arrival, Cadena SER reveals that Ferland Mendy will almost certainly leave Real Madrid if Davies’ signing is pulled off.

Carlo Ancelotti is clear that he has no room for three left-backs in his squad. One of Fran Garcia and Mendy must thus leave the Spanish capital in such a scenario and the Frenchman is better placed on that front.

Ferland Mendy (L) could leave Real Madrid if Davies arrives.. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Mendy’s current deal in Madrid runs out next year and the player has been informed that a decision over his future at the club will be taken shortly.

On track with Davies

The Spanish outlet also reveal that the Canadian speedster rejected an offer from Bayern Munich in recent hours and that his departure from the Bavarian capital is not ruled out.

Bayern Munich demand a sum of €50 million for the dynamic full-back. Real Madrid, however, have set a spending limit of €30 million for the youngster and will not exceed that sum in any scenario.

Vincent Kompany’s men thus have a critical decision to make, for allowing Davies to run down the final year on his deal may well back-fire as did the case of Kylian Mbappe with PSG.

Real Madrid, as it stands, appear to be in the driver’s seat.

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