⚽Cristiano Ronaldo Wants Zidane To Drop 2 Superstars From The Starting XI⚽
▪What's the story?
Real Madrid undoubtedly have the strongest squad in world football at the moment. Blessed with incredible depth, quality, and variety, Los Blancos have plenty of options to start each and every match.
While there is competition for all the places in the squad, one place where it was pretty much certain who will start was the forward line. The famed 'BBC' trio (Bale, Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo) has been an integral part of Real Madrid's successes and triumphs in the last few years.
However, according to reports in Don Balon via Daily Star, Real Madrid's star man Ronaldo reportedly wants Zidane to consider benching Bale and Benzema in favour of Isco and Asensio.
The two Spanish youngsters have been in fine form in the last few months, and the Portuguese superstar is reportedly a huge fan of the duo's talent, skill, movement and passing range.
▪In case you didn't know...
Ronaldo Isco and Asensio
Will Ronaldo, Isco and Asensio be the new front three for Real Madrid?
Ever since making a then world record transfer move to Real Madrid in 2013, Bale established himself as an integral member of the Real Madrid squad playing a crucial role in the previous two Champions League triumphs. However, last season the Wesh winger was out for long periods with injury which led to Isco deputising more than satisfactorily for Real Madrid.
Also, Asensio, who is now 21, is in the form of his life and the young Spanish forward could well be one of Madrid's best players this season if given a regular chance in the starting XI.
Also read: 10 best finishers in world football right now
▪The heart of the matter
Gareth Bale was heavily linked with a move to Premier League giants Manchester United with some reports even suggesting that Zidane wanted the Welsh winger to leave the squad. However, a move did not work out and Bale will be looking to reintegrate himself to the starting XI and put in game-changing performances.
Isco and Asensio, on the other hand, with their performances in the last few months have become the darlings of the Bernabeu and a front three of Isco, Asensio and Ronaldo will definitely cause opposition defences plenty of problems.
It will be interesting to see if Zidane sticks to the tried and tested 'BBC' or experiments with Isco and Asensio in the coming matches.
Also read: Top 10 set-piece takers in Europe
Bale has not looked at his best after his return from injury and a front three of Ronaldo, Isco and Asensio should cause more damage to rival teams than the famed 'BBC' trio.
Also read: 5 best forwards in La Liga at the moment
⚽Pele Predicts Who Will End The Messi-Ronaldo Ballon D'or Duopoly⚽
▪Whatâs the story?
Ballon d'Or's importance in the world of football has grown astronomically in the last decade. The coveted award - handed out by France Football - is now considered by many to be the barometer to measure the quality of an individual.
Brazilian legend and arguably the greatest footballer of all time - Pele - has given his thoughts on who could potentially end the Cristiano Ronaldo - Lionel Messi duopoly and win the Ballon d'Or in the coming years.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Spanish outlet Marca, Pele said: âNeymar has a football at his feet which is all he needs. Coutinho is a player I think we should all look at too because he is excellent for his team. No doubts at the moment though that Neymar is the one.
The 3-time World Cup winner reiterated that Coutinho can win the coveted prize, even if he doesn't move to Barcelona. He added: âNo. You donât necessarily have to change teams all the time to prove you are good. It all depends on taking your opportunities.â
▪In case you didnât knowâ¦Â
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi has dominated the world of football in the last decade and as such have also hegemonized the Ballon d'Or.
The duo have won each of the last 9 Ballon d'Or awards, with Messi just ahead of the Portuguese, having won the award one more time.
Ronaldo - who helped Madrid do the double last season, thereby becoming the first team in the Champions League era to retain the coveted title - is odds on favourite to lift the Ballon d'Or come the end of the year and equal his arch-rival.
▪The heart of the matter
While Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are still head and shoulders above the rest, Brazil's best player - Neymar - recently shocked the footballing fraternity with a world record â¬222m move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain.
It is being widely reported that the Brazilian jumped ships to come out of the shadow of Messi and establish himself as the best in the world. It has also been said that one of the main motives behind Neymar's move to Ligue 1 was to win the Ballon d'Or.
According to Pele, while Neymar is definitely Brazil's best player, Philippe Coutinho is not far behind and should not be ruled out from winning the coveted prize, if he capitalizes on his failed move to Barcelona, and help Liverpool achieve something special.
Also Read: Ballon d'Or 2017 Power Rankings - August
While Philippe Coutinho still has a long way to go to be considered in the same breath as Messi or Ronaldo, it is not completely unfathomable for the Brazilian to win the Ballon d'Or.
Only 4 Brazilians have won the coveted award so far in its history, and going by how things are right now, Neymar is the favourite to become the 5th.
⚽Arda Turan Determined To Fight For Place At Barcelona⚽
Arda Turan has ruled out the prospect of leaving Barcelona for Galatasaray before the Turkish transfer window closes on September 8.
The 30-year-old is yet to make a first-team appearance this season and has been linked with a move back to the Super Lig since Paulinho's â¬40million arrival from Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao.
However, the Turkey star â who has been named in Barca's 25-man squad for the Champions League group stage â insists he intends to honour his contract, which expires in 2020.
"I'm staying," he told Beyaz Futbol. "I'm very happy here and I have a contract for another three years."
Arda also made it clear that a return to Turkey would be impossible at present given the treatment he would expect to receive from supporters.
The former Atletico Madrid man was the subject of heavy criticism following an altercation with a journalist on a plane, which caused him to announce his retirement from international duty - only to reverse that decision last month.
It is also believed that his public support of president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has caused division among groups of fans.
"Galatasaray is my home but I know they don't want me now," he said. "I don't want to harm the team."