In-form Borussia Dortmund striker Paco Alcacer reveals Barcelona disappointment

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Alcacer left Barcelona in the summer to join Dortmund on loan.

Spanish striker Paco Alcacer has revealed his unhappiness with his playing time in Barcelona prior to making the switch to Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund on loan.

The forward scored a total of 15 goals in 50 appearances for Barcelona over the course of two seasons before making the temporary move to Germany this summer.

The former Valencia man has been in great form for Dortmund this season and netted a hat-trick in his side’s latest win over Augsburg.

Currently with the Spain squad for the international break, Alcacer stated the reasons for his Barcelona departure while declaring that he is happy at the German club.

“I decided to look for minutes away from Barcelona,” Alcacer was quoted as saying by Marca.

“After having two years with Barcelona and not playing an important role, not everything went as I’d hoped.

“I’m happy now, in the end it comes down to decision making.”

Alcacer has been in fine goal-scoring form for Dortmund.

Alcacer has been in fine goal-scoring form for Dortmund.

The 25-year-old refused to reveal the conversations he had with Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde over the summer.

“The decisions that I make, I’ve made them, my conversations with Ernesto (Valverde) are private,” he explained.

“I decided to look for minutes away from the club.

“At Barcelona with Luis Suarez, (Lionel) Messi, (Ousmane) Dembele, it’s very complicated to play.”

The loan move to Dortmund has worked well for the Spaniard so far with the striker grabbing a total of six goals already in three appearances.

The forward will now be hoping to carry that prolific form into the international arena as Spain get ready to tussle with Wales in a friendly on Thursday.

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Manuel Pellegrini 'shocked' Real Madrid allowed Cristiano Ronaldo to depart for Juventus

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Pellgrini is surprised Ronaldo was allowed to leave Madrid.

Real Madrid sit just two points behind current La Liga leaders Sevilla but the Los Blancos have come under increasing fire after failing to score a single goal in their last four games.

The barren spell has led to pressure increasing on new manager Julen Lopetegui as he continues to deal with the aftermath of Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure to Juventus in the summer.

Real have struggled to replicate the Portuguese superstar’s goals this season and former manager Manuel Pellegrini has expressed his surprise that the club sanctioned his departure to Juventus.

The West Ham manager spent one season in the Spanish capital with the club with his side finishing second in the league despite accumulating 96 points.

Speaking on Spanish radio show El Larguero, the Chilean said, “Madrid have lost a lot of goals; Cristiano took too many goals with him when he left. He should have ended his career in Madrid and I was surprised they allowed him to leave.”

Madrid have struggled to score in Ronaldo's absence.

Madrid have struggled to score in Ronaldo’s absence.

The pressure of replacing Ronaldo’s goals this season for Madrid has fallen on the shoulders of Welsh star Gareth Bale and French forward Karim Benzema.

However, Pellegrini believes the two players are vastly different from Ronaldo and will struggle to replace the Portuguese’s phenomenal goal-scoring numbers.

“There is a difference between (Gareth) Bale and Cristiano, who has made the difference for the last 10 years,” the West Ham manager stated.

“He (Benzema) has been at Madrid for nine years and has a goals average he will maintain. He is a mixture between a creative player and one who operates on the edge of the area.”

Real Madrid will hope to break their goal-scoring drought when they welcome Levante to the Bernabeu on October 20 following the completion of the international break.

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Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and other stars make shortlist for Ballon d'Or

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England striker Harry Kane and Wales forward Gareth Bale are the only British names on the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or.

Tottenham‘s Kane and Real Madrid‘s Bale are on a list that also features five-time winners Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who has won the award the past two years.

It includes a total of 11 Premier League players – Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, Kane and his Spurs team-mate Hugo Lloris, Liverpool’s Alisson Becker, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, and Chelsea pair Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante.

There are two England players among the nominees for the inaugural Women’s Ballon d’Or – Lyon defender Lucy Bronze and Chelsea forward Fran Kirby.

And England and Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has been named on a 10-man shortlist for the new Kopa Trophy for players under the age of 21.

Kane captained his country to the semi-finals of the summer’s World Cup in Russia, and finished as the tournament’s top-scorer with six goals.

Bale scored twice in Real’s Champions League final win over Liverpool in May.

Ronaldo, who last week firmly denied allegations of rape, was also part of that triumph before moving to Juventus in July.

Another man on the list who was part of Real’s Champions League success is Luka Modric, who went on to lead Croatia on their run to the World Cup final.

They were beaten 4-2 in the final by France, and there are six of the victorious Les Bleus team on the list in Pogba, Lloris, Kante, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe – also nominated for the Kopa Trophy – and Real’s Raphael Varane.

The Ballon d’Or, now separate from FIFA’s own player of the year award, is bestowed annually by France Football magazine. Modric won the 2018 FIFA men’s award last month, while the women’s award went to Brazil forward Marta, another Women’s Ballon d’Or award nominee.

Nominees: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Alisson Becker (Liverpool), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Edinson Cavani (Paris St Germain), Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Isco (Real Madrid), Harry Kane (Tottenham), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Kylian Mbappe (Paris St Germain), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Neymar (Paris St Germain), Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Luis Suarez (Barcelona), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid).

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