Is Zidane running a risk returning to Real without Ronaldo?

By SportsMax Zone March 11, 2019

Zinedine Zidane has returned to Real Madrid in place of Santiago Solari. But the Los Blancos he returns to has no Cristiano Ronaldo. Will that be a hindrance to his success?

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    Paul Pogba and Eden Hazard joining Real Madrid is possible because great players are always welcome at the club, says Raphael Varane.

    Madrid have been linked with big-money moves for the Manchester United midfielder and Chelsea winger as Zinedine Zidane looks to rebuild the squad following a disappointing 2018-19 season.

    Pogba has struggled to stamp his mark on United since returning in 2016 for a then world-record £89million, while Hazard appears set to leave Stamford Bridge with just one year remaining on his contract.

    Varane, who has vowed to remain with the club next term despite links to the likes of United and Juventus, believes players of such calibre will always have a place at the Santiago Bernabeu.

    "I can't say what I talk to [Pogba] about, but any great player has a place at Madrid and he is one," Varane told Marca.

    "In Madrid there is a lot of competition. It is a possibility, there is a lot of noise around and we will see in August where he is."

    On Hazard, he added: "I've known him since I started at Lens. He is a top player and it's like I said to explain the case with Pogba, he could also play at Madrid.

    "He is in the best moment of his career with the age and quality he has. When we [France] faced [Belgium] in the World Cup semi-finals we knew we had to have a special plan to stop him."

    Madrid have long been expected to sign a new striker to replace Karim Benzema, but the former Lyon man hit 30 goals in all competitions this season – his best since the 2011-12 campaign.

    "To play for Madrid for 10 years and also being the number nine you have to be very good and have a huge mental strength. He is very talented and has reached a moment of fulfilment," said Varane.

    "He knows himself very well, he knows what he has to do to be at his best level and he has had a very good season.

    "It may be the best of his career, and it is true that I have seen him very comfortable in his role as leader of the attack. I am very happy for him."

  • Del Bosque defends Spanish clubs despite European failure Del Bosque defends Spanish clubs despite European failure

    Vicente del Bosque defended the standard of Spanish football after LaLiga clubs missed out on European success.

    Both European finals will be played between English clubs, with Liverpool and Tottenham meeting in the Champions League and Chelsea facing Arsenal in the Europa League decider.

    But former Spain and Real Madrid coach Del Bosque defended Spanish clubs, pointing to their recent record in Europe.

    Madrid or Barcelona have won the past five Champions League titles, while Atletico Madrid or Sevilla have claimed four of the previous five Europa Leagues.

    "Well, if you saw the last 20 years, the Spanish clubs have won 50 per cent of the Champions League titles," Del Bosque said on Tuesday.

    "Also, we've had very good performances of Sevilla and Atletico, who win the Europa League.

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