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Official: Real Madrid confirm Nacho Fernandez’s departure

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Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Real Madrid have officially announced that club captain Nacho Fernandez has departed the club after over two decades.

With his contract expiring on June 30, Nacho has decided not to renew and opted to depart as a free agent, with the defender now understood to be on his way to Saudi Arabian side Al Qadsiah.

“Real Madrid CF announces that our captain Nacho has decided to end his career as a Real Madrid player,” the statement from the club read.

“Real Madrid wants to express its gratitude and affection to Nacho, one of the great legends of our club.”

“Real Madrid wishes him and his entire family the best of luck in this new stage of his life.”

A legend of the club

Nacho has been at Real Madrid since 2001, when he joined the club’s academy as a ten-year-old. He made his senior debut for the club when Jose Mourinho was in charge and has been a part of the first-team setup ever since.

During his time with Real Madrid, the 34-year-old has played 364 games and has won 26 titles: 6 European Cups, 5 Club World Cups, 4 European Super Cups, 4 Leagues, 2 Copas del Rey and 5 Spanish Super Cups – the most number of titles in the history of the club.

Nacho leaves Real Madrid. (Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images)

Nacho captained Real Madrid last season as they won three trophies, including the 15th European Cup/UEFA Champions League title.

The Spanish ace is one of the five players who have won six European Cups in the entire history of football.

Message from Florentino Perez

The president of Real Madrid, Florentino Perez, sent a heartfelt message to the departing club captain, claiming that the club will always be Nacho’s home.

“Since he arrived at our youth academy as a child, Nacho has always been an example of improvement for everyone and has received the love, recognition and admiration of all Real Madrid fans,” he said.

“Real Madrid is and will always be his home.”

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid still waiting to see the best version of 24-year-old midfielder

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Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

Midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni has been at Real Madrid since 2023 but the Frenchman still hasn’t convinced the club’s hierarchy entirely, reports MARCA.

At just 24 years old, Tchouameni was signed for a staggering €80 million, a fee that could rise to €100 million with additional bonuses. This substantial investment reflects the high hopes that Real Madrid had for him, but so far, he has not lived up to those expectations.

Upon his arrival, the young midfielder’s potential sparked a fierce bidding war two seasons ago, with several top clubs vying for his signature. 

Ultimately, Tchouameni chose Real Madrid, but not before the club shelled out a considerable amount of money to secure his services.

A valiant effort to replace Casemiro

Initially, Tchouameni was brought in as a replacement for the legendary Casemiro. However, he has struggled to fill those big shoes and his performances have been inconsistent, with moments of brilliance interspersed with matches where he fails to make a significant impact. 

While he possesses excellent technical skills, his creativity and ability to influence the game are often questioned. As a result, he has yet to win over the Real Madrid fans.

One of Tchouameni’s strengths is his age. At 24, he still has plenty of room to grow and improve. He understands the high standards that Real Madrid demand from the players and is committed to reaching that level. 

Real Madrid still have hope

Aurelien Tchouameni hasn’t convinced the Real Madrid board entirely. (Photo by Rafa Babot/Getty Images)

The club hopes that he will continue to develop and eventually become a leader in the midfield, especially in the absence of veterans like Toni Kroos. 

However, for this to happen, Tchouameni needs to step up and take charge on the field, asserting himself as a player his teammates can rely on.

Tchouameni’s reserved playing style has even caused coach Carlo Ancelotti to doubt whether he is the right fit for the midfield. As a result, the Italian has considered shifting him to a centre-back position due to his aerial ability and strong positioning. 

When called upon to fill in for injured players like David Alaba and Eder Militao, Tchouameni has performed admirably. In fact, Ancelotti once also chose him over Nacho.

Injuries have not helped his case

It must be noted that injuries have plagued Tchouameni’s time at Real Madrid, causing him to miss 20% of the matches since joining the team. 

Additionally, Ancelotti has kept him on the bench for another 20% of the games over the past two seasons. This means that Tchouameni has been a starter in only 55% of the matches under Ancelotti’s management. 

His absences have gone largely unnoticed, as he missed four of the six Champions League group matches and the final, having little impact on the team’s overall performance.

In summary, Tchouameni remains a work in progress at Real Madrid. His potential is undeniable, but he has yet to fully realize it on the field. 

With time on his side and a clear understanding of what is expected of him, the hope is that he will eventually rise to the challenge and become a key player for the team. Until then, Tchouameni’s journey at Real Madrid continues to be one of promise and uncertainty.

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