Real Madrid boss Ancelotti sent La Liga title race warning by Barcelona’s Xavi

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As things stand, reigning La Liga champions Real Madrid are sitting pretty at the top of the table, with six wins out of six.

However, Barcelona are breathing down their arch rivals’ necks, with only two points separating both sides so far. With the Catalan giants being a much bigger all-round threat this season, Xavi gave Carlo Ancelotti a warning as both tacticians met at a managerial summit.

“This year we’re closer [to winning the league], I think so”, he said, as quoted by El Chiringuito.

During the 2021/22 campaign, Los Blancos finished above the Blaugrana by a sizeable 13 points.

However, the additions of Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Jules Kounde, Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen, Hector Bellerin and Marcos Alonso have significantly elevated this Barça side.

While Xavi’s take is anything but false, it is also key to note that the side from the Spanish capital also look a cut above in the ongoing term.

With Aurelien Tchouameni’s arrival, the youngster is already levels above Casemiro on the ball, which has made Real Madrid a better outfit in possession as a whole.

In addition, one of the most complete footballers in the world in Federico Valverde has now added output to his game, which means Ancelotti’s men have an additional goal threat at their disposal.

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Also, Rodrygo looks like the ideal understudy to Karim Benzema, which coupled with Valverde’s improved productivity, indicates that the European champions are not as reliant on the club captain and Vinicius Jr. to score goals.

Furthermore, Los Merengues have much more experience in their ranks than Barcelona, which continues to give them the edge in the title race. While Xavi’s men have certainly improved and will certainly push Real Madrid, the latter are also reaching new levels this season.

Real Madrid youngster Rafa Marin is held in the highest of regard within the club and has been tipped for a bright future. And, as per MARCA, the Merengues are planning to hand him a new contract at the earliest possible.

The 20-year-old has been on the club’s books since 2016 when he joined from the Sevilla youth academy. Having progressed through the ranks, the centre-back has grown into a mainstay at the heart of the Castilla defence over the past year.

So far, Marin has played 33 times for Raul Gonzalez’s side and has been a permanent fixture this season, bagging a goal in four matches.

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