The Hard Tackle takes a look at some of the key stories regarding Real Madrid from the day.

Real Madrid overcame a fighting Kashima Antlers 4-2 on Sunday evening to be crowned the Club World Cup champions. As Los Blancos enter the winter break on a positive note, here’s a roundup of everything happening in and around the Santiago Bernabeu.

Cristiano Ronaldo to be crowned the FIFA Player of the Year: Spanish Reports

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo receives the Golden Ball trophy after winning the Club World Cup football final match between Kashima Antlers of Japan and Real Madrid of Spain at Yokohama International stadium in Yokohama on December 18, 2016. (Photo by Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images)

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo receives the Golden Ball trophy after winning the Club World Cup football final match between Kashima Antlers of Japan and Real Madrid of Spain at Yokohama International stadium in Yokohama on December 18, 2016. (Photo by Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images)

If reports in Spain are to be believed, Cristiano Ronaldo is the newly crowned FIFA Player of the Year, with Barcelona star Lionel Messi finishing runner up to the Portuguese forward.

Spanish media outlet Mundo Deportivo has claimed the the Real Madrid star has edged out Messi, but by a much tighter margin than the one he won Ballon d’Or by earlier this month. Atletico Madrid and France forward Antoine Griezmann is a distant third.

2016 has been a massively successful year for Ronaldo, with the Portugal captain winning the Champions League for the second time in three years with Real Madrid before clinching Euro 2016 with his national team. An impressive start for his club has seen Zinedine Zidane’s side go 39 games unbeaten and a flourishing year was rounded off with the Club World Cup win as Ronaldo scored a hat trick in the final.

Gareth Bale steps up recovery from ankle injury

Putting in the work 💪🏼 (link in bio)

A photo posted by Gareth Bale (@garethbale11) on

Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale has provided a positive update on his recovery from ankle injury. The Welshman sustained the gruesome injury during the Champions League match against Sporting Lisbon last month, that sidelined the explosive forward for up to four months.

Bale, however, has now posted a video on social media platform Dugout, as he performed several exercises to step up recovery from the injury troubles. As he strives to regain fitness and make an emphatic comeback from what was described as a ‘traumatic dislocation of the peroneal tendons’ in his right ankle, Bale has interacted with the Real Madrid fans to reassure them on his rehabilitation.

James Rodriguez gets a UK visa?

Real Madrid's midfielder James Rodriguez (L) and other players jog during a training session in Yokohama on December 17, 2016. Real Madrid of Spain will play Kashima Antlers of Japan in the Club World Cup final football match at Yokohama International stadium in Yokohama on December 18. (Photo by Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images)

Real Madrid’s midfielder James Rodriguez (L) and other players jog during a training session in Yokohama on December 17, 2016.
Real Madrid of Spain will play Kashima Antlers of Japan in the Club World Cup final football match at Yokohama International stadium in Yokohama on December 18. (Photo by Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images)

With every passing day, it’s looking increasingly likely that James Rodriguez will leave Real Madrid as the January transfer window approaches. Earlier today, he was spotted at the British Embassy in Bogota, with reports indicating that he was there to obtain a UK visa. As reported by the Sun (h/t El Tiempo), Rodriguez is travelling to his home town of Medellin to spend Christmas with his family.

However, he is also in Colombia for an additional purpose: to obtain a UK visa ahead of a possible move to the Premier League. The spotting outside the British Embassy comes on the back of Rodriguez’s acknowledgement that he could be open to a move away from Real Madrid, after revealing that he is considering offers from several clubs.

Rodriguez has failed to find a regular spot in the starting lineup under Zinedine Zidane this season, with the Frenchman preferring the likes of Isco, Mateo Kovacic, Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez. And it was the same story on Sunday as Rodriguez was an unused substitute in the Club World Cup final as well. If he has indeed obtained a UK visa, it’ll be interesting to see how the imminent transfer saga unfolds.

Other Real Madrid News

Real Madrid’s transfer ban has been halved from two years to one, after the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) partially upheld the appeal lodged by the club against the FIFA, reducing the sanction of a transfer ban to just one period, corresponding to the January 2017 transfer window.

Los Blancos are monitoring 17-year-old Brazilian prodigy Augusto Galvan, with reports indicating that the club is working on a move to bring the highly rated attacking midfielder to the Santiago Bernabeu.
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