With La Liga a point away, Real Madrid are looking towards the Champions League to add further silver depth to their season. However, for a shot at the UCL, they will have to overcome one of the best sides in Europe – Manchester City.
The first of the two legs is set to take place at the Etihad Stadium tomorrow. Madrid will be hoping to take a leade similar to the one against Chelsea for any chance of reaching the finals.
Ahead of the semi-finals, Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media as part of his routine pre-game press conference. Madrid Universal follows all the quotes quote in this thread.
On the game: “Tomorrow we will fight to be in the final.”
“It will be an open match. We are happy that we are three games away from winning the title. We will face a strong team so my feelings are mixed.”
On Ferland Mendy: “Mendy is dine. We have doubts about Alaba and Casemiro. We will know soon if they will play or not.”
On lineup changes: “The doubt tomorrow is whether we start with Camavinga or Rodrygo.”
On La Liga: “We are not thinking about what might happen on Saturday. La Liga is much closer. It can be won at home, we are very happy that we might able to win it a month before the end.”
On the players: “My players are professionals, they always study the opponent and how to play well against them. We are ready for tomorrow’s match. The players made my life very easy Real Madrid.”
On the semi-final matchups: “There are two teams in the semis that noone expected to be there: Real Madrid and Villarreal.”
“I remember what the press was saying at the beginning of the season and I always said we will fight until the end.”
“I would not say that reaching the semis is an achievement for Real Madrid. Our history always pushes us to be in the finals, the achievement would be reaching the final.”
On Madrid’s UCL experience: “The history that Real Madrid has in this tournament means a lot to us, more than it does to our competitors. This story, which has developed over all these years, helps the players to feel the weight of this shirt.”
On their defensive tactics: “The defence will have an important role in tomorrow’s game. When City has possession, you can’t just look at them, you have to take the ball from then and then take advantage of it.”
On his return: “Why did I return? Because they needed a coach [laughs]. It’s simple, it was a dream to come back. This is not my decision. Real Madrid had confidence in me and now I’m enjoying it.”
Source: Real Madrid Twitter
La Liga president says Real Madrid won’t have issues with Mbappe salary, praises Bellingham: “Best in the world”
Javier Tebas may be at war with Florentino Perez over the Super League, but the La Liga president has always been a vocal supporter of Real Madrid.
Not too long ago, he spoke extensively about Real Madrid’s possible signings of Kylian Mbappe and Alphonso Davies, going as far as to state that the Frenchman might have already signed a deal with Los Blancos.
Speaking at the Football Business Summit in London recently, Tebas once again unravelled many questions about Real Madrid’s financial situations while also touching upon Kylian Mbappe and Jude Bellingham.
On finances and Mbappe
He began by praising Los Blancos for navigating their finances with utmost caution during the crucial years of the pandemic in addition to their splendid revenue generation as revealed by Mundo Deportivo.
“Real Madrid have had a very optimal management, before, during and after the pandemic. Madrid have been earning an average of €30 million per year in the last ten years at least.”
“I don’t know what they are going to pay Mbappé, but knowing their financial situation, they are not going to have a problem paying him. I think it will be much less than what PSG pays him,” he added on the speculated arrival of Mbappe.
Speaking about how Real Madrid are able to make such massive signings while other clubs in the league continue to struggle to meet La Liga’s spending limits, the league president said,
“They have removed two large salary burdens in recent years, Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale. And then they incorporated players with not-so-high investments.
“Real Madrid have then had great benefits, they achieved a significant reduction in the salaries of the players.”
Tebas further stressed the fact that Real Madrid’s financial situation was so rosy that they could invest massive amounts in squad reinforcements without facing any repercussions for the same. He insisted that it was not a bias in any way but a reward for a team that managed situations well.
“We can’t limit the one who is doing well. According to January data, Madrid could invest €700 million euros in transfers. They will not spend that at all, but the situation is so good that they could.”
Praise for Bellingham
Finally, the Spanish administrator praised Real Madrid star Jude Bellingham for his imperious form this season and went as far as to call him the best player in the world.
“Bellingham is currently the best player in the world, for his fitness and his way of playing. It is very important for us to have the best, even if you don’t always have everyone, to grow and for everything.”
“If we are all honest, he has exceeded everyone’s expectations and we hope that he will continue like this for many years,” he concluded.