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Silverware in sight: Benzema, Ancelotti leading the race for FIFA Best awards

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Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

Of all the teams in Europe, it is fair to say that Real Madrid have had the most successful season. Not only did they win La Liga with a dominating lead of 13 points but also decimated teams like Manchester City, Chelsea, PSG and Liverpool en route to their UEFA Champions League title.

With such prestigious silverware in the bag, there is little doubt that individual awards this season will be showered on Los Blancos’ players and management.

According to reports from Eurosport (h/t Madrid Xtra on Twitter), Karim Benzema is the favourite to win the FIFA Best player award of the season. Moreover, Carlo Ancelotti is said to be leading the race to win the FIFA Best coach award for the year.

Very few players can claim to challenge Benzema for any individual awards this season. The Frenchman was in superb form and consistently produced an impact when the team needed it most.

His 15 goals and two assists in the UCL coupled with 27 goals and 12 assists in La Liga speak volumes about his imperious form.

Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah were said to be strong competitors to Benzema, but Real Madrid’s UCL final win over Liverpool leaves no room for doubts.

The Frenchman is also the heavy favourite to win the Ballon d’Or this season with several legends including Thierry Henry calling out France Football to hand it to Benzema.

Meanwhile, Ancelotti’s return to Real Madrid as the manager has been nothing short of a fairytale. In 56 games since his return in 2021, the team have won 39 and lost only on nine occasions. Moreover, they average close to 2.3 points per game.

Ancelotti also created managerial history by becoming the first manager to win all of the top five leagues in Europe, and the manager with the most continental titles.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid closely following the progress of 19-year-old Brazilian centre-back

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Photo by ABDULMONAM EASSA/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid have made it a habit to identify and sign the best young talents from Brazil in recent times. The Merengues recently signed Endrick Felipe from Palmeiras, although the striker will join the club in 2024, once he turns 18 years old.

Now, according to journalist Bruno Andrade on UOL Esporte, Real Madrid have set their sights on 19-year-old Brazilian defender Robert Renan.

The teenage centre-half came through the ranks at Corinthians and went on to make 13 senior appearances for the Brazilian outfit. He left the club last month to sign for Russian giants Zenit St. Petersburg as part of the operation involving Yuri Alberto.

Renan is yet to make his debut for Zenit, but Real Madrid have had their eyes on the 19-year-old for a while now and have been closely following his progress and performances.

The teenage defender is currently a part of the Brazil U-20 team at the South American U-20 Championship in Colombia. And he has performed admirably in the tournament, featuring in each of his team’s five matches so far.

Renan’s performances in the U-20 Championship are said to have further piqued the interest of Real Madrid.

The report suggests that Los Blancos will continue keeping tabs on the young defender’s development at Zenit over the coming months.

With Nacho Fernandez’s contract expiring at the end of the season and Jesus Vallejo’s future uncertain as well, Real Madrid could use a defensive reinforcement in the summer to support Eder Militao, David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger.

Established players such as Josko Gvardiol have been linked with a move to the Bernabeu.

Renan, too, could be an option for Real Madrid in the summer. But, as things stand, the interest in the Brazilian is at a very nascent stage and the Merengues will continue to track his progress at Zenit, where his contract runs until 2028.

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