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Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Mallorca | La Liga Matchday 19

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Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Real Madrid restart their season after the Christmas break later today when they lock horns with RCD Mallorca at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Ahead of the match against Javier Aguirre’s side in a couple of hours, Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has released the starting lineup that will step onto the pitch.

As he had confirmed in the presser, Andriy Lunin starts in goal for Los Blancos with Kepa Arrizabalaga on the bench.

Meanwhile, Aurelien Tchouameni partners Antonio Rudiger at the heart of the defence in the absence of captain Nacho Fernandez, who is suspended.

Dani Carvajal returns from injury, slotting in at right-back while Fran Garcia continues at left-back with Ferland Mendy still not fit.

Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, and Federico Valverde occupy the three midfield spots in the centre for the home team.

Star man and leading goalscorer Jude Bellingham starts in the advanced attacking midfield position, although he and Modric could shift out wide if Ancelotti wants the team to line up in a 4-4-2.

Up top, Rodrygo Goes is reunited with Vinicius Jr. who is back from injury. Brahim Diaz is on the bench, along with the likes of Joselu and youngsters Nico Paz and Alvaro Carrillo.

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Real Madrid News

Bellingham, Vinicius reveal their preferred picks for the Ballon d’Or

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Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

As Real Madrid gear up to face Borussia Dortmund in the finals of the UEFA Champions League this weekend, a number of their players interacted with the press today as part of the UEFA Open Media Day.

Jude Bellingham was one of the stars who answered questions from the media ahead of what will be an emotional game for him against his former club, in his homeland.

The England international has enjoyed a spectacular debut season at Real Madrid and is seen as a strong contender for the Ballon d’Or this season.

However, when asked about the Golden Orb, Bellingham tipped his Madrid teammate Vinicius Jr. as his pick to win the prestigious honour this year.

“For me, Vinicius is the best in the world. He creates magic out of nothing. He has everything to be the best,” said Bellingham, as quoted by The Athletic’s Guillermo Rai.

After all, Vinicius has also enjoyed a scintillating campaign and is one of the frontrunners to walk away with the Ballon d’Or, owing to his clutch performances for Real Madrid.

Who will win the 2024 Ballon d’Or? (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

The Brazilian also spoke to the media today and was asked about the Ballon d’Or. Interestingly, he went on to name Bellingham as his pick to win the Golden Ball.

“I would give the Ballon d’Or to Bellingham,” he said, as quoted by Carrusel.

When Bellingham was informed about Vinicius picking him as the favourite for the Ballon d’Or, the England international responded by saying:

“If that’s how he feels, then you can split it in two (laughs).”

The responses show the strong bond and camaraderie that the two superstars of Real Madrid share.

Both are contenders to lift the Golden Ball this year and a win in the Champions League, coupled with strong performances in the summer’s international tournaments, would further enhance their chances.

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