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Real Madrid dominate nominations for Champions League awards Featured

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Published in Spain Primera Division
Friday, 04 August 2017 12:21

Six Real Madrid players have made UEFA's shortlist for the best footballers in each positional category who played in the Champions League last season, the sport's European governing body said on Friday.

Spanish champions Real, who won Europe's elite club competition for the second year in a row, were awarded half the total slots on the shortlist.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who was the tournament's top scorer last season, was named among the three best forwards of the 2016-17 campaign alongside his Barcelona rival Lionel Messi and Juventus's Argentina international striker Paulo Dybala.
The best midfielder is sure to be from Real with their trio of Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric the only names shortlisted for the position.
Real full-back Marcelo and centre-back Sergio Ramos have been named in the best defender category alongside Juventus's Leonardo Bonucci, who has since moved to AC Milan.

Goalkeeper is the only category where Real do not have a single contender, with Juventus stopper Gianluigi Buffon, Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer and Atletico Madrid's Jan Oblak in contention.
The winners will be announced at the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League group stage draw on August 24 along with the Men's and Women's Player of the Year honours, the nominees for which will be announced on August 15.
The nominees were selected by a jury of 32 coaches from last year's Champions League participants and 55 journalists chosen by the European Sports Media (ESM) group.

UEFA will announce the Europa League Player of the Season award on August 25 with all three nominees - striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and midfielders Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba - chosen from last year's winning Manchester United team.

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  • Diego Simeone insists Barcelona are still not as good as Real Madrid

    Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone insists LaLiga leaders Barcelona are still not as good as Real Madrid.

    Barcelona visit Atletico's new Wanda Metropolitano home for the first time on Saturday night with a five-point lead over second-placed Sevilla.

    Ernesto Valverde's table-toppers have opened their campaign with seven straight wins.

    Barcelona are six points clear of fourth-placed Atletico and seven ahead of champions Real, who have made a stuttering start to the season.

    But Atletico boss Simeone told a pre-match press conference: "Barcelona are one of the best teams in the world, but Real Madrid are better now.
    "(Barca) Have reinvented themselves after the departure of Neymar. They do not stop wanting to win. They have a winning gene, they do not get tired."

    Atletico have not beaten Barcelona in 14 league games - a run stretching back to February 2010.

    Simeone has lost eight of his 11 league games since his appointment in December 2011, but he insists Atletico have always done themselves justice in the fixture.

    "We have not beaten Barcelona in the league, but we've always played well against them," Simeone said.
    "We tied the most important one, that was the one that gave us LaLiga (in 2013-14) and we have knocked them out twice in the Champions League. They did not beat us by chance, they are very good. But we have been more forceful in the Champions League and let's hope we can end that run in LaLiga."

    Barcelona are averaging over three goals a game in LaLiga this season and Lionel Messi has tormented Atletico down the years.

    Messi has scored 27 goals in 34 games against the Rojiblancos and fired Argentina into the World Cup finals in midweek with a hat-trick in Ecuador.

    Fellow Argentinian Simeone said: "I watched the Argentina match. Messi had that night that all Argentines wanted and asked for. For some who did not believe in him, he proved that he is the best in the world."

    Atletico defenders Filipe Luis and Lucas Hernandez missed the goalless draw at Leganes before the international break, but both players have recovered from their hamstring injuries and are available.

    Barca pair Andries Iniesta and Luis Suarez are fit after niggles and boss Valverde told reporters: "We know how important the game is.

    "Atletico are candidates for the league title, they are tough to break down and score against. They defend as a unit and are disciplined. It is a big game and the Wanda Metropolitano will have a spectacular atmosphere."

  • Real Madrid finally win at home thanks to Isco double

    La Liga, Bernabeu - Real Madrid 2 (Isco 30', 71')

    Isco bagged a brace as Real Madrid returned to winning ways at home, seeing off Espanyol to claim their first league victory of the season at the Santiago Bernabeu.

    Real Madrid v Espanyol
    Zinedine Zidane made a number of changes to his side, with the absence of Dani Carvajal and Marcelo resulting in a debut for 18-year-old Moroccan full back Achraf Hakimi. The youngster held his own, although Espanyol made things tough for him at the start of the second half.
    By that time, Real Madrid were already ahead through Isco’s opener, but the visitors’ renewed intensity and tempo after the restart changed the dynamic of the contest. It was Isco again, though, who settled things with a second after 71 minutes, finishing with composure after a break away from Marco Asensio.

    The win lifts Real Madrid to fifth place in the table, with Barcelona still holding a seven-point lead over their rivals following their win over Las Palmas at an empty Camp Nou earlier in the day. This must be the start of a recovery for Zidane’s side.


    Was this the start of Real Madrid’s recovery? This was Real Madrid’s fourth home game of the new league season, yet this was the first time they had claimed three points. Zidane’s side had previously dropped points to Valencia and Levante at the Santiago Bernabeu before suffering a shock defeat to Real Betis last time out. So was this the start of the recovery? It wasn’t a vintage Real performance, but at least they won.

    Isco (Real Madrid) With Ronaldo misfiring, it was up to Isco to take a grip of things for Real Madrid against Espanyol. The playmaker has become of the most important players at the Santiago Bernabeu over the past few months and that was on display this evening. At a time when the Spanish and European champions are struggling for form at home, Isco was the one who took on the responsibility to drive Real Madrid forward, delivering with a double.

    Real Madrid - Navas 6, Achraf 6, Varane 7, Ramos 6, Nacho 6, Casemiro 6, Kroos 7, Modric 6, Isco 8, Asensio 7, Ronaldo 6. Subs - Ceballos 5, Mayoral 5, Vazquez 5.

    Espanyol - Pau 8, Lopez 6, Aaron 6, Gerard 5, Jurado 5, Baptistao 4, Lopez 6, Fuego 5, Roca 5, Hermoso 7, Sanchez 5, Dardar 7. Subs - Navarro 7, Granero 6, Garcia 6.


    2’ CHANCE FOR ISCO! Real Madrid should be ahead after 24 seconds! Isco was played clean through Ramos from deep, but Lopez came off his line to smother the shot from the playmaker.

    26’ WHAT A SAVE! That looked certain to be the opener for Real Madrid! Ronaldo crosses into the box for Ramos to attack, with the defender powering a header towards goal. But Lopez tips it over the bar.

    30’ GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Espanyol: Real Madrid have made the breakthrough on the half hour mark! Ronaldo slots through Isco, who had made an excellent run in behind to toe poke a finish underneath Lopez. The hosts have the lead!
    44’ OFF THE POST! Espanyol were inches away from finding an equaliser, with Moreno cracking a low shot off the base of the post. That would have been a remarkable development.

    70’ ALMOST THE EQUALISER! Ramos is robbed of the ball inside his own penalty box, but Baptistao couldn't force it home into the empty net when the ball was played across goal.

    71’ GOAL! Real Madrid 2-0 Espanyol: Darder loses the ball in the middle of the pitch, with Asensio cutting back a pass to Isco just inside the box. The playmaker found the bottom corner with a composed finish.


    Marco Asensio has been involved in more goals than any other Real Madrid player in La Liga this season (four).

    Isco has scored more goals than any other La Liga midfielder since the start of 2017 (in all competitions) - 11.

  • Marco Asensio signs new deal at Real Madrid 'with £442m release clause' - reports

    Marco Asensio has signed a new six-year contract at Real Madrid with a £442million release clause, according to reports.

    The Spaniard has made a huge impression this season after taking his first steps in the team under Zinedine Zidane last term.
    It is an extension of his existing deal, which was until 2020 and, according to AS, his release clause has been set at £442million.

    Asensio, who Real signed from Real Mallorca in 2014 but sent out on loan until last summer, joins the likes of Karim Benzema, Raphael Varane, Isco, Marcelo and Dani Carvajal in agreeing new deals to stay at the Bernabeu in recent weeks.

  • Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo rampant as Real Madrid ease past Dortmund

    Champions League Group H, Signal Iduna Park - Borussia Dortmund 1 (Aubameyang 54') Real Madrid 3 (Bale 18'; Cristiano Ronaldo 49', 79')

    Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed a brace on his 400th appearance for Real Madrid as the holders triumphed 3-1 at Borussia Dortmund in a highly entertaining Champions League Group H encounter.

    The Portuguese star tucked home his first when he converted Gareth Bale's low cross to double Los Blancos' advantage after the Welshman had opened the scoring with a sublime first-half volley.

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang reduced the arrears with a clinical finish, but Ronaldo had the final say 11 minutes from time as Zinedine Zidane's side found the net for 38th Champions League game in a row and secured a first ever triumph at Signal Iduna Park at the seventh time of asking.
    Dortmund carved out some good openings, but struggled to apply the finish to some fine approach work. Die Schwarzgelben remain pointless after two games played and already face a real battle to reach the knockout stage. Real have a 100 per cent record and sit top of the group, ahead of Tottenham on goal difference after Harry Kane fired the Lilywhites to victory in Cyprus.

    Next up in this group, Dortmund visit Apoel Nicosia while Real host Tottenham on October 17.

    The holders could go all the way - again. Real Madrid tend to save their very best for this competition - and there's no doubt that's the case with Ronaldo. It's early days, but Zidane's men are already seven points adrift of leaders Barcelona in La Liga, which could see them place even greater emphasis on this competition if that doesn't improve in the months ahead. That doesn't bode well for their rivals considering Los Blancos won both last term. The 12-time champions have the players with the know-how and could well go on to become the first team since Bayern in 1976 to claim three successive European Cups. They remain the team to beat in this competition.

    Gareth Bale (Real Madrid). It was a match full of superb displays all over the park and, while Ronaldo will bask in the headlines, Bale gets the nod for a sensational opener and his assist for the Portuguese's first of the night. The Welshman continues to have his troubles at the Bernabeu, but there's no denying his quality and penchant for the big stage.

    DORTMUND: Burki 7; Piszczek 6, Sokratis 6, Toprak 6, Tolian 6; Castro 7, Sahin 5; Gotze 7, Yarmolenko 6, Philipp 6; Aubameyang 7. Subs: Weigl 6, Dahoud 6,Pulisic 5.

    REAL MADRID: Navas 6, Carvajal 7, Ramos 7, Varane 7, Nacho 6, Kroos 8, Casemiro 7, Modrić 8, Isco 7, Bale 8, Ronaldo 8. Subs: Asensio 6, Vazquez n/a, Ceballos n/a.

    Matchcast: Full match stats and commentary


    10' - REAL CHANCE. Dortmund caught out on the break once more. Carvajal motors down the right, cuts inside his man and then fires a weak shot towards the near post that Burki is equal to Ronaldo and Bale were on hand for a tap-in and neither are very happy with the Real right back.

    18' GOAL! Dortmund 0-1 Real. Bale guides a sublime volley into the top corner from Carvajal's diagonal ball to the left side of the box.

    27' - Penalty shout for Dortmund! The hosts surge forward through Andriy Yarmolenko. He lifts a cross over Aubameyang, but Philipp arrives and sees his volley into the six-yard box cleared. Replays showing Navas palmed the ball onto Ramos' hand.

    49' GOAL! Dortmund 0-2 Real. Ronaldo marks his 400th appearance for the club with a sweeping finish after Bale had raced down the left and put it on a plate for his teammate.
    54' GOAL! Dortmund 1-2 Real. Aubameyang reduces the arrears with a smart finish from Castro's lovely left-wing delivery.

    67' - DORTMUND CHANCE. Aubameyang beats Navas to Goetze's delightful curving pass, but can only toe it wide of the near post.

    79' GOAL! Dortmund 1-3 Real. Ronaldo smashes his second of the contest past Burki at his near post after a lovely through pass from Modric.

    Gareth Bale has been involved in more goals than any other Real Madrid player in 2017/18 (3 goals and 4 assists - all comps).

    Ronaldo has now scored in 70 different Champions League matches (excl. qualifiers); more than any other player.

    Ronaldo scored his 112th goal in all European competitions and his 109th in the UCL, both are records.

    Ronaldo marked his 400th app for Real Madrid with his 411th goal - he has scored in 249 of his 400 games for the club.

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