Karim Benzema made headlines by becoming only the second player after Luka Modric to secure the Ballon d’Or crown apart from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo since 2007.
The event, in fact, was dominated by Real Madrid players, with Vinicius Junior ranking eighth, Modric ranking ninth and Thibaut Courtois finishing seventh in the final list.
Although Courtois was handed the prestigious Yashin trophy for being the best-performing goalkeeper in Europe, a report from Diario AS (h/t Madrid Xtra) suggests Real Madrid were ‘surprised’ over the rankings of the Belgian international, along with Modric and Vinicius.
Vinicius, for one, was one of the top performers in Europe last season, racking up 22 goals and 20 assists. His 11 goal involvements in the Champions League played a key role in helping the Whites secure the coveted trophy.
However, the Brazilian was ranked eighth, even below the likes of Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne. The same goes for Luka Modric, who was one of the lynchpins of the Real Madrid midfield and played a key role in offering technical quality in the middle of the park.
As for Courtois, he was by far the best-performing goalkeeper in Europe last season and was rightly awarded the Yashin trophy. However, Real Madrid believe the Belgian should have been ranked much higher on the list, with the 29-year-old himself being left unhappy with his position.
The Merengues were surprised by their being ranked the third-best team in Europe behind Manchester City and Liverpool.
However, at the end of the day, the club can feel satisfied with the performances of their players this past season, especially with Benzema emerging in the spotlight with his landmark triumph.
Real Madrid maintain full confidence in Turkish starlet despite injury woes
Arda Guler’s Real Madrid stint has not gotten off to the start he would have hoped to have given the expectation that preceded the transfer.
Having joined in the summer after Real Madrid outbid their competition to win him over from Fenerbahce for a 20-million-euro fee, buzz was high as the winger was expected to slot into the team quite seamlessly, albeit on a rotational basis.
Unfortunately for the 18-year-old, he has been constantly marred by injuries since completing the move.
Reports have stated that after Guler picked up his third injury since his move, Real Madrid have been concerned and want to take things slow with the player to ensure he is fit as soon as possible after an injury to his quadriceps this time.
The Turk is yet to make his competitive debut for the club, and Real Madrid even sacked their medical chief in November, in light of their injury crises since the beginning of the season.
No loan deal for Guler
However, according to Fabrizio Romano in a recent YouTube video, he states that Madrid maintain full trust and patience in the youngster.
Despite his bad luck with injuries, the latest of which he is scheduled to return from after Christmas, the Galacticos have no intention of loaning out Guler to Turkish clubs despite lots of speculation of them doing so of late.
Romano states that Madrid remain firm on not shaking things up too much with the squad, and they want to keep their roster stable, including Arda Guler.
They want to extend their full support and protection to the player as he aims to return to full fitness and finally make his bow for Madrid either by the end of this month or in 2024.