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Arsenal manager in attendance to watch Real Madrid vs Atletico youth derby

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Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

The Madrid derby is a game that seldom disappoints in terms of entertainment and quality football. Clashes between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid’s first teams have been nothing short of nail-biting in recent times, more so this season.

It is, however, not only the clashes between the senior sides that boasts of passion and high-quality football. Los Blancos and their neighbours face off regularly across various tiers of Spanish football and are set to lock horns later tonight at the U-19 level.

Unexpected audience

Alvaro Arbeloa’s Real Madrid Juvenil A are taking on Fernando Torres’ Atletico Madrid Juvenil A at the Valdebebas today, and the clash is expected to be a juicy one between two fierce rivals.

After all, Real Madrid have stolen several of Los Rojiblancos’ top talents in recent times after breaking the non-aggression pact between the two clubs.

As revealed by Mario Cortegana of The Athletic, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is present at the Valdebebas to watch the two teams face off in the derby. His presence in the audience is a testament to the quality on display.

A possible rival

Real Madrid are drawn alongside Manchester City in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League this season and have their work cut out for them if they are to progress to the final four.

Should they reach the semis, however, Carlo Ancelotti could find himself crossing paths with Mikel Arteta. After all, Arsenal are on the same side of the bracket and will face Real Madrid if they get the better of Bayern Munich.

The Gunners have been in sensational form this season under Arteta, scoring 70 goals and conceding just 24 times in 28 Premier League games. They sit at the top of the league standings and are well-placed to lift the title should their purple patch continue.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid midfielder wants to follow in Kroos’ footsteps and retire at the club

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Photo by Yasser Bakhsh/Getty Images

Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos recently shared that he plans to retire after this season. Now, according to a report from MARCA (h/t Madrid Zone), it seems Luka Modric, another key player, might also be eyeing retirement in Madrid.

Modric, who is 39 years old, has an agreement in principle with Real Madrid to stay for one more season. However, with manager Carlo Ancelotti’s backing for both Modric and Kroos to stay, it has come down to the fact that only one will remain at the club.

Is Modric returning now? 

No, not yet. Like Kroos, Modric wants to finish his career at Real Madrid. If he wanted to retire, he would not have agreed to extend his contract.

It is to be noted that Modric is currently one of the top earners at Real Madrid, but his high salary did not align with his reduced playing time. 

Luka Modric wants to retire at Real Madrid. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Despite his wish to stay, the club was not initially keen on keeping him under such terms.

However, things have changed recently. The club is now considering renewing Modric’s contract due to several reasons. 

First, the midfielder is open to a pay cut and second, his positive influence on younger players like Arda Guler is valued. Lastly, his desire to retire as a Madrid player is a significant factor.

Interestingly, Modric has turned down tempting offers from Saudi Arabia and the MLS to stay with Real Madrid.

Throughout this season, the Croatian international has accepted his decreased playing time, although it was challenging for him given his competitive spirit and pride. 

His role might diminish further once Real Madrid find a replacement for Kroos next season, but for now, Modric will continue to be a prominent figure for the team.

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