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Notes & Quotes: August 20, 2018

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Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Super Cup Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

UEFA announce Player of the Year Nominees—Modric nominated

Earlier today, UEFA announced their nominees for player of the year. The nominees are decided by the coaches from both Europa and Champions League clubs as well as journalists that are members of UEFA affiliates. The three that have made the final ballot are: Luka Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Mohamed Salah, all players from the Champions League Final clubs.

This would be the third year in a row should Ronaldo win again for this past season, though Modric has made a great case for himself as well.

The winners will be announced on August 30, with a 1 in 3 chance of a current Real player receiving the award. It’s likely that these three will be finalists for the Ballon D’Or as well for their incredible past season success.

Ceballos happy with current role and work at club

Dani Ceballos was asked by MARCA about his past season under Zidane and his role with the club going forward this season.

“I have no complaints about Zidane, he made me more mature.”

“It was difficult to gain confidence after a whole year of hardly playing.”

“I have this chance based on my hard work. I’m very happy and I couldn’t be prouder.”

Ceballos has already improved his role with the club, featuring in the starting XI against Getafe. He will likely come off the bench frequently this season, especially with the departure of Mateo Kovacic.

It’s good to see that he appreciates Zidane’s contributions even though Ceballos was rarely featured in Real’s matches last season. His role will clearly expand this season and going forward.

Bale positive about season going forward

Gareth Bale was asked after the Getafe match about his performance and the performance of the squad.

“I’m feeling good and, although I scored, the most important thing was that we got the win and are continuing to improve as a team.”

“We’re really looking forward to the season ahead. Our target, just like every year, is to win all of the competitions we’re involved in and we’ll be giving our all to do just that.

“The new signings have adjusted really quickly. We’ve given them a good welcome and I hope that they’re all available in the near future.”

With Ronaldo gone, the leadership for the attack falls on the shoulders of Bale. He certainly has all the capabilities of doing so, the obvious question remains about being in good health most of the season.

He’ll be looked to in providing the necessary offense needed to make a good campaign in La Liga, the Copa Del Rey, and the Champions League without Ronaldo’s goals to also contribute.

It’s good to see that he is up to the challenge of accepting this pressure and focusing on carrying this team to trophies this season. It’s certainly not an easy task of taking over for one of Europe’s top goalscorers and with injury concerns along with these expectations.