- Andres Iniesta has described Isco as "incredible" while Denis Suarez says the Real Madrid star would be welcome at Barcelona. Isco has been strongly linked with a sensational move from Madrid to Barca, with his contract due to expire in 2018 and talks over a renewal on hold unti...Andres Iniesta has described Isco as "incredible" while Denis Suarez says the Real Madrid star would be welcome at Barcelona. Isco has been strongly linked with a sensational move from Madrid to Barca, with his contract due to expire in 2018 and talks over a renewal on hold until the end of the season. Reports in Spain this week have suggested Barca would pay the 24-year-old a huge signing-on fee if he ran down his deal at Santiago Bernabeu and then moved to Camp Nou on a free transfer. Messi rescues apathetic Aguero And Iniesta, who is with the Spain squad for the games against Israel and France along with Isco, praised his international team-mate's quality. "He is a fantastic player, with an incredible talent," Iniesta told reporters. "For many years he has been doing things very well and he is playing for one of the best teams in the world. "He is an important player not just in the national team but in his club. He is young and has many years to grow and improve." Suarez, meanwhile, feels Isco would be a welcome addition to Barca but urged caution with any deal still a long way from coming to fruition. "Of course I would like to have Isco as a team-mate, all good players are welcome in our team," he said to Cadena Ser. "Isco has an incredible talent but right now he is under contract with Real. "We have to wait and see what happens. If he doesn't sign a contract extension, then we can talk." The last player to move directly from Real Madrid to Barcelona was Luis Enrique in 1996, while the likes of Luis Figo and Javier Saviola have moved in the opposite direction. Isco has only started 13 LaLiga matches this season and has suggested he may have to leave Madrid to get more minutes, despite being happy at the club.
- Real Madrid legend Roberto Carlos has acknowledged that many supporters attend matches just to see Cristiano Ronaldo in action. He considers the Portuguese superstar to be the finest player on the planet, and its biggest draw at the box office. Carlos says the Madrid talisman “...Real Madrid legend Roberto Carlos has acknowledged that many supporters attend matches just to see Cristiano Ronaldo in action. He considers the Portuguese superstar to be the finest player on the planet, and its biggest draw at the box office. Carlos says the Madrid talisman “sets the tone in modern football”, with the bar regarding sporting excellence having been raised during his battle for supremacy with Barcelona forward Lionel Messi. Who is Ronaldo's newest girlfriend? Ronaldo’s appeal continues to stretch far beyond the Spanish capital and the Santiago Bernabeu, with CR7 now a global brand. He will be the star turn at this summer’s Confederations Cup, having helped his country to success at Euro 2016. And the Brazilian expects the fixtures he graces in Russia to be well-attended, with the mere presence of Ronaldo putting numbers on the gate. The Brazilian said in Marca: "Cristiano Ronaldo sets an example and the tone in modern football. "People go to the stadium just to watch him play and this Confederations Cup is made for him. "I don't know how he does it to remain the best in the world for so long." Benzema: I don't serve Bale & CR7 Carlos has also offered his support to the video assistance that FIFA continue to trial ahead of the Confederations Cup and the 2018 World Cup, with Real Madrid’s institutional director prepared to back any concept that makes a referee’s job easier. He added: "I think it helps a lot because referee's already suffer... now I wouldn't be able to dive as much!" Ronaldo and Real experienced the new technology during their successful Club World Cup campaign in Japan.
- Xabi Alonso can be added to the list of names Arsene Wenger came close to signing at Arsenal, but ultimately missed out on. The Gunners boss has often spoken down the years of how he was in the market for a number of top talents, only to see them head elsewhere or for interest t...
Another star to have slipped Wenger's net at Arsenal - Alonso reveals Gunners interest while at LiverpoolXabi Alonso can be added to the list of names Arsene Wenger came close to signing at Arsenal, but ultimately missed out on. The Gunners boss has often spoken down the years of how he was in the market for a number of top talents, only to see them head elsewhere or for interest to be shelved. Wenger: Suarez wanted to join Arsenal It has now been revealed that the Frenchman was eager to add ball-playing midfielder Alonso to his ranks while the Spaniard was at Liverpool. With Reds looking to move out a man who would go on to win 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Championship honours with Spain, Arsenal joined the chase. They were, however, reluctant to meet the asking price of a Premier League rival and Alonso eventually ended up signing for La Liga giants Real Madrid in the summer of 2009. Speaking to the Liverpool Echo about his time at Anfield, Alonso said: “I was really close to Juventus and I was close to Arsenal. Arsenal and Bayern fined by UEFA “But, it was just £3m. Liverpool were asking £18m and both offered £15m – so that’s why it didn’t happen." Alonso formed part of Liverpool’s remarkable Champions League triumph in 2005 during his time in England, before going on to enjoy further domestic and European success in Madrid. League titles have also been snapped up in Germany with Bayern Munich, but the 35-year-old has announced that he is to slip into retirement at the end of the current campaign. Alonso added: “I have been lucky enough to be at great clubs from my hometown club to Liverpool to Real Madrid to Bayern Munich. Pep: Alonso one of the best ever “For me, I’ve played for the best team in England, the best team in Spain and the best team in Germany. That’s what I wanted to have - a nice career. I’ve played with great players and worked with great managers, I’ve learned a lot from all of them. “I’ve been lucky but I have earned that luck. I’ve been in the right place at the right moment a few times. I would never have dreamed to have had such a nice career as this. I like football and this is like a nice football journey.”
- Karim Benzema says he plays “for the group” at Real Madrid, not the benefit of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. The Frenchman forms part of the famed BBC forward line at Santiago Bernabeu, but he insists that standing does not define him. 'Bale must leave CR7 to be great' Th...Karim Benzema says he plays “for the group” at Real Madrid, not the benefit of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. The Frenchman forms part of the famed BBC forward line at Santiago Bernabeu, but he insists that standing does not define him. 'Bale must leave CR7 to be great' The 29-year-old considers himself to be an important part of the big picture in his own right, regardless of how much attention is given to others. Ronaldo is the dominant figure in the Spanish capital, while Bale is the big-money acquisition considered to be the Portuguese’s heir apparent. Benzema, though, has been a regular source of goals for Madrid since joining from Lyon in 2009 and hopes he has offered enough down the years to earn an extended stay. "It would be a dream to finish my career at Real Madrid," Benzema told Christophe Dugarry's RMC show. Benzema hopes for Deschamps talks "There are no other clubs that light up my future like Madrid. "I am at the service of the team, not Ronaldo or Bale. I play for the group." Benzema is also enjoying working under fellow countryman Zinedine Zidane, with a Madrid legend handed the reins to help deliver further success – with the 2016 Champions League crown already captured. "He gives confidence to the group, knows how to speak to the players and is very calm,” added Benzema. "He does not panic and he calms us." 'CSL can't sign Messi or Ronaldo' Benzema has endured a testing 2016-17 campaign in Madrid, with a demanding fan base making him the subject of jeers at times. He has, however, contributed 16 goals to the cause, including three efforts in as many games during a successful Club World Cup campaign.
- Gareth Bale will not be a great player until he leaves Cristiano Ronaldo and the Real Madrid forward's "gigantic ego", according to Republic of Ireland legend Johnny Giles. Ireland host Wales in a crucial World Cup qualifying match on Friday, with Bale needing three goals to bec...Gareth Bale will not be a great player until he leaves Cristiano Ronaldo and the Real Madrid forward's "gigantic ego", according to Republic of Ireland legend Johnny Giles. Ireland host Wales in a crucial World Cup qualifying match on Friday, with Bale needing three goals to become his country's all-time record goalscorer. The 27-year-old is Wales' star man, but Giles - who represented his own country for 20 years between 1959 and 1979 – does not think he is at the highest level in the world game. Bale's absences a Real problem Giles feels Bale needs to get away from Madrid team-mate Ronaldo to become a great and make his own mark, with his Wales form an example of what is possible. "Bale has a bit to go before I would call him a great player," Giles wrote in the Irish Independent. "It seems to me that he needs to get away from Ronaldo to make the final step. "His problem is that he is trying to find room to express his talent in a team controlled by a gigantic ego. Bale is good enough to be the main man but he can't be while Ronaldo is around. "I really like Gareth Bale, first as a player and secondly as a human being. "I don't know him but everything I've seen leads me to think he's a good lad with very few airs and graces and he remains rooted in his family and friends back in Wales. Can Bale keep the Wales dream alive? "While Ronaldo, with all his money and medals, still feels the need to show off, still stands on the tips of his toes to make himself big in team photos, Bale gets on with his work and plays for the team. "Wales has been a great outlet for Bale and we have seen by the way he leads the team that he has a genuine passion and delight in playing for his country. "I don't buy the idea that Wales are a decent team without him. They have Aaron Ramsey who thinks he's a great player but isn't. Without Bale, they would be very average." Wales boss Chris Coleman, though, hit back at Giles' comments, saying he must be a great manager to get top performances from Bale if he is not a player of the highest level. Keane: ROI have no plans for Bale Coleman told reporters: "I must be hell of a manager then - I'm happy with those comments because it makes me look good! "Me and [Ireland boss] Martin O'Neill both know full well that when that whistle blows and we lock horns, it doesn't matter what is said, who is a good player or who is not a good player."