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Real Madrid puzzled over defender being overlooked for Spain national team – report



Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

The current Real Madrid squad has no shortage of experienced leaders who have tasted success in the past.

One of them is Nacho Fernandez, a seasoned defensive veteran that has served as a leader at the back for Real Madrid, despite playing bit-part roles in the team.

The 32-year-old has indeed featured in almost 300 competitive matches for Real Madrid, notably winning five Champions League titles. His presence in the team has been crucial to the club, especially in times of an injury crisis.

Even in his twilight years, Nacho has continued to serve as a key role in the Real Madrid squad under Carlo Ancelotti. He has featured in five league matches this season while playing twice in the UEFA Champions League.

According to Diario AS (h/t Madrid Xtra), the Real Madrid camp are, in fact, baffled by Nacho’s lack of recognition in the Spanish team as they believe his performances have been excellent in the recent past and deserving of a place in the national side.

Despite being one of the most successful defenders in the country, Nacho has represented his nation only 22 times in his career. His last appearance for La Roja came way back in 2018, in a UEFA Nations League contest against England.

Since then, Nacho has often been sidelined, especially under the leadership of Luis Enrique. The former Barcelona tactician has preferred the likes of Inigo Martinez, Pau Torres and even Eric Garcia, in the current defensive setup.

Real Madrid, though, believe Nacho is among the players who should be given the chance in the national team and perhaps even a place in the team for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup.

With years of experience and leadership qualities, the Spaniard could turn out to be a useful addition to the team, as La Roja look to reassert their dominance on the world stage.

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti talks Mendy, Vinicius, Gavi, Tobias, Brazil job ahead of Real Madrid vs Valladolid



Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will be gunning to bounce back to winning ways when they lock horns with Real Valladolid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday afternoon.

Los Blancos were on the receiving end of a 2-1 defeat at the hands of arch-rivals Barcelona the last time they were in action. The result meant that Carlo Ancelotti’s side have now fallen 12 points behind the Catalans in the La Liga title race.

The gap could widen to 15 points given that Barcelona are playing bottom-placed Elche later tonight. So, it becomes imperative for Real Madrid to make sure that there are no more slip-ups if they are to have any hope of pulling off a comeback in the title race.

Ahead of the game at the Bernabeu on Sunday, manager Ancelotti addressed the media, and discussed Ferland Mendy’s fitness situation as well his future amid links to the Brazil national team, among various other things.

On the state of the squad: “We are fine. The internationals are in good shape. We were unlucky to have Mendy injured but we are ready.”

On the speculations about his future and links to replacements: “I’m not surprised that there are these rumours. It doesn’t affect me, it doesn’t worry me. I’m just focused on fulfilling my duties with this club and with this team.

“I’m still here until Real Madrid allow me to stay here. I’m very well and I feel the affection of the president, the fans and the players. We have two months ahead of us and then hopefully we can continue.”

On others’ opinions on the job he is doing: “Everyone can say what they want. I know I have a contract and I want to fulfil it. I don’t know what might happen in the future.”

On the Brazil national team rumours: “The reality is that the Brazilian national team wants me and I love it and I’m very excited about it, but then I have to respect the contract I have and I want to fulfil it.”

On whether he will retire after the Real Madrid job: “No. I’m not thinking about it now.”

On the contract renewals: “The atmosphere at the moment is very calm and very focused on what we have to do. What is being talked about in the press is an outside issue. We hear it but it’s not an issue that worries us. The players know very well what they have to do.”

On whether Vinicius would be treated differently if he played for another club: “If my grandfather had wheels, he would be a cart. There have been problems with Vinicius, Gavi, we must respect the players.”

On Vinicius Tobias: “He is progressing very well and like the rest of the Castilla players we will have to talk about his future when the season is over.”

On injuries: “We have the same problems as in other teams. Mendy has not had a good season. We will replace him well as we did when he was out.”

On Brazil Federation president Ednaldo Rodrigues: “If he wants to talk to me I would love to meet and greet him.”

On Barcelona getting an extra day’s rest ahead of Copa semi-final: “I’m not surprised, it doesn’t bother me. They have an extra day but we have time to recover and there is no problem.”

Source: Real Madrid Twitter

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