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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 teenage talent faces uncertain future following increase in competition

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Journalist Jordi Gil has reported through SPORT that Arda Guler’s situation at Real Madrid is becoming increasingly difficult. 

This is because Guler is unhappy with the lack of playing time he experienced last season and is determined not to spend another season on the bench.

During the recently concluded Euro 2024, Guler demonstrated his immense talent to the world. This competition gave him the platform to showcase his abilities, which had largely remained unseen during the season at Real Madrid. 

He only featured in a few games towards the end of the season, which were inconsequential as Real Madrid had already secured the league title.

Guler has injuries to blame

Guler’s troubles began early last season when he suffered an injury during the American tour. This setback, combined with the challenge of adapting to a new language and style of football, made it difficult for him to find his footing. 

Although Carlo Ancelotti tried to support him mentally, he did not provide Guler with enough opportunities to play.

Arda Guler wants to have more game time.(Photo by JORGE GUERRERO/AFP via Getty Images)

The youngest is now determined not to let history repeat itself. He is willing to force a move, possibly through a loan, if he does not get more playing time, even though Real Madrid want him in the first team

This situation could escalate if Guler continues to see himself as the last option in the squad. Milan and Bayer Leverkusen have already expressed interest in him.

Guler is way down the pecking order

Currently, Guler is behind several high-profile players in the pecking order. Stars like Kylian Mbappe, Vinicius Jr, and Rodrygo are ahead of him. 

Additionally, Brahim Diaz has the edge, and in midfield, Guler faces competition from Jude Bellingham. Breaking into the starting lineup seems like an almost impossible task at the moment, even though he proved his worth at the Euros.

Meanwhile, it is said that Florentino Perez has great faith in him. Perez wants to see Guler succeed at Real Madrid, but the challenge now lies with Ancelotti in managing the team. 

Benching established stars to give playing time to a young prospect like Guler could create tension in the dressing room.

Real Madrid have a surplus of attacking options. The arrival of Mbappe has brought renewed hope to Real Madrid fans, but the significant investment in the French star might disrupt the harmony within the squad that Ancelotti has worked hard to maintain. 

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