Dani Ceballos is still holding on to his dream that he can make it at Real Madrid despite showing little over two seasons at Arsenal that would have excited the Spanish side.

Dani Ceballos attends the first training session of the team at Soccer City, in Las Rozas, outside Madrid, Spain, 01 July 2021. Copyright: Javier Lizon
Dani Ceballos attends the first training session of the team at Soccer City, in Las Rozas, outside Madrid, Spain, 01 July 2021. Copyright: Javier Lizon

Although Dani Ceballos admitted that he was more suited to life in Spain than England, it’s hard to imagine Real Madrid being remotely interested in him had he been an Arsenal player rather than a Real Madrid player on loan at Arsenal.

As it stands, they were obligated to take him back when his spell in England came to a close, but it’s hard to see him making it at the Bernabeu.

Still, that’s what he wants.

Manager explains why Dani Ceballos flopped at Arsenal

Currently on international duty with Spain at the Olympics, a tournament clubs are not required to release players for, Ceballos said, “After a long summer, more than 30 days of vacation, I think I am in very good shape. With joy to be here with these teammates and with this coaching staff, who are magnificent. I am looking forward to the Games.

I have had no rest. I finished on May 25 with Arsenal, I spent six days resting and then I did not stop. I arrive at a great moment, with good feelings. It is important because it is an atypical tournament, it arrives in preseason, without competition rhythm. That is why prior preparation is essential.”

Ceballos was then asked about being voted Most Valuable Player at the u21 Euros in 2017. “I am a different player, in 2017 I was 21 years old,” he replied. “Now I have spent two seasons at Madrid, another two at Arsenal, I have played with the Absolute, I was one of the captains in the U21 Euro Cup that we won in 2019 , I am going to play the Olympic Games … A lot has happened Since then, I am much more prepared, I am more mature in every way and I have a lot of ambition to show it. I want to succeed in Madrid.

“I have played one Under-19 tournament and two Under-21s with my future up in the air all three times. Now, I am calmer because I am a Real Madrid player, I have two years of contract ahead of me. I have to talk to the new coach and from there decide my future.

With the arrival of Ancelotti the range in the midfield is wide, because he plays 4-3-3 and sometimes with one of the extremes getting inside. It will depend on my performance, my state of form and the talk we have pending to know what he wants from me. From there I want to start with the same options as the rest, because what I have very clear is that if I want to play I have to win it on the field to make it difficult for the coach.”

Ceballos, however, has yet to talk to Carlo Ancelotti since the Italian was appointed Real Madrid manager for the second time, although he only took up the role officially on 1 July.

Naturally, Ceballos was asked about the rumours linking him with a move away this summer.  “I have only spoken with José Ángel Sánchez to find out what day he had to go to preseason. But I had to come here and I haven’t had any more contact with anyone from the club.

“It is clear, I would like to play for Real Madrid. But you have to know what the coach wants and you have to be objective. But my intention is to play for Real Madrid next year.”

Finally, Ceballos was asked if he ever regretted signing for Real Madrid in 2017 when he was wanted by most of the big clubs across Europe.

“I have never regretted signing for Real Madrid, it is what any player would want because you know they look at the best footballers in the world. I have always wanted to do important things at this club and I am going to fight for it.”

So far, Ceballos has pulled on the Real Madrid shirt just 56 times. He wore Arsenal’s 77 and Real Betis’s shirt 105 times.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.