Real Madrid are inches away from winning their 35th La Liga title as they get ready to take on Espanyol at the Santiago Bernabeu. Should Carlo Ancelotti’s men avoid defeat, their position at the top of the table would be confirmed for good.
Ancelotti could become the first-ever manager to win a league title in the top five leagues in Europe if Madrid can as little as take a point tomorrow.
They are, however, coming off a seven-goal thriller against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. While they bowed down 4-3, it has certainly given them enough momentum heading into the weekend game.
Ahead of this historic clash, the Italian coach took part in his routinely pre-game press conference; all quotes in this thread by Madrid Universal.
On the possible title win: “We know we are very close to win a title tomorrow but we have to get a point because it’s not over yet.”
On Marcelo: “Marcelo? He has suffered as a player because he has not played a lot this season. He is our captain and he’s a professional. He’s been perfect for his teammates. I respect him a lot.”
On celebrations: “Celebrating tomorrow? We have not thought about it yet but if we win we will celebrate it of course.”
On Benzema and Vinicius resting: “Vinicius and Benzema? They can rest tomorrow yes, but if a player is fine he will play. I will bench the players who are tired and not because it’s an easier game tomorrow.”
On the starting XI: “I can’t use Alaba, Nacho and Militao tomorrow so Vallejo will play tomorrow. I could use Casemiro as CB because he has recovered.”
“We have many options for the midfield tomorrow because all of them have recovered after the City game.”
On Casemiro’s replacement: “We don’t need a replacement for Casemiro because we have many players who can play in that role. Kroos, Camavinga…”
On Marco Asensio: “Asensio is fresh and can start tomorrow. I will evaluate what to do with Benzema.”
On David Alaba: “Alaba has suffered the same problem in the abductor he suffered the last week. I don’t know if he will play against City, we have to wait until Tuesday.”
On Mauricio Pochettino’s words about Mbappe: “What Pochettino said about Mbappe? I think all the Madridistas are thinking about La Liga and the Champions League right now. Only about that.”
“Pochettino said Mbappe will 100% stay? Sometimes coaches don’t tell the truth.”
On Madrid’s attack: “Many goals? Benzema is doing an amazing season, Vinicius has improved, Asensio has scored a lot of goals, Modric and Kroos have scored, Casemiro, Rodrygo…we have improved.”
On lineup selection: “I usually talk to my players to know how they feel but at the end I always decide who will play. The player’s opinion is important but not the most important.”
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.