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Real Madrid in-form star has made Carlo Ancelotti question his starting XI decision – report

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Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Real Madrid could not extend their winning streak against Real Betis, with the team dropping two crucial points.

However, some bright spots existed in the game, with Andriy Lunin particularly standing out between the sticks.

Previous reports argued that Ancelotti would not meddle with the hierarchy and that Kepa Arrizabalaga would remain the starting goalkeeper once he returns from injury

But Lunin is forcing Ancelotti to reconsider the initial plan as the competition for the starting spot has created a healthy dilemma for the manager.

Lunin fighting for his spot

Indeed, according to MARCA, though the starter was always going to be Kepa, Andriy Lunin’s performances have caused Carlo Ancelotti to reevaluate his choices; it is no longer a simple one.

Against Betis, the Merengues could not grab all three points, but the Ukrainian enjoyed a solid outing in goal.

With a total of five saves, he was responsible for preventing a myriad of threatening shots. An incredible save in the first half with quick reflexes particularly stood out.

While he was also forced to pick the ball out of his net, the goal came as a result of a flawlessly placed finish from full-back Aitor Rubial who struck the side netting from range.

Now, in light of his excellent form, Kepa is no longer assured a red carpet to the starting XI, with the competition intensifying.

Lunin in search of more minutes

The 24-year-old has been reportedly intent on securing a starting role and may even consider a departure to solidify greater minutes.

Although another extension is a possibility, Lunin will be looking to split ways if there is a shortage of starting possibilities.

With the club also aware of his recent performances, Ancelotti has a difficult decision on his hands.

Despite Kepa Arrizabalaga arriving as the first-choice replacement for the injured Thibaut Courtois, Lunin’s recent performances have shifted the dynamics completely.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Patrick Julien

    December 12, 2023 at 3:44 am

    Lunin has thoroughly deserved his starts and shoyld remain the starting keeper ynless he gets injured, has a sudden dip in form or Ancelotti introduces a fair rotation system between Lunin and Kepa.

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Real Madrid News

‘Me and Zizou…’ – Toni Kroos teases iconic team-up for Real Madrid Legends team

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Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has said that during a recent training session, he bumped into Raul, a former striker and current Castilla manager, who confessed to him that he did not like his decision to retire from the game.

The midfielder added that he would now be interested in playing the Legends match where the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Roberto Carlos and Raul participate. 

The veteran admitted that playing alongside these legends one day would be quite exciting.

“When I left the training yesterday, Raul was outside. He told me that he did not like the decision at first but found something positive because now I’m definitely playing this legends game with him,” said Kroos on his podcast

“He said I had to be there. Me and Zizou playing behind him, Figo on the right, and RC3 (Roberto Carlos) at the back. That could be funny,” he added.

Life after Toni Kroos

Toni Kroos would love to play with Zinedine Zidane. (Photo credit: GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

During the early hours of Tuesday, May 21, Kroos announced that he would retire from professional football after the upcoming European Championship in his home country.

As a result, Real Madrid now have to work on an alternate strategy to plan life beyond Kroos. As suggested before, the Los Blancos are of the idea that at present, there is no one in the market who can fill the void.

On the other hand, though, Dani Ceballos’ chances of staying have now increased. At the same time, there are reports that Joshua Kimmich is being monitored, but nothing seems concrete yet.

For now, Real Madrid are largely expected to rely on the current roster as the likes of Aurelien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga, Federico Valverde and even Jude Bellingham are more than capable of occupying Kroos’ position.

If even that does not work out, the team from the Spanish capital can look into the youth system to rope in a capable alternative.

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