After roping in the league title this weekend, Real Madrid will host Manchester City at the Santiago Bernabeu for the UEFA Champions League semi-finals second leg.
Los Blancos are down 4-3, but are still very much in the tie. Their night could have been much worse, in fact, but individual brilliance from Vinicius Jr and Karim Benzema pushed the capital outfit to shore.
The world will have its eye on this game, and nobody knows that better than Carlo Ancelotti. The first manager to win the top five league addressed the crowd as part of his pre-game press conference ahead of the game.
On the players: “They are fine and very motivated, we could play another Champions League final. We know it will be very difficult but we are confident.”
On the matchup vs Manchester City: “City and Real Madrid have different qualities. Personality is a very important aspect, also the individual qualities. Champions League is very difficult, we will need more than just our hearts.”
“City have the advantage and we have to play a good game. The atmosphere is very good after winning La Liga, we can do it tomorrow.”
On Casemiro’s return: “Casemiro’s return? He will surely help us in defense. We need to play better collectively. We worked on the defensive aspect and I believe you will see the improvement.”
On Vinicius: “Vinicius has improved a lot in his scoring ability. He’s colder in front of the net and now he takes his time to decide what to do. He’s much more mature now.”
On choosing between Valverde or Rodrygo: “Valverde or Rodrygo? I don’t have doubts. It will be a long game, it’s not important who will start, it will be important who will end it.”
On David Alaba: “David Alaba will NOT play tomorrow.”
“Alaba has been a very important player for us this season but Nacho will be important too tomorrow.”
On Luka Modric: “He has not changed during the years. He’s a very professional player, he’s excellent, extraordinary…a tremendous player with enormous qualities, both physically and technically.”
On their attack: “We have improved the offensive aspect. Karim, Vinicius, Asensio, Modric, Kroos… sometimes we suffers against low blocks because we don’t have a very tall 9.”
Source: Real Madrid Twitter
€85 million-rated Serie A winger ‘dreams’ of playing for Real Madrid, claims father
Napoli winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia dreams of playing for Spanish giants Real Madrid, the winger’s father has revealed following the UEFA Champions League clash between the two teams last night.
Kvaratskhelia, 22, exploded upon arriving at Napoli last year, leading them to the Serie A title on the back of his explosive performances.
The Georgian winger has been impressing in the ongoing campaign as well, although he failed to score or assist in either of Napoli’s meetings with Real Madrid in the Champions League group stages.
Kvaratskhelia has previously spoken about how he has always been a lifelong supporter of Real Madrid and grew up idolising some of the club’s legends like Cristiano Ronaldo and Guti, among others.
Now, the 22-year-old winger’s father has revealed that his son has always dreamt of and continues to dream of playing for Real Madrid.
As quoted by Fabrizio Romano, Kvaratskhelia’s father said: “Khvicha always dreamed and still dreams of playing for Real Madrid. I am sure about it.”
Talking about the fact that the winger got to play against Real Madrid, Kvaratskhelia’s father added: “For Khvicha, playing vs Real Madrid was special. In my family, everyone is a Real Madrid supporter, except me.”
Real Madrid are in the market for attacking reinforcements, but they are looking for a centre-forward next summer and have Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland as their main targets.
As for Kvaratskhelia, whose market value stands at €85 million, it seems quite apparent that he harbours dreams of playing for Real Madrid. But it remains to be seen if there is some interest from Los Blancos in signing the winger.