Marcelo Insists He ‘Never’ Contemplated Move From Real Madrid to Join Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus

?Real Madrid defender has insisted that he ‘never’ entertained the prospect of a move to Serie A giants Juventus, despite being regularly linked with the Italian champions.

Former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo made the switch from the Bernabeu to Turin in a mega-money transfer during the summer and has gone on to establish himself as Juve’s star man in attack.


However, ?Madrid left back Marcelo has insisted that a move away from the European champions was never on his agenda. The 30-year-old told Club del Deportista, via ?FourFourTwo: “It’s never entered my mind to leave and look for another option.

“I have always done everything possible to stay at Real Madrid and I’ve never thought about playing time.

“If I had 15 minutes in every game, I’d give everything in those 15 minutes to play more and win more.”


Since completing a move to the Spanish capital from Brazilian side Fluminese in 2007, Marcelo has gone on to enjoy a trophy-laden spell with Los Blancos. The full back admitted that he struggled to believe the reality of his switch to Madrid at the time of his transfer.

“The move all happened very quickly,” Marcelo admitted. “At first I thought it was a joke.

“I always saw Madrid as a huge club. Then all of a sudden I was part of a team with players I had only seen on the television or in video games. It was pretty amazing.”


Marcelo’s links with ?Juventus come in addition to regular suggestions that ?Alex Sandro could soon be on his way out of the Allianz Stadium. The Real Madrid star may be seen as an ideal replacement for his compatriot at left back in Turin.

The Los Blancos icon has won four La Liga titles and a recorded a corresponding number of Champions League triumphs during a decorated spell with Madrid. 

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Santi Solari ‘Satisfied’ With Real Madrid Win Despite Narrow 1-0 Scoreline Against Rayo

?Real Madrid head coach Santi Solari claimed he was ‘satisfied’ after Los Blancos edged past Rayo Vallecano with a narrow 1-0 win in La Liga on Saturday, courtesy of a Karim Benzema strike on the 13th minute.

The home side dominated for large parts of a generally one-sided encounter at the Bernabeu. Though Madrid failed to add any gloss to the scoreline, they created plenty of chances in the first half especially to reflect their command of the game.

The performance was a clear improvement from midweek, after ?Madrid lost 0-3 at home to CKSA Moscow in the Champions League, and Solari expressed his satisfaction at a comfortable performance on Saturday. The former Madrid winger said, via the club’s ?official website: “I’m satisfied, we put in a very good first-half performance.

“We dominated the ball, made the most of the space, created chances and pressed very well. We should have gone in with a bigger lead at the break. That’s football, when you’re not clinical you know you’ll have to dig in at some point.

“We had chances in the second half as well, [Marco] Asensio’s for instance, and we didn’t give away any chances until right at the end.

“The opposition play some good stuff too, Rayo move the ball well if you leave spaces and they’re capable of playing nice football.

“The pace dropped in the second half but we didn’t give them a sniff until the final minute and Courtois did brilliantly. When you don’t kill the game off, these things will happen.

“The opposition want to score too. I’d be more concerned if we weren’t creating the chances.”

Los Blancos’ next outing will be in the semi finals of the Club World Cup against Japanese side Kashima Antlers on Wednesday.

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Real Madrid 1-0 Rayo Vallecano: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Los Blancos Edge to Narrow Win

Real Madrid banished any lingering hangover from a humiliating defeat at home to CSKA Moscow in midweek with an assured performance and an authoritative 1-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.

A strong start with good intensity and purpose from the home side paid off as Karim Benzema found space in the box, latching onto a through ball from Lucas Vazquez before hammering a strike into the far corner on the 13th minute to cap a strong start from Madrid.


The home side played out a relatively comfortable second half in which Solari’s side created fewer chances, generally playing in second gear, though ?Madrid had to survive a goalline scramble in stoppage time – a Thibaut Courtois save required to prevent a late equaliser.

Los Blancos have endured a tough first half of the season but rounded off their La Liga commitments for the calendar year with a strong victory and plenty to build upon in the new year.


?REAL MADRID

Key Talking Point

After suffering the humiliation of a 0-3 defeat to CSKA Moscow in front of their home fans on a disappointing European night in midweek, much of the agenda heading into Saturday’s match was centred on how ?Madrid would respond.

FBL-ESP-LIGA-REAL MADRID-RAYO

Santi Solari’s side made a strong start to the encounter, putting together slick and incisive passes with Luka Modric pulling the strings and Benzema, Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez full of purpose and dangerous intent along the front line.

There was a clear sign of intent from the start from Los Blancos – just what was needed to remedy the disappointment of their Champions League exploits on Wednesday. The home fans were treated to a performance of far greater authority and purpose this time out.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Courtois (6); Carvajal (6), Varane (7), Ramos (7), Marcelo (7); Kroos (7), Llorente (6), Modric (7); Vazquez (8), Benzema (8*), Asensio (7)

Substitutes: Ceballos (6), V. Junior (5), Valverde (N/A)


STAR MAN – Having endured an inconsistent start to the season which has been emblematic of his team’s struggles, Karim Benzema took responsibility in setting the tone for a much improved Madrid performance on Saturday. 

The Frenchman looked lively from the outset, seeking to get himself into dangerous areas with infectious energy whilst also showing good creative intent to link up well with his teammates in the final third. An emphatic finish just 13 minutes in was reflective of a generally resurgent attacking performance from Benzema. The Frenchman was unfortunate to go off injured in the later stages of the match.

WORST PLAYER – Marcos Llorente has enjoyed a rise in form and opportunities so far under Santi Solari, but the young Spaniard was Madrid’s least effective performer on Saturday night. Llorente generally failed to provide the kind of commanding presence which Casemiro usually asserts as Los Blancos’ holding midfielder. 

The home side appeared short on cover for their central defence at times, an area which Llorente must fill more effectively. The Spaniard’s passing was, however, largely up the required standard.


RAYO VALLECANO

Key Talking Point

After falling behind so early in the match, Rayo adjusted their defensive approach early in the first half. The visitors sat deep early on but were unpicked at the back with too much ease by Madrid. Michel’s response from the Rayo technical area was to push his side higher up.

Real Madrid CF v Rayo Vallecano de Madrid - La Liga

However, with the trailing side’s packed defensive line pushed up to squeeze Madrid back on the pitch, Los Blancos appeared even more dangerous, as Solari’s side were able to make even better use of their pacy front line with more direct passes in behind the visitors’ back line.

Rayo’s defence became disjointed and unable to hold the line as the likes of Asensio and Benzema breezed through the visitors’ rear-guard at will to latch onto through balls from the home side’s plethora of creative midfielders.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Dimitrievski (5); Advincula (5), Tito (5), Velazquez (6), Galvez (7), Alex Moreno (4); Imbula (6), Medran (5), Comesana (5), Garcia Rivera (5); Embarba (6)

FBL-ESP-LIGA-REAL MADRID-RAYO

Substitutes: Bebe (5), Ba (4), Alegria Moreno (4)


Looking Ahead

Real Madrid take on Japanese side Kashima Antlers in the semi finals of the Club World Cup on Wednesday, before returning to La Liga action in the new year with a testing trip to face Villarreal away. 


A home clash against Real Sociedad three days later is Los Blancos’ next outing at the Bernabeu after tonight’s victory.

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Real Madrid Star Luka Modric Slams ‘Unfair’ Messi & Ronaldo for Snubbing Ballon d’Or Award Ceremony

Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modri? was left far from impressed by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s decision to snub the Ballon d’Or award ceremony earlier this month, claiming that the two only enjoy “showing up when they were winning the awards”.

The award’s 10-year duopoly was broken by Modri? at the ceremony in Paris, becoming the first player other than Messi or Ronaldo to lift the Ballon d’Or since  AC Milan talisman Kaká in 2007.

Real Madrid CF v CD Leganes - La Liga

But the absence of Messi, and former Real Madrid teammate Ronaldo, didn’t go unnoticed by Modri?, who claimed that the two were ‘unfair’ by not showing up to support the other players, including the winner of the Kopa trophy Kylian Mbappé and the first female Ballon d’Or winner, Ada Hegerberg.

I can’t say why somebody decided not to show up, that’s their choice,” Modri? said, quoted by Croatian outlet Sportske Novosti. “Doesn’t make much sense to me not to attend, though. 

“I guess they liked showing up when they were winning the awards. Such behaviour is unfair towards the other players, the fans, the game and finally towards the voters who gave them the award for 10 years in a row. But I guess everyone acts as they please.”

Modri? went on to say he still believes that Messi – who voted for the Croatian in the Ballon d’Or voting – and Ronaldo are still the best players in the world, but that this year the pair didn’t deserve to win the title.

Look, it’s all very simple to me. Messi and Ronaldo are two football phenoms that have been dominating the game for the last decade,” Modri? continued. “They are a cut above the rest, skill-wise. 

TOPSHOT-FBL-ESP-LIGA-BARCELONA-REAL MADRID

“But this is a seasonal award. Most of the players, managers, football legends, journalists, fans, voted for the same winner [in major award shows this year]. I guess they are all wrong? If we are giving out awards based on skill only, then just cancel the voting and give them all to Messi and Ronaldo.”

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Antonio Conte & Luka Modric at the Top of Inter Wishlist as Italian Giants Plan First Team Makeover

Serie A giants Inter are looking to revive their summer interest in Real Madrid midfielder and Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modri? as part of a major overhaul to get back amongst European football’s elite.

Inter have fallen by the wayside in recent years and haven’t come close to challenging in Europe since their outstanding Champions League winning season back in 2010, when José Mourinho ended the club’s 45-year wait for that trophy.

FBL-WC-2018-MATCH8-CRO-NGR

This isn’t the first time that Inter will attempt a major overhaul of their squad, but the Mirror claims that this time the Italian outfit will now look to recruit Modri? as the centrepiece of their squad which already has a Croatian core, including Ivan Periši?Marcelo Brozovi? and Šime Vrsaljko.

As part of their latest makeover plans, the Nerazzurri will also be looking to replace their current manager, Luciano Spalletti.

The former AS Roma manager has been popular amongst Tottenham fans this week, after Inter’s failure to beat PSV Eindhoven ensured the north London side would qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League at their expense.

However, fans at San Siro aren’t quite as pleased with their head coach and Tuesday’s result could prove to be the last straw for Inter’s hierarchy.

It is claimed that former Chelsea manager Conte is at the top of the club’s wishlist for the next head coach as Inter look to appoint a sixth manager since 2016.

Italian Football Federation 'Panchina D'Oro' Prize

Recently appointed sporting director Beppe Marotta, who earned his reputation with Juventus, has a close relationship with Conte and, after seeing his success at Chelsea, is convinced that the former Azzurri boss can return Inter to their former glory days.

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