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Schweinsteiger defends Real Madrid star after Germany World Cup exit

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(Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Germany’s 4-2 win over Costa Rica last night was not enough to seal qualification to the Round of 16. Thanks to Japan’s win over Spain, the Germans ended up third in the group.

This is the second time in a row Die Mannschaft have been eliminated from the group stages of the World Cup. And in light of the result, German footballing legend Bastian Schweinsteiger has voiced his displeasure with the result.

Schweinsteiger has taken a tig at the German defenders, in particular, as the team has collectively conceded five goals in three matches. But the former Bayern Munich midfielder, though, has praised Antonio Rudiger, labeling him as the only good defender in the team.

“We have only one high-level defender and that is Antonio Rudiger,” he told ARD (h/t DW Sports).

Widely considered one of the best German midfielders of the 21st century, Schweinsteiger went on to criticize the other defenders in the squad, suggesting that they lack the experience and exposure to high-level football.

“The others are all just Bundesliga quality,” he remarked. Schweinsteiger’s comments come in the midst of widespread criticism over the performances of some of the German defenders including Borussia Dortmund duo Niklas Sule and Nico Schlotterbeck.

Rudiger, on the other hand, was one of the consistent performers over the past three matches, using his experience and leadership qualities to steady the ship at the back. However, he did have a few sloppy moments against Costa Rica last night.

But with Germany eliminated, the former Chelsea center-back is set for an early return to the Real Madrid camp. He is set to accompany Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard, whose Belgium side was also eliminated following a draw with Croatia.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid face Premier League, Saudi Arabia competition for free transfer target

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid are set to welcome two new stars this summer, Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, but the Merengues are keen on further bolstering their squad.

Owing to the embarrassment of riches Real Madrid possess in midfield, replacing Toni Kroos with a new signing in midfield is not seen as an immediate priority.

Nonetheless, interesting opportunities will invariably be evaluated closely and it appears the name of Adrien Rabiot has entered the club’s crosshairs.

Real Madrid not the only ones interested

But, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Real Madrid face stiff competition from Premier League clubs and Saudi Arabian teams in their pursuit of midfielder Adrien Rabiot.

The French midfielder is set to become a free agent if he chooses not to renew his contract with Juventus, a decision that seems increasingly likely.

Rabiot set to become a free agent this summer. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Known for his technical prowess and versatility, Rabiot excels at playing multiple roles in midfield and notably thriving as a goal threat with late runs inside the opposition box that tend to catch opponents off guard.

While Real Madrid have no shortage of quality in midfield, Dani Ceballos’ exit could pave the way for the 29-year-old to secure a signing for Los Blancos.

However, Real Madrid would have to outmanoeuvre both the financial prowess of Saudi Arabian teams and the competitive allure of Premier League clubs to secure Rabiot’s signature.

On top of that, Juventus are also not giving up on their efforts to try and renew the contract of the French international.

In any case, Rabiot is unlikely to be a priority target for the club but they will be sure to keep a close eye on how his situation develops.

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