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‘Would be a dream’ – Real Madrid prodigy wants to play in the Olympics with Messi

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Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images

Speaking in an interview with DSports Radio (h/t AS), Real Madrid teenage prodigy Nico Paz has revealed that he would love to participate in the Olympic Games 2024 in Paris with Argentina.

Real Madrid have taken a strong stance of not releasing players for the Olympics, particularly those who will already be involved in the UEFA Euro 2024 or the Copa America.

It has sparked a big discussion, especially surrounding future signing Kylian Mbappe, with France eager to have him at the Olympics, as it is taking place in Paris.

Nico Paz wants to play at the Paris Olympics

Amidst this, Nico Paz, who was part of the Argentina squad during the recent international squad, revealed he would like to play in the Olympics.

“It would be a dream for me to be at the Olympic Games, I’d love it. My father was able to play in Atlanta 96 and it would be a dream. We’ll have to see how the season ends, if Masche calls me and if the club lets me…,” Nico said.

The 19-year-old Argentine then said that it would be even more special if he got a chance to play in the Olympics with the icon Lionel Messi himself.

“Messi playing would be the perfect end to everything. It would depend on whether he’s up for it and the schedule, and how he gets there. For us boys it would be a dream,” he remarked.

“Apart from Messi, who is something special, I really like Di María and Dybala, who are left-footed like me. They have a lot of quality and I’ve always liked them,” he added.

Discussing Argentina’s World Cup win in 2022, Nico said: “The World Cup was incredible, to be able to see Messi lift the World Cup was incredible.”

Nico Paz wants to participate in the Olympics. (Photo by Yasser Bakhsh/Getty Images)

Eligible to represent both Spain and Argentina on the international stage, Nico opted for the latter and explained his reason for the choice, saying:

“I was born in Spain. I love both countries, but in the end I decided to represent Argentina. I think it is the country that represents me the most, because of the way football is lived and because of my father, who I am proud to follow in his footsteps.

“He played in the Olympic Games and a World Cup. I’m proud to follow in his footsteps.”

On his situation at Real Madrid

Even though he is not a regular for Real Madrid, things are moving quite swiftly for the youngster, both at the club and with the Argentina national team.

“I was in the youth team and from one day to the next I got the call from the national team. Then I went up to Castilla, which is a different kind of football,” he said, discussing his journey.

“Within a year I was in the first team, made my debut and even scored a goal. I’m still assimilating what’s happening to me.”

Revealing how he is trying to learn from greats like Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, along with new signing Jude Bellingham, Nico said:

“Since I came up I’ve been surprised by (Luka) Modric, (Toni) Kroos, (Jude) Bellingham. I try to look at what they do so I can improve and take advantage of the advice they give me. They help me a lot. I try to make the most of it.

“For me, Real Madrid is the best club in the world, it brings together the best values. It’s a difficult club, because it always has to win, there’s no other option. We are here to improve day by day and try to be part of professional football.”

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti’s Pre-Season Conundrum: How will Mbappe fit in at Real Madrid?

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Photo by JORGE GUERRERO/AFP via Getty Images

As the countdown to Real Madrid’s pre-season ticks away, manager Carlo Ancelotti is grappling with a significant challenge as most of his key players have yet to return, presenting a puzzle that needs solving urgently. 

It must be noted that last summer while preparing for the 2023/24 season, Ancelotti and staff crafted a new formation to make the most of their attacking talents. 

They knew they would rely heavily on Jude Bellingham, Vinicius Jr, and Rodrygo, so they designed a 4-4-2 diamond formation that placed Bellingham in a crucial midfield role. 

This strategy, honed during the pre-season and refined throughout the campaign, allowed other players to adapt to a well-defined playing style.

There are new challenges now

However, with the pre-season just two days away, Ancelotti finds himself needing to rework his plans. 

The absence of Kroos and the inclusion of Kylian Mbappe present new hurdles and Ancelotti needs to adjust his tactics to ensure the team functions seamlessly. O

According to Mundo Deportivo, one possibility being considered is repositioning Bellingham to a deeper role, where he can orchestrate play alongside Valverde, Eduardo Camavinga, or Aurelien Tchouameni. 

Carlo Ancelotti needs to find a way to accommodate Kylian Mbappe. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

The challenge here lies in maintaining clarity and control of the ball, a trait Kroos excelled at, which will be difficult to replicate without a similar player. 

Dani Ceballos could step in, but he doesn’t command the same status as Kroos or the other key players and is also expected to leave.

What about the forwards?

The forward positions also need reevaluation. Vinicius and Rodrygo, although used as forwards last season, are not natural strikers. The same goes for Mbappe, who prefers playing on the left, clashing with Vinicius’ preferred position. 

This creates a conundrum for Ancelotti: how to accommodate the attacking prowess of his players while maintaining defensive solidity.

Ancelotti’s task is to find a balance that utilizes his players’ strengths without compromising the team’s structure. The upcoming pre-season matches against Milan, Barcelona, and Chelsea will be crucial. 

These games will offer valuable insights into how Real Madrid should approach the 2024/25 season. The pressure is immense, as always, and there’s no room for doubt. 

Ancelotti’s decisions will be under scrutiny from the first official match of the season, the European Super Cup against Atalanta, where success is expected.

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