Only four days into pre-season training, Real Madrid have suffered their first casualty as midfielder Dani Ceballos has picked up a thigh injury, the club have confirmed.
“After the tests carried out on our player Dani Ceballos by the Real Madrid Medical Services, he has been diagnosed with an injury to the distal tendon of the right femoral biceps muscle. Evolution pending,” the official statement from the club read.
Ceballos’ injury comes at an unfortunate time given that the Spaniard would have been hoping to make a strong impression during the pre-season amidst intense competition for places in midfield.
The 26-year-old midfielder signed a new contract with the club this summer, extending his stay at the Santiago Bernabeu until 2027.
Ceballos’ previous deal was about to expire on June 30 and the Spanish ace decided to renew with the club after giving it a long thought.
It has been reported that manager Carlo Ancelotti had given his word to Ceballos that he would have a prominent role in the team, which played a key part in his decision to sign a new deal with the club.
With Real Madrid signing Jude Bellingham and Arda Guler, while also renewing both Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, and the growing importance of Fede Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga, Ceballos has plenty of competition to face for the starting spot in midfield.
And, the injury this early in pre-season could have an impact on his chances, depending on the time he spends on the sidelines.
An update from journalist Alberto Pereiro claims that Ceballos could be out for a period of four to six weeks, which would mean he will miss the entire pre-season and potentially the start of the new campaign as well. Certainly a blow or the midfielder.
Bellingham on his special assist in Girona 0-3 Real Madrid: “Been watching Luka every day”
Real Madrid usurped the top spot in the La Liga standings from arch-rivals FC Barcelona as they defeated Girona 3-0 away at Estadi Montilivi.
It was a fine performance from Carlo Ancelotti’s men against Michel’s side, with the returning Jude Bellingham leading the way for his team.
After being benched against Las Palmas in midweek, the England international returned to the starting XI today and turned in yet another Man of the Match display for Real Madrid.
It all started with Joselu opening the scoring just 15 minutes into the game, with Bellingham assisting the goal with a special, outside-of-the-boot pass from the left side, bringing back memories of Luka Modric doing something similar a few years ago.
Talking about that special pass, Bellingham said: “I’ve been watching Luka every day for months. I just want to be creative. It took the pressure off us at the start.”
On the match and the result, the 20-year-old stated that it was a good day across the board for Real Madrid, as he said: “It was an important win. They were doing very well. We made a statement of intent to La Liga. Three goals, a clean sheet….”
It has been a truly remarkable start to life at Real Madrid for Bellingham and expressing how he feels to play for the Merengues, he exclaimed:
“I feel very good. I have freedom of movement and I’m enjoying football. Whenever I put on this shirt I always try to do my best.”
Apart from assisting Joselu’s opener, Bellingham also got his name on the scoresheet in the second period. Talking about his goal, the wonderkid said:
“It wasn’t a very good finish. I could have scored some more, but the important thing is the victory.”
The strike meant that Bellingham now has seven goals and two assists across all competitions for Real Madrid. Reflecting on his brilliant start, he said:
“It’s a good start, not bad. I would like to continue on this path and I won’t always score or assist, but I will always give my best.”
Bellingham’s celebration has been a huge hit, with kids in school, players from other clubs, and many others mimicking it. When asked how his special celebration originated, he replied:
“I don’t know where I first celebrated. I think it was with Birmingham. It’s an inspiration to see kids doing it in schools. It’s a wonderful thing.”