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Opponent watch: Real Betis defender ruled out of Real Madrid clash due to suspension

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Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

The race for the La Liga title could not be more exciting. Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, and Girona have joined Real Madrid in the pursuit of the elusive honour, setting up an exciting set of months ahead.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side most recently took on Granada on match day 15 of La Liga EA Sports, coming out 2-0 victors on the night.

Their next clash sees them pitted against Real Betis, a side sitting just outside the European berths on the standings and vying for three crucial points.

Pellegrini loses a key player

As revealed by Mundo Deportivo, the mood in the Verdiblancos’ camp is not all positive ahead of the game against Real Madrid.

For starters, Real Betis dropped two key points against last-placed Almeria in their most recent match. Considering that their opponent on the night had not won a single game all season, the two lost points come as a big miss.

Further, Manuel Pellegrini lost a key player for the team’s clash against Real Madrid in the game against Almeria.

Hector Bellerin was sent off in just the 27th minute of the game for a dangerous tackle on Adri Embarba, earning him a direct red card.

He will thus be unavailable for selection against Real Madrid, depriving Pellegrini of his first-choice right-back. Aitor Ruibal, in all probability, is expected to take his place on the field.

Ancelotti in similar waters

While Real Betis will be without their key right-back, Real Madrid are concurrently in a world of pain of their own in terms of player availability.

For starters, Ancelotti lost his first-choice right-back, Dani Carvajal, through a calf injury and his participation on the night is under a cloud of doubt.

Further, the likes of Eduardo Camavinga, Aurelien Tchouameni, Arda Guler, and Vinicius Jr continue to be unavailable apart from the list of long-term injuries.

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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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