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Real Madrid players and Ancelotti to skip Best FIFA Awards to focus on Barcelona clash

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Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images

The Best FIFA Football Awards will take place later tonight in Paris as the governing body will hand out accolades to the top achievers of the game in the year 2022.

And, according to Mario Cortegana of The Athletic, the Real Madrid players and manager Carlo Ancelotti will give the gala a skip to focus on their upcoming game against FC Barcelona.

Los Blancos take on their arch-rivals Barça in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey (first leg) at the Santiago Bernabeu on Thursday night.

And, as per the report, Ancelotti & co. see the match as a ‘final’ and do not want any distractions in the lead-up to the encounter against Xavi Hernandez’s side.

Furthermore, the Merengues do not consider it appropriate to attend such an event at a critical juncture of the season, especially after they failed to defeat neighbours Atletico Madrid in La Liga over the weekend.

As a result, they will not be attending the Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony in Paris tonight. However, Real Madrid’s director of institutional relations, Emilio Butragueno, will likely be present at the function, along with club ambassador Roberto Carlos.

Real Madrid captain Karim Benzema had been nominated for the FIFA Best Men’s Player of the Year Award, but he is set to lose out to Lionel Messi of PSG. Meanwhile, Thibaut Courtois will be pipped to the best goalkeeper award by Messi’s Argentina teammate Emiliano Martinez.

However, Benzema, Courtois and Luka Modric are expected to make it to the FIFPro Best XI, but Antonio Rudiger and Federico Valverde, who were also in the running, will miss out.

The report adds that Real Madrid have been left surprised by the exclusion of Vinicius Jr from the 26-man nomination list for the FIFPro Best XI of the Year despite everything he achieved last season.

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Real Madrid News

Transfer Triumph: In-demand defender picks Real Madrid above other suitors

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Photo by SAMEER AL-DOUMY/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid have received a major transfer boost as Lille defender, Leny Yoro, has chosen to join Los Blancos over other interested clubs, reports Alejandro Alcazar via SPORT.

When Paris Saint-Germain attempted to negotiate a deal with Lille, offering more money than Real Madrid, Yoro made it clear he preferred the Spanish giants. 

Despite PSG’s efforts, including meetings with Yoro’s representatives, they could not convince him to change his mind.

Interestingly, the outlet mentions that Yoro is following a similar path to his compatriot Aurelien Tchouameni, who also chose Real Madrid despite competition from PSG and several Premier League teams. 

Real Madrid really value Yoro

Real Madrid see Yoro as a valuable addition, especially with the recent departure of Nacho. This move has made it crucial for the club to find a reliable replacement, and Yoro is their chosen candidate. 

It is to be noted that Yoro has one year remaining on his contract with Lille, who initially asked for a hefty €100 million transfer fee. 

Leny Yoro has picked Real Madrid over PSG, Liverpool and Man United. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

This amount was considered too high for a player who could leave for free after a year. Lille eventually reduced the asking price to €60 million, an amount that PSG and other clubs like Manchester United and Liverpool were willing to meet. 

However, Real Madrid were not prepared to pay more than €30 million, knowing that Yoro wanted to join them and could do so for free next year.

What is Real Madrid’s strategy?

It is said that Real Madrid’s initial plan was to let Yoro play one more year at Lille and sign him for free in 2025. They were even ready to offer Yoro a special signing bonus, similar to what they did with David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger, which would be added to his salary. 

But Nacho’s departure changed everything. Real Madrid now urgently need a fourth central defender, prompting them to enter negotiations with Lille, something they had previously avoided.

To secure Yoro’s signing this summer, Real Madrid are considering raising their offer to €40 million, including performance-based bonuses. 

Lille might accept this offer, knowing that Yoro could either join Real Madrid now or stay for another year and leave for free.

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