As Real Madrid travel downtown to face Girona on Tuesday, Carlo Ancelotti has a long list of absentees. Most of the players excluded miss the game through fitness struggles but Dani Ceballos sits out owing to suspension.
The Spanish midfielder was far from prominent under Ancelotti in the initial months of the season.
But the manner in which the midfielder has turned around his situation over the past few months is inspiring. Ceballos is now a regular rotation player under the Italian tactician and is the manager’s first-choice backup in the advanced midfield.
According to reports from Sergio Santos (h/t Madrid Zone), Ceballos’ consistent performances have not gone unnoticed. His renewal at the club is now closer than ever and an official offer from the club is imminent.
Ceballos’ current contract with Real Madrid expires at the end of the season. And Los Blancos will offer him a deal for either three or five years and hope to complete negotiations this week. However, the official announcement will only be made after the season.
Ceballos’ display against Villarreal in the stunning Copa de Rey comeback is said to be the turning point that convinced the club offices to renew him.
Los Blancos quickly went 2-0 down in the first half against the Yellow Submarines on the night at Estadio de la Ceramica.
However, Ceballos came on in the 56th minute and almost immediately provided the assist for Vinicius’ goal to make it 2-1. Four minutes from time, he got onto the end of Asensio’s assist to net Real Madrid’s winning goal.
In 23 La Liga appearances for the Merengues this season, the midfielder has provided two assists. Further, he averages 1.1 key passes per game and completes 92% of his passes.
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.