Tag Archives: Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo wins fifth Ballon d’Or award

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Cristiano Ronaldo won the fifth Ballon d’Or of his career yesterday, matching Lionel Messi as the most-awarded winner of one of football top individual honours.

Ronaldo, 32, won the award for the second consecutive time, after a year that saw him help Real Madrid to a third Champions League crown in four seasons and a first La Liga title in five years, as well as the FIFA Club World Cup.

The Portuguese captain also scored twice as Madrid beat Juventus 4-1 in the Champions League final in June, while also finishing top scorer in the competition with 12 goals.

Upon accepting his latest honour in a ceremony held at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Ronaldo said: “I feel very happy, it’s a fantastic moment in my career, I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.”

“This year has been great, we won the Champions League and La Liga and, on a personal level, I was a top scorer in the Champions League. Trophies help win these awards and we have to thank my colleagues from Madrid and Portugal, it was very important for me.”

FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi was the runner-up in votes for the award, now conducted by a global panel of journalists and organised by France Football magazine after a split from a partnership with FIFA that ran from 2010-15. Ronaldo had also won FIFA’s top award in October when he was named FIFA Best Men’s Player for the second consecutive year.

This year also marked the seventh straight year that both Messi and Ronaldo have finished in the top two for the Ballon d’Or — no one else has won the title since AC Milan midfielder Kaka did in 2007, when Ronaldo was second and Messi third.

Neymar, who moved from Barca to Paris Saint-Germain this summer, finished third for the second time in his career, while Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was fourth.

Two of Ronaldo’s Real Madrid teammates were also in the top-ten of the Ballon d’Or final standings, with Luka Modric fifth and Sergio Ramos sixth as the top defender on the list.

Peter Bosz says Real Madrid wouldn’t want “terrible” Aubameyang

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Borussia Dortmund coach Peter Bosz joked that team star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a “terrible player” amidst links of the Gabon striker with a move to Real Madrid, their next opponents in the Champions League.

Aubameyang, 28, has long been linked with the defending European champions and have spoken of his desire to play for Los Blancos to fulfil a promise made to his Madrid-supporting grandfather in the past.

He will have an opportunity to impress the Spanish champions too, as Dortmund take on Zinedine Zidane’s men in the knowledge that it will be their last fixture in the Champions League this season — although they still require a win to guarantee themselves passage to the Europa League.

However, this comes amidst a poor run of form that has seen Dortmund drop from Bundesliga leaders to sixth and had their hopes to progress in the Champions League cut short, but Bosz remained jovial when quizzed on Aubameyang’s ability to play for Madrid in the future.

“He is a terrible player, very bad, not worth it for Real Madrid,” Bosz said in the pre-match conference against Real. “(but) It’s a joke. I’m telling you that so he stays with us. He is excellent and has the quality to play for Real Madrid but I hope he stays here.”

Bosz comes into the game under increasing pressure and scrutiny, with Dortmund’s only win in their last 11 games coming in their DFB-Pokal fixture against third-tier Magdeburg.

On the other hand, Zinedine Zidane — Bosz’s counterpart at Real — has also come in for criticism with the Spanish giants lagging at fourth in La Liga, eight points adrift of league leaders FC Barcelona just months after winning the Spanish title. Still, Bosz believes that Zidane does not have much cause for concern compared to himself.

“We are in a difficult phase, but must try to play a good match,” he said. “It is not just a game for points, but also for confidence. If Real is in a crisis, then what are we?”

Gareth Bale: forward’s return delayed with fresh injury

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Gareth Bale’s return is delayed once more after suffering a fresh thigh injury just days after returning to training after more than a month out with a calf injury and is likely to be out for the rest of the year.

The Real Madrid and Wales International forward will be having 19th layoff during his four years at the Bernabeu after joining Real from Tottenham for a then world-record transfer fee of £85.

Thus far, Bale has missed 40 of Real Madrid’s last 60 matches while also being absent for Wales in crucial World Cup qualifiers against Serbia, Georgia and the Republic of Ireland.

Wales manager Chris Coleman received the news of Bale’s fresh injury at the Stade de France ahead of a friendly against France — a game his side lost 2-0.

His team, who were denied a place in the World Cup finals, will also play Panama at the Cardiff City Stadium on Tuesday.

“I don’t know the full extent of it,” Coleman said. “He’ll be devastated. We haven’t had dialogue with Real Madrid, but we’ll speak with Gareth in the next few days and find out exactly what it is. It’s bad luck, bad news, and he’ll be gutted.”

“The harder you try to get back you get a setback and sometimes you have to go through that. He’ll get over and he’ll be back. He just needs to get settled again and get his fitness. He needs to take his time and not rush himself back.”

“Some players as they get older they change their schedule,” Coleman added. “That’s up to him and Real Madrid. When he’s with us all our players have different programmes at different times of the week because we know what they do with their clubs. We have to make sure we taper that in with the way we work.”

Eden Hazard: It would be a dream to play for Zinedine Zidane

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Belgian forward Eden Hazard has admitted that he would welcome the chance to work with Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, claiming that it was his “dream” to play for the World Cup winner.

Hazard has often linked with a switch to the reigning Liga champions, but Chelsea have been able to fend off any interest in their talented playmaker, with the player currently tied to terms through to 2020 at Stamford Bridge.

Still, while admitting he enjoys life with the Blues, the midfielder chose to leave the door open for a possible move to the Spanish capital by admitting that he hopes to work with Zidane on day, a man whom he admits he idolised growing up.

“Everyone knows the respect I have for the man,” Hazard said. “For the player he was and for the coach he is, he was my idol.”

“Of course I don’t know what will happen in my career in the future, but to play under him would be a dream. At this time, though, I’m happy at Chelsea. I still have a lot of things to do at Chelsea, and I’m focused on Chelsea.”

Hazard has also talked up the possibility of working with Jose Mourinho again at some stage in his career after sharing Premier League title glory under the Portuguese in 2014-15, although he was also among those accused of contributing to Mourinho’s departure from Stamford Bridge the following season.

Talks of an apparent feud between the pair was reignited during Manchester United’s recent visit to west London, with Hazard blanking the now Red Devils boss as he emerged from the tunnel — something the player denies.

“It wouldn’t bother me to play under Jose Mourinho again,” he added.

In the meantime, Hazard will attempt to help Chelsea get back on track into the 2017-18 Premier League title race, after captaining Belgium against Mexico and Japan in international friendlies this week.