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Notes & Quotes: September 6, 2018

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Ceballos’ interesting reveal, Isco doesn’t believe Ronaldo is missed yet, and Varane’s thoughts on Ballon D’Or

Real Madrid v AC Milan - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Ceballos reveals he would have left if Zidane had stayed manager

Dani Ceballos spoke with Radio MARCA and revealed something a bit shocking about his time with Real last season.

“It’s something for him to explain, why I didn’t get opportunities.”

“I worked, I tried to make [decisions] difficult for him, but a moment comes when you see it’s impossible.”

“I scored two goals in Vitoria and the next game I played one minute against Dortmund. When you spend weeks not feeling important, it’s more difficult.”

“There was a moment in which I gave the season up. We were 15 points [off the top] in LaLiga and only had the Champions League left, but I didn’t enter into the dynamic.”

“I hired a personal trainer in January, because I wasn’t playing Wednesday and Sunday and I lost that intensity. I was looking to be fit for pre-season.”

If Zidane had continued, I would obviously have looked for an exit, but everything was different with Julen’s arrival.”

This is a bit surprising since Ceballos just did an interview a few weeks ago where he said he had no hard feelings towards Zidane, despite not playing much last season. While Ceballos did say he was disappointed with not being selected, but never revealed that he wanted out if Zidane were to remain as manager.

It was unfortunate that he didn’t get much time to play last season, but he is still young enough to develop more and take some time to be incorporated in. He probably should have been sent on loan last January to get some playtime elsewhere.

Hopefully Ceballos continues to rotate into the lineup for often, he likely will given that Kovacic is at Chelsea for the remainder of the season. And he has the chance to become the player Real want when they transferred him over from Betis. This is a very interesting revelation, though.

Isco doesn’t believe Ronaldo is missed just yet

Isco was interviewed while preparing for Spain’s match against England. He gave his thoughts on how he thinks the Ronaldo move to Juventus will be perceived.

“Cris is an extraordinary player.”

“He guaranteed you 40 to 50 goals. But if we win, they’ll say we don’t miss him and if we don’t win, they’ll say we do.”

“We’re playing very well now; players who didn’t score as many goals last year are now filling their boots. We don’t miss him at the moment. I wish him all the best at Juve.”

Isco is absolutely right about how “they”, obviously the fans and the media, will view Ronaldo’s exit depending on what happens this season for Real Madrid.

If they win LaLiga and/or the Champions League, then the comments of “who needs Ronaldo” will likely follow, which certain groups of fans will use to discredit his contributions to Real’s success since joining.

However, should they achieve neither this season, then the talks certainly switch focus to Real being nothing without Cristiano’s help, a bit of a lose-lose situation. We’ll have to see what transpires this season for Real and if they truly need a Ronaldo-caliber player or if they have many of the tools still that are necessary.

Varane asked about his chances at the Ballon D’Or

Raphael Varane was interviewed ahead of France’s match against Germany about his great season last year and whether it was worthy of the Ballon D’Or.

“I’m glad you told me about it, but it’s not a topic of debate within the group.”

“It’s an individual reward. We play a collective sport. It showcases the work done, but it’s a personal one.”

”It’s not an objective and if I don’t win it, it won’t be a disappointment. It’s true that last season was exceptional. It will be difficult to do better, unless I put in 40 goals.”

”Other players are less mentioned but have been very successful, like Kante or Pogba.”

Varane raises a good point about being a candidate for the Ballon D’Or as a defender. With Ronaldo and Messi’s dominance of the award, it seems the only players considered to win the award are ones who put in the most goals, while also winning. That could all change though if Modric ends up winning it this year.

The last centerback to win the Ballon D’Or was Fabio Cannavaro in 2006, the season he joined Real Madrid from Juventus. Varane certainly could make a good case based on last season’s performance, arguably one of the best centerbacks last season with Real and one of the best in the World Cup for France.

He likely won’t even be a finalist, but he certainly had a convincing season that is worthy of recognition.