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Three talking points ahead of Celta Vigo vs Real Madrid | La Liga



Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Jude Bellingham has been at the centre of both of Real Madrid’s wins in La Liga this season. The youngster was not only on the scoresheet on both nights but also the best player on the field by some distance.

The Merengues now stare their next challenge in the eye. They face Celta de Vigo on Friday night at Municipal de Balaidos in a game that will not be easy by any measure.

After all, the Galicians have been known for being giant slayers for a long time.

Rafael Benitez’s side are yet to register a win in La Liga this season. They lost their opening game to Osasuna and could only manage a draw against Real Sociedad last weekend.

Madrid Universal brings you three talking points ahead of Celta Vigo vs Real Madrid.

A new face in goal

Having lost Thibaut Courtois to a long-term injury in preseason, Real Madrid found themselves in neck-deep water.

Ancelotti reaffirmed his faith in the young Ukrainian shot-stopper, Andriy Lunin, and gave him starts against Athletic Club and Almeria. However, it was always clear that Lunin would not be the first-choice goalkeeper throughout the season.

During his press conference today, Ancelotti confirmed that the team’s new signing Kepa Arrizabalaga would start for Los Blancos against Celta Vigo. It will be a special moment for the Spaniard, for it will be his debut for the club.

Once regarded amongst La Liga’s best keepers during his time at Athletic Club, Kepa’s career took a downward spiral after his €80 million move to Chelsea.

A series of errors in high-profile games stripped him of his starting tag, but he did manage to redeem himself at the club over the past few months.

Returning to La Liga on a season-long loan, Kepa will be more motivated than ever to regain his best form. After all, the Spanish league was where he carved a reputation for himself as an elite player.

Is it finally Modric’s moment?

Modric could start against Celta Vigo. (Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)

Real Madrid have no dearth of resources in the middle of the park. The spread of options at Ancelotti’s disposal varies from the relatively untested young Arda Guler to the seasoned Luka Modric.

Given that the club is in transition, Ancelotti has opted to go for a larger number of youngsters in his starting lineup this season.

Aurelien Tchouameni has been the mainstay in defensive midfield, while Jude Bellingham has been the second immovable cog in the middle of the park playing as an attacking midfielder.

The two central midfield places were occupied by Eduardo Camavinga and Federico Valverde in the season curtain raiser while Toni Kroos and Valverde manned it in the second game.

Luka Modric, quite clearly, is the one hard done by the Italian coach’s selection. He played just 28 minutes in two games so far and created two big chances in the short duration.

Earlier today, reports stated that Modric hopes to start against Celta Vigo at Balaidos after being benched for two successive games. It will thus be interesting to see if, and how, Ancelotti opts to utilise the veteran’s services.

Three on the trot

Beginning the season with the luxury of playing in front of one’s own fans is a fortune only half the teams in La Liga can enjoy. Real Madrid, unfortunately, was not a part of the favoured half.

Los Blancos started their campaign at San Mames against the mighty Athletic Club. Their second game showed little respite as well, for they were forced to travel to the Power Horse Stadium to take on Almeria.

The ruthless schedule on the road continues for Los Blancos as they now travel to Municipal de Balaidos to take on Galician kings Celta de Vigo.

Having three consecutive games away from home at the start of a new season is not a manager’s best dream. However, Ancelotti must oversee one final game away from the Santiago Bernabeu before his men head back home for two matchdays.

Constant travel and associated fatigue could thus play a role in Friday night’s game, although one would not expect too much of an influence so early in the season.

Nevertheless, capping off the first away wing with a victory would be the best foundation before beginning the home saga of the season.

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Euro 2024: Rating every Real Madrid player’s performance at the tournament



Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

The UEFA Euro 2024 came to an end last night with Spain being crowned the champions of Europe thanks to a 2-1 victory over England in Berlin.

Considering how well La Roja played throughout the tournament and their performance in the finals on Sunday night, they were the deserved winners of the trophy.

With Spain lifting the trophy, Real Madrid veteran defender Dani Carvajal added another title to his already successful campaign finishing 2023/24 as a La Liga, Champions League, and EURO winner.

Nacho and Joselu, who were still contracted with Real Madrid when the Euro started, joined Carvajal on that list while Jude Bellingham finished on the losing side.

Real Madrid had a total of 13 players representing them at the Euros in Germany and not all managed to make a solid impression. Here are how the Merengues’ stars fared at the European Championships.


Dani Carvajal: 8/10

The Spanish right-back was one of the stars of the show at the Euros, playing an integral role in La Roja’s success. Carvajal kicked off his first Euro with a goal in the opening game against Croatia and continued to be a reliable player for Spain both in defence and attack.

Carvajal forged a strong partnership with Barcelona’s Lamine Yamal on the right flank and even played a key role in the team’s opening goal against England in the final.

Nacho: 6/10

Technically no longer a Real Madrid player, Nacho was still contracted with the club when the Euros kicked off. Starting in the opener against Croatia, he helped Spain to a clean sheet against Croatia.

The veteran defender also put in solid shifts in the quarter-final and semi-final ties against Germany and France, respectively and helped see out the game against England last night.

Joselu: N/A

Behind the likes of Alvaro Morata and Mikel Oyarzabal in the pecking order, Joselu, who left Real Madrid at the end of June, played just 90 minutes across two games.


Jude Bellingham: 6.5/10

Failed to deliver. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Having enjoyed a dream season with Real Madrid, Jude Bellingham was unable to replicate those performances for England.

While he did score two crucial goals, including a stunning bicycle kick to keep his team alive against Slovakia, and assisted Cole Palmer’s strike in the finals, his overall display left a lot to be desired.


Kylian Mbappe: 6/10

Real Madrid’s newest acquisition, all eyes were on Mbappe heading into the Euros. And even though France made it as far as the semi-finals, the 25-year-old failed to live up to the expectations with a nose injury impacting his displays.

Mbappe finished the tournament with a solitary goal and two assists, but as he admitted after the defeat to Spain, his Euro will go down as a failure.

Aurelien Tchouameni: 6/10

Making a return from injury during the tournament, the Real Madrid midfielder was a solid presence in the centre of the park for France alongside N’Golo Kante without really standing out a great deal.

The 24-year-old provided strength and stability in midfield for Les Bleus and even tried to get upfield in matches. But his shooting from distance was way off the mark.

Not up to the mark. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Eduardo Camavinga: 5/10

Starting just one of France’s six games and featuring as a substitute in three more, Eduardo Camavinga was not a major presence for Didier Deschamps’ side at the Euros which came as a surprise.

The Real Madrid starlet did show glimpses of quality when he did get a chance but not enough for him to make an impact.

Ferland Mendy: N/A

Having made a return to the France setup for the first time since 2022, Mendy did not play a single minute at the Euros, with former Real Madrid left-back, Theo Hernandez being preferred by the manager.


Antonio Rudiger: 7/10

Carrying on from where he left off for Real Madrid, Rudiger was a solid presence at the heart of the German defence at the Euros in his homeland.

Came up against some tricky forwards throughout the hosts’ quarterfinal run but did well to hold his own, but was guilty of losing Mikel Merino for Spain’s goal that eliminated Germany.

Toni Kroos: 6.5/10

It was not a fairytale ending for Kroos, who waved goodbye to his international career with a forgettable display against Spain during which he could have been easily sent off for the array of fouls he committed.

Prior to that, however, Kroos was instrumental for Germany in their run until the quarterfinals, stringing play together from the centre of the park.


Arda Guler: 7/10

Arda Guler made a good impression at the Euros. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

One of the breakout stars of the Euros, Arda Guler showcased his talent and potential, helping Turkey to the quarterfinals of the tournament.

The 19-year-old started off with a wonder-goal against Georgia and also added two assists to his tally in his first major tournament, following in the footsteps of greats like Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney. A bright future awaits.


Luka Modric: 6/10

Unlike recent years, Luka Modric’s Croatia were unable to get past the group stages, with the veteran midfielder finishing the tournament with a goal from under 240 minutes.


Andriy Lunin: 2/10

Started the tournament as Ukraine’s No. 1 against Romania but made costly errors that saw him lose his place in the starting XI. Did not feature again after the opener as his team crashed out of the group stages.

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