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Thibaut Courtois has been ruled out of Real Madrid vs Barcelona

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Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

In a bitter blow for Real Madrid, first-choice goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has been ruled out of El Clasico against Barcelona on Sunday afternoon.

This report comes from MARCA after the Belgian was not spotted in training with the rest of the team earlier today.

Courtois has not played a single game for Real Madrid since the international break as he has been suffering from sciatica. As a result, he has not played against Osasuna, Getafe and the double-header versus Shakhtar Donetsk.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti had insisted earlier this week that he expected the Belgian goalkeeper to return to training this Thursday. However, the 29-year-old was not seen back yesterday and he has not been spotted today either.

The recovery has seemingly not progressed at the expected speed and Courtois’ involvement for the Clasico depended on how he felt today. But with the former Chelsea ace not back in training it is clear that he is still not ready to make a return to on-field action.

It has now effectively ruled him out of perhaps Real Madrid’s biggest match of the ongoing campaign. With Courtois unavailable, the pressure will be on Andriy Lunin to step up and deliver for the reigning champions of Spain and Europe on Sunday at the Bernabeu.

While Courtois is set to miss out, there is some positive for Real Madrid as Antonio Rudiger was back in training. The German defender picked up a nasty facial injury against Shakhtar, but has seemingly recovered and was spotted training with his teammates without a mask.

That is indeed good news for Ancelotti & co., but the absence of Courtois will be a blow given how the Belgian has always come up clutch in the biggest of matches over the past year.

With Ancelotti regarding the upcoming El Clasico as a final, having the Belgian shot-stopper would have been a huge confidence-booster. But, Real Madrid will now have to make do without their No. 1 on Sunday when Barcelona visit.

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Real Madrid News

Spain midfielder credits Real Madrid assistant manager for career success

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Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Spain’s European Championship campaign so far has been one filled with revelations. From young Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams on the wings to the ever-so-solid midfield, La Roja have impressed across the park and have taken the tournament by storm.

One such player who has played a critical role for the team despite not being in many pundits’ squad for the tournament is Fabian Ruiz. The PSG midfielder has been sensational for Luis de la Fuente’s men so far, scoring once and providing one assist in two games.

Despite not having any direct links with Real Madrid, the Spanish midfielder interestingly credits Davide Ancelotti for his success and AS brings the story.

A chapter in Naples

Fabian Ruiz may have never played for Los Blancos in his career so far, but he crossed paths with the Ancelottis in Naples a few years ago.

Ruiz signed for the Italian club from Real Betis in 2018 for a fee of €30 million. At the time, he was not known widely and was just seen as another routine Spanish midfielder aspiring to make it big.

As revealed by the player in a recent interview, however, it was Carlo Ancelotti’s son and Real Madrid assistant manager Davide Ancelotti who first saw the spark in him.

“Meeting him was a very important step in my career. From the beginning, he backed me, and it was not easy to pay what Napoli paid for me, a player who had not played much in La Liga with Betis.”

“If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be here. I have a very good relationship and friendship with him,” he added.

Fabian Ruiz credits Davide Ancelotti for his success. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

A special eye

Ruiz’s comments on Davide Ancelotti only make it clearer as to why Carlo Ancelotti holds his son’s advice in high regard. It is, after all, a testament to the tactician’s keen eye for special talent.

As revealed earlier this year, it was the manager’s son who suggested Joselu’s substitution against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League semifinals when the team was on the brink of elimination.

What happened next was history as the veteran scored twice within minutes to turn the game around and send the Bavarians crashing out.

Davide has been rumoured to be interested in walking his own path soon as a specialist coach, but as it stands, will continue working under his father for at least one more year at Real Madrid.

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