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Real Madrid ‘surprised’ by the low Ballon d’Or rankings of superstar trio – report




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.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool monitoring 19-year-old Bundesliga wonderkid – Romano



Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

According to Fabrizio Romano, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Liverpool are all monitoring Bayer Leverkusen and Germany wonderkid Florian Wirtz.

After recovering from his ACL injury, the teenage sensation has been slowly working his way back to his best form. So far this term, Wirtz has managed to rack up a tally of two goals and six assists from 13 matches in all competitions.

The 19-year-old’s talent and potential have never been in question and hence it does not come as a surprise that elite clubs such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Liverpool are all keeping tabs on the German international.

A versatile attacking midfielder, Wirtz is capable of playing anywhere in the final third of the pitch and backs up with top-notch end product. Be it as a false-nine or in a more withdrawn role, the youngster has excelled for Bayer Leverkusen, catching the attention of top teams.

Real Madrid, for their part, are also understood to be among Wirtz’s admirers. Given the situation surrounding Karim Benzema’s fitness and the lack of backup at the top, the youngster could be an option, as he has shown potential while operating through the middle.

But Barcelona also have a strong interest in the teenager with reports even suggesting that they have already made contact with his father to enquire about his situation.

At the same time, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is understood to be a huge admirer of his fellow German and with Roberto Firmino on his way out, Wirtz could be lined up as a possible replacement.

However, Romano adds that the expectation is that Wirtz could stay at Bayer Leverkusen for one more year and depart Germany once the UEFA Euro 2024 is out of the way.

For now, there have been talks or negotiations with any clubs, but Real Madrid, Barcelona and Liverpool are all tracking Wirtz and his progress in Germany.

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