Real Madrid have been recently boosted by the return of Luka Modric and Karim Benzema. But while these two lynchpins of the first-team return to action, the club have lost another valuable asset in the form of Dani Ceballos.
According to Sergio Santos (h/t Jorge Picon), the midfielder has picked up a hamstring injury ahead of the Champions League clash against Shakhtar Donetsk.
The initial suggestions regarding his hamstring injury are not positive and everything indicates that the midfielder will not return to the pitch until after the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Nothing has been confirmed as of yet. But Ceballos is expected to undergo an MRI scan on Thursday in order to determine the full extent of the injury. He is likely to be ruled out for a significant period, which could serve as a major headache for coach Carlo Ancelotti.
Ceballos is by no means a regular in Real Madrid’s starting eleven. But he was a pivotal piece to the club’s strength in depth, especially in the midfield unit.
With the strenuous October schedule already underway, the Real Madrid boss will face a difficult time juggling his options, especially with Modric and Toni Kroos staring at the final phase of their respective careers.
Not to mention, Ceballos has performed rather well whenever called upon and is a much more experienced alternative to the likes of Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga.
But with the former Real Betis man ruled out, Real Madrid must look for replacements, either in the market or in the RM Castilla squad.
The subsidiary team’s head coach Raul has recently praised Ancelotti for his conviction in youth development, but whether or not the Italian tactician calls up any of the younger players remains to be seen.
UFC Champion to kick off Real Madrid vs Sevilla, sends message to Mbappe: “Lucky to play for the best club in the world”
Coming on the back of his triumph at UFC, Featherweight champion Ilia Topuria has announced he will take honorary kick-off in the upcoming Real Madrid vs Sevilla in La Liga this weekend.
Topuria confirmed this in a recent press conference in the Spanish capital this midweek.
A self-proclaimed Madridista, Topuria expressed his deep connection with the club and even sent a message to Kylian Mbappe, who is widely expected to join the club on a free transfer this summer.
Ilia Topuria: A hardcore Madridista
Ilia Topuria did not hold back his affection for Real Madrid, stating, “For me, the team that represents the values of Spain the most is Real Madrid.”
The Georgian-Spaniard UFC champion went on to confirm that he will meet Florentino Perez on Sunday and take the kick-off.
“I’m going to meet Florentino Perez on Sunday and take the kick-off,” he said (h/t Mundo Deportivo).
Although born in Germany, Topuria made Spain proud last Saturday when he beat Alexander Volkanovski in the second round. In the process, he became the first fighter from Spain to capture a UFC belt.
Topuria’s triumph has granted him overnight success in Spain, with the 27-year-old even becoming a cultural icon for many.
Topuria’s message for Mbappe
Other than professing his love for Real Madrid, Ilia Topuria also had a message for Mbappe.
When asked about the Frenchman potentially joining Real Madrid this summer, he said, “Welcome. He’s lucky to play for the best club in the world.”
Real Madrid, for their part, also congratulated Topuria on his triumph. “Congratulations on your historic triumph for Spanish sport, Ilia Topuria. We are proud that a great Real Madrid fan like you becomes UFC world champion,” the club posted on X.
Real Madrid fans, meanwhile, will be excited to witness Topuria taking the honorary kickoff as Los Blancos take on Sevilla this weekend, with three crucial points on the line.