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Real Madrid superstar turned down Barcelona before arriving at the Santiago Bernabeu



Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images

Karim Benzema made history last evening by becoming the first Frenchman to win the Ballon d’Or after Zinedine Zidane. As poetic justice, he was handed the prestigious trophy by none other than Zidane himself at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris.

With the Real Madrid forward also becoming the second player, apart from Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, to win the Ballon d’Or since 2007, it goes without saying that the focus will be on Benzema over the coming weeks.

Now, Mundo Deportivo has offered insights into the early stages of his footballing career, where he was almost on the verge of signing for Real Madrid’s arch-rivals FC Barcelona.

The incident dates back to 2008 when then Barcelona sporting director Txiki Begiristain had gone to Lyon in an attempt to sign Benzema. He was 20 years old at the time and was coming on the back of an excellent 2007/08 Ligue 1 campaign that saw him score 20 goals.

The Barcelona representative, led by Begiristain, was even left impressed by Benzema’s performances. They saw shades of Ronaldo in the player and wanted to secure his services in the summer of 2008.

However, upon meeting Begiristain, Benzema’s representatives and indeed the player himself suggested that he was too young to take such a big step in his career. As such, the Barcelona team returned to Catalonia without signing the Frenchman.

But the following year, Benzema ultimately signed for Real Madrid for a fee of €35 million. It was a well-calculated risk by president Florentino Perez that has turned out to be one of the club’s best signings in recent decades, as the attacker has since scored 328 goals in 615 competitive matches for Los Blancos.

The 34-year-old scored a goal as Real Madrid beat Barcelona 3-1 to go to the top of the La Liga standings this past Sunday.

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Real Madrid News

Brazilian national team ‘dreaming’ of working with Ancelotti – Romano



Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

According to Fabrizio Romano, the Brazilian national team are ‘dreaming’ of appointing Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti as their next manager.

The Selecao decided to part ways with Tite after the team underdelivered in the FIFA World Cup 2022. Ramon Menezes has taken charge of the senior team for the time being until a permanent appointment is made.

And, the Brazil Football Confederation is clear about who their preferred target is. Ancelotti has been heavily linked with the South American nation in recent months and comments from players like Ederson, Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Jr have only served to further fuel the rumours.

Now, Romano is claiming that Brazil dream of naming Ancelotti as their manager and are hoping that he will be parting ways with Real Madrid at the end of the season.

As far as the situation at the club is concerned, Romano states that Real Madrid are working hard to protect Ancelotti from external pressure as they want him to remain focused on winning the UEFA Champions League this season.

The Italian tactician remains in 100% control of the team at the moment and the club are trying to shield him from external factors.

However, at the same time, trophies are a must at a club of this stature and hence, Romano adds that Real Madrid have a potential list of candidates to take over.

Thomas Tuchel was among the names on the list, but has signed for Bayern Munich. Raul Gonzalez, currently in charge of the Castilla team, is also being looked at along with former Tottenham and PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino.

As of now, Ancelotti remains in control of things at Real Madrid and any decision on his future will only be made at the end of the season. And, Brazil are lying in wait to pounce if an opportunity to sign the Italian manager presents itself.

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