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‘Extraordinary’ teenage star scores on debut start as Real Madrid nears La Liga title

By Thomas Schlachter, CNN

(CNN) — While Arda Güler’s first season with Real Madrid may have been relatively uneventful, on Friday the 19-year-old nevertheless helped push Los Blancos one step closer to another La Liga title.

Güler scored the early winner in a 1-0 victory against Real Sociedad, his second goal for the Spanish club.

The teenager moved to Madrid from Fenerbahçe in the summer of 2023 but had to wait until Friday to make his debut start in La Liga for the 35-time Spanish champion.

With eyes on Tuesday’s all-important Champions League clash against Bayern Munich, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti opted to rest key players for the game.

Real Madrid stars Jude Bellingham, Vinícius Júnior and Antonio Rüdiger were all relegated to the bench to keep them as fresh as possible for the midweek semifinal.

As expected with the changes, Real Madrid was far from its best. But a sign of a champion is managing to get over the line despite struggling, and Real Madrid managed to do so while keeping a clean sheet away from home.

“I’m very happy for the goal and the victory,” Güler said postgame, per Real Madrid.

Real Madrid boss Ancelotti said of Güler: ” … he is going to be a very important player for us in the future. There is no doubt that he will stay here next year. He has extraordinary quality and a great gift, which is his talent.”

“I’m very proud of the players because they have shown character and the desire to keep winning,” he added.

Real needs four points from its remaining five games to secure the league title.

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