Real Madrid news in brief: Sergio Ramos, Odegaard, Varane...
Ahead of Real Madrid's return to action, we bring you a selection of bitesize tidbits: Ramos' lookalikes, Martin Odegaard's future, and more.
Odegaard impresses for Norway
Martin Odegaard's fine recent form for Vitesse, where is currently on loan from Real Madrid, was in evidence in the international break. A starter in both Norway's Euro 2020 qualifying fixtures, a 2-1 defeat to Spain on Saturday and a 3-3 draw with Sweden three days later, he played a key role in the Norwegians grabbing a point against their fellow Scandinavians in Oslo, his pinpoint corner kick setting up Ola Kamara to head in a crucial, 96th-minute equaliser.
Having endured a disappointing 18-month stint at Heerenveen, Odegaard has impressed for Vitesse, scoring seven goals and supplying seven assists so far this term. The plan at the Bernabéu is for the 20-year-old, who is under contract at Madrid until 2021, to complete pre-season with Los Blancos this summer, with coach Zinedine Zidane then deciding whether to add him to his squad or send him out to another club, either on loan or in a permanent deal with a buy-back option.
Having already exchanged some light-hearted Twitter banter with Orange Is The New Black actor Pablo Schreiber over the pair's apparent physical likeness this week, Sergio Ramos was busy engaging in some more lookalike LOLs on Thursday. Accompanied by the hashtags "StartByLaughingAtYourself" and "AlwaysImprovingLikeGoodWine", the Real Madrid and Spain defender posted his "own personal selection" of yet more celebrities who, according to his social-media followers, he bears - or has borne - something of a resemblance to:
Varane launches book amid uncertainty over future
Raphael Varane, who has been the subject of intense recent speculation over his future at Real Madrid, has released his biography Varane, l'Art de la gagne ('Varane, the art of winning'), written by Luca Caioli and Cyril Collot. The 25-year-old defender, who played the full 90 minutes in both of France's Euro 2020 qualifiers this international week - 4-1 and 4-0 wins over Moldova and Iceland, respectively - was reported by L'Équipe this month to be considering leaving Madrid this summer, after eight seasons at the Bernabéu.
All Real Madrid's internationals back in training
Ramos and Varane were both back at Real Madrid's Valdebebas training ground on Thursday as the last of Los Merengues' internationals returned to the fold ahead of Sunday evening's LaLiga clash at home to Huesca (20:45 CET). Goalkeepers Keylor Navas and Thibaut Courtois both did work in the gym, and club captain Ramos also did not train with the group, instead completing an individual running session out on the training pitch. Dani Carvajal and Vinicius - who is now expected to return before the end of the season - both continued their recoveries from hamstring and ankle injuries, respectively.
Llorente eager to make comeback
Also working on his return from injury is Marcos Llorente, who has not played for Madrid since suffering a hamstring issue against Barcelona in February. The midfielder, 24, is in the frame to make his comeback this weekend, and took to social media on Wednesday to make plain his eagerness to get back to action. "Can't wait for LaLiga to return. Can't wait to return to LaLiga duties," he wrote.
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