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Real Madrid rising star tipped to win Ballon d’Or by Premier League icon

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Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images for Laureus

The Ballon d’Or, for a long time, has been dominated by two names – Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. In recent years, the Argentine ace extended his count of the accolade to eight, even winning the latest iteration of the award.

With both stars now no longer in Europe, it is time for the award to find its next worthy winner. All of a sudden, the question of who will take home the accolade stares an uncertain future.

Considering the situation in the UEFA Champions League, Kylian Mbappe, Jude Bellingham, Vinicius Jr, and Harry Kane stand as top candidates.

English legend has his say

Former Premier League star and renowned pundit Joe Cole was recently quizzed in rapid fire as to whom he had winning various accolades this season.

When asked about who he saw taking home the prestigious Ballon d’Or for this season, the Chelsea legend did not hesitate in naming Real Madrid’s breakout star as his pick.

“Who’s gonna win Ballon d’Or? Jude Bellingham,” he said via TNT Sports.

Next Ballon d’Or winner? (Photo by Borja B. Hojas/Getty Images)

The Premier League icon’s claim of Bellingham taking home the award is not entirely far-fetched, especially if Real Madrid take home La Liga and the UEFA Champions League this season.

After all, the youngster has been the face of Carlo Ancelotti’s side this season.

Notably, however, Cole picked Kylian Mbappe’s PSG as his favourite to win the UCL as part of the same interaction, partly contradicting his own Ballon d’Or pick.

Back for the UCL

Jude Bellingham missed Real Madrid’s clash against Real Sociedad yesterday owing to an attack of gastro-enteritis which forced him to initially miss out on a place in the squad.

While he did eventually join the squad later, the Englishman did not play any part on the night for the men in white.

Considering that the team go up against Bayern Munich next, however, the player is better rested for Los Blancos will require the English phenom’s best version when they take to the field next week.

As a player who has grown up in the Bundesliga and taking on Bayern Munich regularly, Bellingham boasts of valuable experience for the semifinal tie.

If he can recover his best version in time, the advantage will lie with Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

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Real Madrid News

PSG president wanted Real Madrid to bear Mbappe’s €80 million loyalty bonus

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

It is only a matter of days before Kylian Mbappe is officially confirmed as a Real Madrid player.

The French superstar announced his departure from PSG as a free agent recently and even though nothing is official yet, everything points to him arriving at the Spanish capital club.

An official announcement and presentation are expected to take place sometime before the UEFA Euro 2024 starts.

While the move is all but done, it appears that PSG, in particular president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, are left with a bitter taste over Mbappe’s imminent exit.

Al-Khelaifi wanted Real Madrid to pay €80 million

As has already been reported, Al-Khelaifi tried to convince Mbappe to snub Real Madrid by presenting various arguments which had no effect.

Now, French publication L’Equipe has brought forth a report which claims that the PSG president simply cannot accept the fact that Mbappe is joining Real Madrid for free.

And things are now happening behind the scenes which suggest that the Frenchman’s departure will be far from smooth and amicable.

Indeed, as per the report, PSG have not paid Mbappe his salary for the month of April as well as an additional bonus he was due.

This is because of the €80 million loyalty bonus payment that the club had made to the France captain back in February, even though he had waived it off after deciding not to renew his contract.

Headed for an ugly split with PSG. (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images)

In August 2023, after he was frozen out of the team for refusing to extend his contract, Mbapp agreed to give up his loyalty bonus so that PSG do not suffer a huge financial hit as a result of his leaving as a free agent this summer.

However, Al Khelaifi made a U-turn and granted Mbappe the loyalty bonus in February this year, with the caveat that Real Madrid cover the €80 million as compensation for the 25-year-old leaving for free.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, however, refused that demand as he deemed that it was completely out of the question, as the La Liga champions are not obligated to pay for a player who will be out of contract in a few weeks.

A complete breakdown

Things have not been well between Mbappe and Al-Khelaifi ever since the player informed him of his decision to leave PSG.

The report suggests that the pair are no longer on speaking terms and that lawyers are involved in trying to resolve the matter of the unpaid dues.

PSG are looking for written confirmation that their all-time top scorer will waive the €80 million, which he had agreed to in the past, only for the club to make the payment.

As for Mbappe, he wants the money he is owed as part of his salary which was not paid in April.

Al-Khelaifi has not had the best relation with Perez either and this development further escalates the situation.

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