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Real Madrid 24-year-old star to replace Jude Bellingham against Osasuna

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Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

If Jude Bellingham’s red card against Valencia was silly in itself, imposing a two-game ban on the Real Madrid protege took it a step too far. After all, he was only protesting against what was a fair goal disallowed.

The English international sat out Los Blancos’ clash against Celta Vigo last weekend and is set to miss today’s game against Osasuna as well. While it is a big blow for Carlo Ancelotti’s side, the squad does have some very strong backups in the position.

Option Diaz

As revealed by AS, Brahim Diaz will start as the attacking midfielder for Real Madrid at Estadio El Sadar tonight. After all, he replaced Bellingham even last weekend and did a good job at filling the void.

The Spanish media outlet goes on to reveal that the Spanish-Moroccan star has replaced Bellingham in each of the nine games that the English phenom missed thus far. He is, in that sense, Ancelotti’s trusted backup for a key position.

Bellingham has missed two games through voluntary resting, three games through an ankle injury, two games through suspension, and two games via his shoulder dislocation this season.

Brahim to replace Bellingham vs Osasuna. (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images)

Of the nine games, Los Blancos won eight and drew one, boasting an 89% win rate with Diaz as the attacking midfielder.

Today’s game will take that count to ten, and it is safe to say that Brahim has excelled in all of his opportunities. He has scored four goals and provided two assists in La Liga this season in addition to creating seven big chances.

In the news

It has been a very eventful week for Diaz, one that has seen him grab the media headlines for multiple days at a stretch,

After all, the Real Madrid star finally put to bed his long-standing dilemma over his international future by selecting the Moroccan international team over La Roja.

“Brahim is an important player for any team and he has chosen well because Morocco is a great team,” Carlo Ancelotti said about the youngster in last night’s press conference, and it is clear that he trusts the player deeply.

Diaz will link up with the Moroccan side for the first time later this month then the international break commences. Needless to say, he will hope to exit on a high.

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Real Madrid News

Toni Kroos opens up on retirement decision – ‘I am sad at the moment’

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Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Real Madrid have the opportunity to make this a historic season by lifting their 15th UEFA Champions League title.

But even in the event Madrid gets their hands on the trophy, the conclusion of the season will leave a bittersweet feeling as Toni Kroos is set to depart the club.

The German midfielder was urged to continue plying his trade in the Spanish Capital for another season since his timeless quality is yet to fade away, but Kroos remained firm on his decision.

Kroos opens up about retirement

Now, reflecting on his imminent departure from the club he has played 464 games with, Kroos has opened up about how the decision came about and his thought process.

“I am sad at the moment. Something that defined me, that gave so much fun and gave me so many positive memories is coming to an end,” Kroos professed on his podcast.

Kroos plays his final home game for Real Madrid tomorrow. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

However, he claims there is a slight silver lining about the news becoming public, as there is no more pressure on him to constantly answer questions about his future and focus solely on finishing his career in the best way possible.

“I am happy that the news is out. It is a relief because a lot of people were speculating and I didn’t feel like answering questions about my future all the time,” Kroos claimed.

The veteran midfielder adds that retiring was never a clear-cut decision as his emotions fluctuated frequently.

“Retiring was never a 100-0 decision. The feelings swing in other directions, in the days at the end it was maybe a 80-20 or 70-30 decision. And that 30% is what makes you feel something,” he said.

Furthermore, Kroos reveals that he shared the news of his retirement to Ancelotti first and foremost, then relayed his decision to his teammates.

“I told Carlo [Ancelotti] first that I’m retiring. Then the club, then Luka [Modric], Fede [Valverde], Lucas [Vazquez]…” he exclaimed.

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