Real Madrid

  • Mbappe: Ronaldo favourite to win Ballon ...

    Kylian Mbappe believes that Gianluigi Buffon would be a worthy winner of the Ballon d'Or after a monumental season with Juventus, although he admits Cristiano Ronaldo is more likely to take the award.  Mbappe is so far the only man to put a goal past the Juventus goalkeeper in t...

    Mbappe: Ronaldo favourite to win Ballon d'Or, but Buffon deserves it

    Kylian Mbappe believes that Gianluigi Buffon would be a worthy winner of the Ballon d'Or after a monumental season with Juventus, although he admits Cristiano Ronaldo is more likely to take the award.  Mbappe is so far the only man to put a goal past the Juventus goalkeeper in this year's Champions League knockout phase, but it was not enough to avoid a 4-1 aggregate defeat for Monaco in the semi finals.  Wenger to give away FA Cup medal There are no hard feelings, though, as the teenager heaped praise on Buffon ahead of the competition's showpiece between Juve and Real Madrid in Cardiff next week. "For all of his work, [Buffon] deserves the Ballon d'Or, but I think it depends on the Champions League final," he explained to Eurosport.  "If Real Madrid win, I think it will be Cristiano Ronaldo but otherwise, I think it would be good for Buffon to win the Golden Ball. " Despite his admiration for Buffon, Mbappe's loyalties will be split as he watches the action at the Millennium Stadium.  Leading Madrid will be Zinedine Zidane, the teenager's compatriot and his all-time idol on the pitch.  "The one who made me love football was Zidane. Afterwards I developed several idols but really Zidane was my very first idol," he said, while also commenting on the comparisons he has invited with fellow legend Thierry Henry. "It's flattering to be compared to Henry, but as I said and I repeat: 'everybody writes his story.'  "Thierry has made his career and it was immense, I think it would not be fair to compare an 18-year-old who has not done anything yet. "If I make a great career, I would not want to be compared to an 18-year-old who has not done anything yet." Mbappe smashed 26 goals in all competitions for Monaco in 2016-17, enjoying a superb second season that helped his team take the Ligue 1 title.

  • Juventus won't rest Dybala & Higuain...

    Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala will feature in Juventus' final Serie A contest of the season at Bologna, but Gianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini are rested with the Champions League final against Real Madrid on the horizon. Juve completed the second part of what they hope w...

    Juventus won't rest Dybala & Higuain ahead of Champions League final

    Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala will feature in Juventus' final Serie A contest of the season at Bologna, but Gianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini are rested with the Champions League final against Real Madrid on the horizon. Juve completed the second part of what they hope will be a treble by beating Crotone to retain the Scudetto last week, having already won the Coppa Italia. Griezmann dismisses Atleti exit rumours Massimiliano Allegri has resisted the temptation to rest his star strikers, though, with Higuain, Dybala and Mario Mandzukic all set to start versus Bologna. However, the head coach has decided that Buffon and Chiellini will not play ahead of the Cardiff showpiece against Madrid on June 3. "We will look to end the Serie A season on a high by winning against Bologna, then we will think about the Champions League final," Allegri said at a media conference. "Higuain, Dybala, Mario Mandzukic and Juan Cuadrado will line up in attack on Saturday. "Emil Audero will be our goalkeeper. "Chiellini will not feature, but Sami Khedira will be back in midfield."

  • Zidane hails 'born leader' Buffon

    Zinedine Zidane has hailed Gianluigi Buffon's leadership qualities both on and off the pitch, describing the goalkeeper as 'an extraordinary player'. Buffon will lead Juventus out against Real Madrid in the Champions League final on June 3 as he looks to clinch the trophy that h...

    Zidane hails 'born leader' Buffon

    Zinedine Zidane has hailed Gianluigi Buffon's leadership qualities both on and off the pitch, describing the goalkeeper as 'an extraordinary player'. Buffon will lead Juventus out against Real Madrid in the Champions League final on June 3 as he looks to clinch the trophy that has already eluded him on two occasions. Zidane: No words can do Ronaldo justice Zidane departed Juve for Real Madrid just as Buffon arrived in Turin from Parma, but he is well aware of the Italy international's attributes. "I think it's about what he has achieved. He's a born leader. He has been an extraordinary player throughout his career. He's a leader on the pitch and a great captain," the Madrid coach told Uefa.com.  "In terms of everything he has said about players that he has met, he has always looked out for his fellow professionals. "That shows you the sort of person he is, besides being a great goalkeeper and leader." Zidane has been impressed by his former club's performance this season as they secured their fifth Serie A title in a row and defied the odds to reach the final of Europe's premier club competition. The Frenchman says that Massimiliano Allegri has improved the team he inherited from Antonio Conte and believes that the 49-year-old is one of the best coaches in the world. "He deserves everything that has been happening to him. He has shown he is among the top coaches in the world," Zidane said. "He has rebuilt, or at the very least improved, this Juve team. "Of course it's down to the club and the players too, but above all it's down to the coach heading the project. "I have great respect for him."

  • No words can do Ronaldo justice, says Zi...

    Zinedine Zidane says that no words can do Cristiano Ronaldo justice and says that anything is possible when it comes to the Real Madrid attacker. Though his goal-count has diminished compared to previous seasons, Ronaldo has nevertheless come up with the goods when Madrid needed...

    No words can do Ronaldo justice, says Zidane

    Zinedine Zidane says that no words can do Cristiano Ronaldo justice and says that anything is possible when it comes to the Real Madrid attacker. Though his goal-count has diminished compared to previous seasons, Ronaldo has nevertheless come up with the goods when Madrid needed him most. Bale set to be fit for Champions League final The 32-year-old was inspirational as the Liga giants swept aside Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid en route to the final, hitting two hat-tricks. As Real prepare to face Juventus in the final in Cardiff on June 3, Zidane paid tribute to his star forward. "As you well know, there are no words that can do Cristiano Ronaldo justice," the Madrid boss told Uefa.com.  "He shows what he's all about every time he's on the pitch, by scoring goals. He's now got more than 400 goals for Real Madrid in all competitions. "These are unbelievable stats, but with him anything's possible." Ronaldo has featured in fewer games overall this season, playing just 29 out of 38 Liga fixtures, and Zidane says that it was a deliberate move in order to maximise the Portuguese's impact. With 36 goals in 43 appearances in all competitions, it appears to be an effective approach. Juve chief taunts Man Utd over Pogba fee "It's a decision we made together, based on discussions together. We're intelligent and even he sometimes needs to play a bit less," explained the French coach. "It's not because he isn't as physically fit, but because he wants to head into the final stage of the season, when everything is at stake, in top form. "He has played a lot this year, but there have been a few occasions when he has been left out to have a breather. Now he's in fantastic shape for what remains of the campaign. "It isn't just about this year, it's the accumulation of all the seasons in his career in which he has played 60 or 70 matches. "It gets to the point where you need to take a breather."

  • Referees influenced La Liga title race, ...

    Gerard Pique claimed referees influenced the outcome of the La Liga title race as the Barcelona defender again called for video technology to be introduced. The Spain international has criticised officials on several occasions this season, both in person and through social media...

    Referees influenced La Liga title race, claims Pique

    Gerard Pique claimed referees influenced the outcome of the La Liga title race as the Barcelona defender again called for video technology to be introduced. The Spain international has criticised officials on several occasions this season, both in person and through social media, and was fined €3,000 in March for some of his remarks. Who is Vinicius Junior? Pique this week urged La Liga to introduce the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology so as to reduce the risk of officials making mistakes that could cost teams important results. And the 30-year-old has gone as far as to say that Real Madrid's title triumph was made easier due to refereeing errors, even though he concedes that Barca did not play well enough consistently to deserve to win. "The referees have been able to influence things; I'm not going to draw up a list of when we have been favoured or when it's happened to our opponents," he told a news conference ahead of Saturday's Copa del Rey final against Alaves.  "In the end, Madrid won, and we have to turn the page. "It's still clear that we should implement VAR, which would have been decisive, but there were games where we did not reach our best level. There's no point throwing criticism around. To win the league, you have to be infinitely better. Chelsea revolution getting the better of Wenger "With VAR, the refereeing errors will be reduced and therefore we'll all be on equal terms. It will take a lot of the responsibility from the referees on vital decisions, like penalties and goals, and they will make far fewer mistakes. "I'm not looking for excuses but sometimes it feels as though you are penalised by more than just the score." Barca face Alaves at Vicente Calderon on Saturday, looking to win the Copa del Rey for the third year in a row. It would mark a victorious end to Luis Enrique's time in charge, with the head coach having confirmed he will leave his position at the end of the season. Pique praised the impact of the 47-year-old during his three years at the helm at Camp Nou and said his cool approach towards the media was not one he used with the players. "He's been one of the best coaches in history. He deserves to win the final," he said. "The easiest thing would be to focus on the titles but for me it's been the way he does things with us [that stands out]. Maybe he didn't have the best relationship with you [the media] but he won over all of us. They've been three amazing years." Luis Suarez will miss the match due to suspension but Pique has backed Paco Alcacer to impress in his absence. "We're a team that can't think about absentees. I'm sure that Paco will have a great game," he added.

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