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Real Madrid talisman a Ballon d’Or contender admits Bayern Munich ace – ‘No one expected…’

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Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the UEFA Champions League semi-final second-leg tie between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, Manuel Neuer has admitted that Jude Bellingham is a contender to win the Ballon d’Or.

The 20-year-old Real Madrid midfielder has enjoyed a brilliant debut season at Real Madrid, having arrived from Borussia Dortmund last summer.

The Englishman has been one of the driving forces behind Los Blancos’ success this season, along with Vinicius Jr.

And Neuer, who has seen Bellingham from close quarters in the Bundesliga, admitted that the England star is a genuine candidate to win the Ballon d’Or.

“Yes, Jude can win the Ballon d’Or, if you go all the way to the end of any competition you are a candidate. But it also depends on England’s performance in the summer,” said Neuer.

“In Germany, we know well how Jude plays, his transfer to Madrid made sense and he has arrived here like a bombshell.”

Adding that very few expected Bellingham to score so many goals upon arriving in Madrid, Neuer remarked:

“He is playing higher up than at BVB, but no one expected him to score so many goals, that after Benzema a player like him would arrive for Madrid’s attacking football. Everyone at Bayern knows him from the Bundesliga and we know he can make a difference.”

Ballon d’Or contender. (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images)

The German goalkeeper then added that even though Bellingham will be a threat, he expects Bayern Munich striker Harry Kane to be the deciding factor.

At the same time, he also added that Real Madrid have many dangerous players and focusing one just one or two would not bode well for the Bavarians, saying:

“It’s hard for me to choose just one player from Madrid. There’s Jude, Vini, but many players can make a difference.”

On playing at the Bernabeu

Neuer also acknowledged that playing at the Santiago Bernabeu is a special feeling for any player, while also adding that the stadium looks exceptional after the renovation.

“The stadium is impressive. I already knew it from other times, but now it has something special, historic, and I think there is no better stadium in the world to play in. We are very happy to be here,” he said.

“We’ve all had a dream, we’ve thought about Madrid, this stadium and the possibility of reaching the final and winning the Champions League. We are all aware of this reality. We still have one last step to go,” the goalkeeper added.

Source: MARCA

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Real Madrid News

‘Me and Zizou…’ – Toni Kroos teases iconic team-up for Real Madrid Legends team

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Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has said that during a recent training session, he bumped into Raul, a former striker and current Castilla manager, who confessed to him that he did not like his decision to retire from the game.

The midfielder added that he would now be interested in playing the Legends match where the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Roberto Carlos and Raul participate. 

The veteran admitted that playing alongside these legends one day would be quite exciting.

“When I left the training yesterday, Raul was outside. He told me that he did not like the decision at first but found something positive because now I’m definitely playing this legends game with him,” said Kroos on his podcast

“He said I had to be there. Me and Zizou playing behind him, Figo on the right, and RC3 (Roberto Carlos) at the back. That could be funny,” he added.

Life after Toni Kroos

Toni Kroos would love to play with Zinedine Zidane. (Photo credit: GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

During the early hours of Tuesday, May 21, Kroos announced that he would retire from professional football after the upcoming European Championship in his home country.

As a result, Real Madrid now have to work on an alternate strategy to plan life beyond Kroos. As suggested before, the Los Blancos are of the idea that at present, there is no one in the market who can fill the void.

On the other hand, though, Dani Ceballos’ chances of staying have now increased. At the same time, there are reports that Joshua Kimmich is being monitored, but nothing seems concrete yet.

For now, Real Madrid are largely expected to rely on the current roster as the likes of Aurelien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga, Federico Valverde and even Jude Bellingham are more than capable of occupying Kroos’ position.

If even that does not work out, the team from the Spanish capital can look into the youth system to rope in a capable alternative.

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