ICYMI: Modric is 'The Best'
There's just no getting away from it: glitz, glam, lavish vol-au-vants and several pointless discussions that make up the individual awards ceremonies are a big deal to many. And in the most recent edition, last night's FIFA The Best gala, Real Madrid's Luka Modric took the big gong for the men.
The green carpet was full of suits and frocks - and a cheeky footballing son - while there was controversy over some of the decision making. What was clear, no matter whether he was your particular favourite, is that the Croatian midfielder stepped up to the microphone as calm and composed as he would a key dead-ball situation.
Isco (appendix) out
Talking of Madrid midfielders getting up close and personal to a piece of metal, news breaking this morning is that Isco is to face time out as he goes under the knife. Appendicitus is the reason and there are suggestions the player could miss up to a month of action.
Trip to the Pizjuán
With Isco out, Julen Lopetegui will, once again, have to shuffle his pack for Wednesday's league game against Sevilla. Toni Kross is expected to be back in the squad, after missing out at the weekend, and Dani Ceballos may get another chance to impress in the middle of the park. One player almost certain to feature is Álvaro Odriozola who should come in again for the injured Dani Carvajal.
El Derby ref
The games are coming quick and fast and after the midweek clash with Sevilla, Los Blancos will welcome neighbours Atlético across town for El Derby. Juan Martínez Munuera has been named as the man in the middle for Saturday's game, while another man potentially in focus will be José Luis González González - the VAR decision maker. Controversy or not, we'll be bringing you all the coverage live on AS English.
Vinicius earning it
When Real Madrid splashed out 45 million euros on a Brazilian teenager with better stats than Neymar, many fans were itching to see him showing off his worth in the famous white shirt. As yet, for the first team at least, they are still waiting. But this is no surprise for former player Paco Buyo who has said that playing for Real Madrid is not something that comes easy:
"Step by step," Buyo said regarding the progress of Vinicius, "To play for Madrid you have to earn it." Keep plugging away then, son.
Keeping it tight
We may only be five games into the season but one statistic in particular has been very pleasing for Lopetegui. Madrid have only conceded three goals in those games, the best in the league along with Villarreal, one fewer than Atlético and two fewer than Barcelona. With the loss of the goals of Cristiano Ronaldo, many commentators suggested that tightening up at the back was one way to compensate, and with goals continuing to fly in at the other end, the early signs are positive.