We take a look at the key news stories surrounding Real Madrid from the day
Higuain says Ronaldo and Messi are beasts
Gonzalo Higuain has hailed Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, saying they are both on another level from everyone else. Higuain played for Real Madrid from 2006-2013 and made 264 appearances for Los Blancos, scoring 121 goals.
Higuain found playing time hard to come by and eventually shifted to Napoli, but made a big-money move to Juventus at the beginning of this season. When asked who he thought was the better player between Ronaldo and Messi, Higuain was non-committal but praised the duo.
“It’s not difficult, it’s easy to answer,” he said, according to Marca. “They are both beasts and have each developed their own qualities and characteristics, so play with the one that makes you feel better in your own game.”
Many have had their say on who they feel the better player is, but it is hard to argue with Higuain’s logic. Both are completely different players who bring very different things to their team, and both will go down in history as two of the greatest players ever.
Zidane defends Keylor Navas, asks fans to back the team
Keylor Navas has come in for some heavy criticism recently after a string of shaky performances in Real Madrid’s goal. Navas was particularly criticised after letting in two late goals during Real’s 2-1 defeat to Sevilla, a result which meant that their 40-game unbeaten run came to an end.
However, Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has leapt to the defence of his player, saying that Navas was a big part of their 40-game unbeaten run in the first place, although this hasn’t stopped rumours that Madrid will once again try to sign David de Gea. Zidane also asked Los Blancos’ fans to continue to stand behind the team despite the loss.
“I see Keylor doing very well. Keylor’s season has been very good. We went 40 games without losing and he was there,” he said, according to ESPN. “But I do ask our fans to stand by the team. To lose a game doesn’t change anything. But we need to work harder and make sure it [a loss] doesn’t happen again.”
Sevilla fans abuse of Sergio Ramos condemned by LFP
The Spanish Football (LFP) has condemned the behaviour of Sevilla’s fans after they were heard and seen directing highly abusive language in the direction of Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos. They have also sent a report denouncing the behaviour to the government’s anti-violence committee for sports and the country’s Football Federation.
Ramos complained during the 3-3 draw at his former club, in the Copa del Rey round-of-16 second leg last Thursday, that a section of home supporters at the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium had insulted him throughout the match.
And the LFP have now released a statement where they have highlighted 9 instances during which the Sevilla Ultras, known as the “Biris Norte”, broke the Spanish Football Federation’s disciplinary code, which prohibits chants that “incite violence, racism, xenophobia and intolerance in sports.”
Ramos scored a panenka penalty against his former side and didn’t do his case any favours after he ran directly to the Ultras and cupped his hands against his ear, only angering them further. However, it appears the league will fully back the defender and Sevilla are likely to face a fine for the actions of their fans.
Lauren congratulates Sevilla after they ended Real Madrid’s run
Former Arsenal player Lauren has taken to Twitter to congratulate Sevilla on ending Real Madrid’s 40-match unbeaten run. Lauren was a part of the Arsenal side that famously went unbeaten for an entire season, and stretched their unbeaten run to 49 games.
Clearly, Real Madrid had the former defender worried, as he wasted no time in taking to Twitter after the game. He also pointed out how going 49 games isn’t easy, something that is sure to do nothing for his reputation with Real Madrid fans.
Being Invincibles isn’t easy. 😉#49unbeaten
Well done, Sevilla! pic.twitter.com/3QJELwRWpQ
— Lauren Etame Mayer (@Lauren12arsenal) January 15, 2017
Zidane refuses to confirm whether Ronaldo will play in the Copa Del Rey, says he relies on all 24 players
Cristiano Ronaldo has yet to make an appearance in the Copa Del Rey this season, after Zidane has opted to heavily rotate his squad for the competition. Ronaldo was not at his best during Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Sevilla, and many have questioned whether Zidane’s decision to rest him in games has led to him being a litte rusty.
However, the Frenchman says that other people’s opinions don’t matter to him and that he relies on his entire squad and not just Ronaldo. He also refused to confirm whether or not the Portugese superstar would play a part in the Copa Del Rey fixture against Celta Vigo.
“You’ll see what happens tomorrow. It’s normal that everyone has an opinion about whether it’s better to rest or to keep playing games,” he said, according to the club’s official website. We are a group of 24 players and I’ll always use them all.”
The message will not change, although sometimes I’ll play the same team three or four times. I’ll count on everyone from now until the end of the season. If we win something I’m convinced that it’ll because of the 24 players.”