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Real Madrid superstar the most fouled player in Europe’s top seven leagues this season

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Brazilian magic is a treat to the eye for all admirers of the game. However, in a game of football, it is quite understandable as to why the South American cheekiness and urge to provoke the opposition does not fare well.

Mundo Deportivo brings to the surface a list of players who have received the most fouls in Europe’s top seven leagues this season. Unsurprisingly, the first two places on the list go to Brazilians.

Neymar Jr is the second most fouled player in the world of football and has been at the receiving end of 59 such actions so far. There is, however, a sizeable gap between him and Real Madrid’s Vinicius Jr who sits atop the undesirable list.

The Spanish outlet report that the Merengues’ player has been the victim of a whopping 79 fouls this season in just 20 La Liga games.

Taken in another sense, the statistic is a compliment to Vinicius’ ability to make a difference on the field. Given how difficult it is to stop the youngster once he starts dribbling, defences are often forced to take the harsh approach.

Vinicius has been targeted repeatedly by opponents this season, while the winger has also been subjected to racist insults on several occasions by opposition fans. The Brazilian was at the receiving end of a dangerous tackle from Gabriel Paulista during the game against Valencia last week.

It was the same case against Mallorca as well on Sunday afternoon. Notably, he was once again the prey for ten fouls in Real Madrid’s most recent game against Mallorca.

Fouls are a part and parcel of football, but it is up to the officials to ensure that they are kept within the limit. This is where Real Madrid clashes with the referees, for they feel the officiating must be stricter than currently enforced.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jules

    February 7, 2023 at 12:10 pm

    This only works because the Spanish referees are biased against non Spanish players and only give free kicks without cards against Spanish players who commit the foul against vini. A few yellow cards would stop unnecessary fouls against Vini

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti’s dilemma: How will he handle a fully fit defense next season?

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Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Real Madrid’s manager, Carlo Ancelotti, is set to face a challenging situation in restructuring his defence for the upcoming season and that is largely down to key players like David Alaba and Eder Militao are returning to full fitness. 

Interestingly, this situation might put Antonio Rudiger’s spot in the starting lineup under significant pressure.

Back when Rudiger joined Real Madrid he was supposed to strengthen a defence already featuring Alaba and Militao. Despite their young age, these two had firmly established themselves in the team. 

Over the past two years, however, Ancelotti has consistently relied on the duo, with Rudiger and Nacho serving as their main substitutes. 

A big decision awaits Ancelotti

As the new season approaches, Ancelotti faces a dilemma similar to the one he had with goalkeepers Andriy Lunin and Thibaut Courtois. A similar situation is likely to unfold with Rudiger and Militao vying for the right centre-back position.

It must be remembered that Militao suffered an untimely injury last season, prompting Ancelotti to choose Rudiger over Nacho, who, although right-footed, is also adept on the left side. 

Carlo Ancelotti needs to assess his defensive duo for next season. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)

As the season progressed, Rudiger proved his worth, becoming a mainstay in the defense. His physical strength, bravery, and aerial prowess made him a reliable choice. 

His ability to play out from the back earned him the respect and confidence of his teammates, overshadowing Militao’s absence.

Rudiger’s importance has grown

Rudiger’s importance grew further when Alaba got injured in December. He became the cornerstone of the defence, often partnering with Nacho or Aurelien Tchouameni. Even when Rudiger played on the left side, the defensive structure remained solid.

When Militao returned in the last month and a half of the season, he struggled to regain his previous form. The long recovery period left emotional scars, and he was not the same player he had been before the injury. 

Consequently, Ancelotti opted to keep Rudiger in the lineup for crucial matches towards the end of the season.

With the new season on the horizon, Rudiger’s strong performances will present a significant challenge for Ancelotti. 

As Alaba also returns from injury, Ancelotti will have to decide who among Rudiger, Militao, and Alaba will be benched. 

Rudiger has proven his capability, often outperforming the Brazilian, whose post-injury form is still uncertain. 

Adding to the competition, Real Madrid might sign Leni Yoro and even Rafa Marin could return from his loan spell which could further complicate Ancelotti’s decisions.

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