'This team is from a movie' – Casemiro hails Madrid Hollywood story

By Sports Desk June 09, 2022

Casemiro says the Real Madrid team is like something from a "movie" as Los Blancos continue to make history.

Madrid eased to their 35th LaLiga title this season, securing the Spanish top-flight triumph with four games to play.

Carlo Ancelotti's side also celebrated Champions League glory, winning the European Cup for the 14th time – more than double any other club has achieved – with victory over Liverpool in Paris.

The 1-0 win over Jurgen Klopp's men at the Stade de France last month was far less dramatic than most expected it to be, given Madrid's route to the final.

Los Blancos turned around a two-goal deficit in the second half of the second leg against Paris Saint-Germain, before staving off a Chelsea fightback to win in extra-time.

Manchester City then seemed to have one foot in the final, but a stoppage-time Rodrygo Goes double followed by Karim Benzema's extra-time penalty secured another sensational victory.

Casemiro has lifted the Champions League trophy five times as a Madrid player and the Brazil international likened their success to something that belongs in Hollywood.

"This team is from a movie. Winning five Champions Leagues in the last eight years only has one definition: making history," he told Spanish daily AS.

"The Champions League won in Paris will be remembered for life. It is the most wonderful European Cup story ever told."

Having led Milan to Champions League glory in 2003 and 2007 and done so with Madrid in 2014 and this year, Ancelotti is the most successful manager in the history of the competition.

Ancelotti is an example in everything. Everything good that happens to him deserves it. He has an infinite illusion for Madrid." Casemiro said of the legendary Italian.

Casemiro has won his Champions League titles alongside Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, who signed a one-year extension on Wednesday.

The 30-year-old revealed Madrid president Florentino Perez affectionately named the midfielders after a trio of famous Spanish opera singers.

"Florentino calls us 'The Three Tenors'. Kroos, Modric and I have earned the right to be remembered for many years," Casemiro continued.

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    Cristiano Ronaldo and Atletico Madrid would make a "good pairing" despite his Real Madrid past, according to Los Blancos great Guti.

    Ronaldo began Manchester United's Premier League opener against Brighton and Hove Albion on the bench on Sunday, having missed the majority of the Red Devils' pre-season campaign after reportedly expressing his desire to join a Champions League side.

    With the likes of Bayern Munich quickly ruling out a move for the 37-year-old, Atletico were touted as a potential destination for Ronaldo, who leads Madrid's all-time goalscoring charts after netting 450 times for Los Blancos between 2009 and 2018.

    Those reports were not well received by Atletico supporters, however, some of whom unveiled a banner reading 'CR7 not welcome' during a pre-season friendly against Numancia.

    Atletico president Enrique Cerezo has also refuted suggestions Ronaldo could make the controversial move, but former Madrid midfielder Guti is surprisingly enthusiastic about the prospect.

    "If in this case he decides to come to Atletico Madrid, why not? It's a great team, he's a great striker," Guti told DAZN. 

     

    "Atletico Madrid needs a good striker and why not? I think it would be a good pairing.

    "It would be strange, because Madrid loves him very much, because he is a very loved player. I think that the Real Madrid fans wouldn't mind. I think that everything Cristiano had to give to Real Madrid, he already gave.

    "If he feels happy being able to play in a great team like Atletico Madrid and in the Spanish league, which I think he wants, why not?"

    Ronaldo has earnt a reputation as chief tormentor of Atletico throughout his illustrious career; the five-time Ballon d'Or winner has scored 25 goals in 37 competitive appearances against Los Colchoneros, including a late penalty in Madrid's 4-1 extra-time Champions League final win in 2014.

  • Ancelotti hails career-best season, will start Champions League final line-up in Super Cup Ancelotti hails career-best season, will start Champions League final line-up in Super Cup

    Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti thinks last season was the best of his illustrious career, after celebrating success in LaLiga and the Champions League.

    Ancelotti was appointed as successor to Zinedine Zidane in June 2021 in something of a surprise move.

    The Italian had seemed satisfied with life at Everton, though he had only managed to lead the Premier League club to 12th and 10th-placed finishes in his 18 months at Goodison Park.

    Ancelotti was a popular figure with fans and players alike during his initial spell at Santiago Bernabeu, taking Madrid to 'La Decima' - their tenth Champions League title - in 2014, but he was dismissed in 2015, with Los Blancos having finished second in LaLiga and exiting the Champions League in the semi-finals.

    Having triumphed in every other major European league, LaLiga success had evaded Ancelotti until his return to Madrid, who cruised to the title in Spain's top flight last season.

    European glory then came in the form of a 1-0 win over Liverpool at the Stade de France at the end of May, making Ancelotti the first coach in history to win the Champions League four times (twice with Milan, twice with Madrid).

    Ahead of the Super Cup against Europa League champions Eintracht Frankfurt in Helsinki, Ancelotti reflected on last season as his best as a coach.

    "I think so, it was the best I had in my career. I was never able to win the league and Champions League [double]," he told a news conference.

    "My players were able to reach this through a fantastic combination – spirit, attitude, quality, experience and enthusiasm of the youngsters.

    "For all these reasons we were able to beat strong teams."

    Asked what Madrid's goals are heading into this season, Ancelotti replied: "We're going to battle on all fronts in every competition, I have no doubts about that.

    "I am confident in all of the players here, considering last year, I think the squad has improved further."

    Madrid have brought in Antonio Rudiger from Chelsea and Aurelien Tchouameni from Monaco, but neither of their new signings will start on Wednesday against Frankfurt, with Ancelotti revealing the same team that lined up against Liverpool in Paris will take to the field.

    "We are here down to the hard work of the players who won the Champions League," said Ancelotti, who was joined in his news conference by Luka Modric and Karim Benzema.

    "We didn't just win with 11 players who are going to start tomorrow, of course there are others who deserve to play, but we can only start 11, and I'm going to play the team that started in Paris."

    With a smile and trademark lift of an eyebrow, he quipped: "I think the two players who are next to me are going to start, if they want to!"

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    Cristiano Ronaldo helped Karim Benzema "on and off the pitch" while at Real Madrid, but Los Blancos' current talisman knew he could do more when his former team-mate departed.

    Ronaldo is Madrid's all-time leading goalscorer, having netted 450 times in all competitions between 2009 and 2018, when he joined Juventus.

    Benzema has since picked up the mantle, however, scoring a remarkable 131 goals in the past four seasons. While Ronaldo's Manchester United future is in doubt, his old strike partner is thriving.

    Of players in Europe's top five leagues last term, only Robert Lewandowski (50) – who will go up against Benzema in LaLiga after his switch from Bayern Munich to Barcelona – scored more goals in all competitions than the France forward, who averaged a goal every 88 minutes.

    Asked ahead of the Super Cup clash with Eintracht Frankfurt whether Ronaldo's exit had directly benefited his own form, Benzema told a news conference: "It's true I've scored more goals but when Cristiano was here we had a different style, I provided more assists and he helped me on and off the pitch.

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    Benzema's form has seen him emerge as a favourite to win this year's Ballon d'Or, a bid only strengthened by Madrid's success in LaLiga and the Champions League last campaign.

    But the striker is simply focused on his team's exploits, adding: "I'm not like that in terms of whether I'm the best or not, I always give my all for this club, the best club in the world.

    "I have to give more and more every year, it's true I had a very good season, but other people can comment on if I'm the best in the world. I'm focused on helping my team in matches, that's all I can say.

    "I'm not thinking about [the Ballon d'Or], there's trophies to win every year, that's very important. I always stress the importance of success for the team that leads to individual success."

    For Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti, there is little doubt that he has the best forward in world football at his disposal.

    Asked if Madrid, who wanted to sign Kylian Mbappe before Benzema's compatriot signed a new deal with Paris Saint-Germain, needed to bring in a back-up striker before the transfer window closes, Ancelotti replied: "We have strikers, plenty of them. Benzema, Mariano [Diaz], [Eden] Hazard, Rodrygo, Vinicius [Junior], have I forgotten any?

    "When you're missing the best striker in the world, there are alternatives, but it's impossible to replace Benzema, no player in the world can replace Karim. If anything happens, we will adapt."

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