Dani Ceballos’ stock may be on the rise but it appears that the Spain and Real Madrid midfielder still has a long way to go, as a penalty shootout loss to skipper Sergio Ramos has proved.
Both players took five penalties each, with Kepa Arzziabalaga the keeper against Ramos while Pau Lopez guarding the sticks when Ceballos stepped up to the spot.
It went down to the wire, with Ramos shooting first and finding the back of the net all five times but Ceballos came up short in his final attempt:
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Spain had a sub-par World Cup, getting knocked out by hosts Russia on penalties so no wonder the players are working on their spot-kicks after training.
Ramos, in contrast to his countrymen, is very good at taking penalties and regularly takes them for Spain and Real both.
Things haven’t been so good for Los Blancos either, for they are struggling to fill Cristiano Ronaldo’s void at the moment.
Julen Lopetegui’s men are winless in their last four games and perhaps even more alarmingly, they haven’t scored during that time period as well.
The only saving grace for Los Blancos is that arch-rivals Barcelona haven’t made a great start either.
Sevilla top the La Liga rankings with a tally of 16 points from eight games, followed by Atletico Madrid (15 points), Barcelona (15 points) and Real Madrid (14 points).
The ongoing international break will give the clubs a welcome respite as the players focus on their respective national teams.
Spain take on Wales (October 11) and England (October 16) in two high-profile international fixtures and will be expected to register wins in both.