Barcelona and Brazil legend Dani Alves has lavished immense praise on Real Madrid duo Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Jr, claiming that the pair are bound for greatness.
Alves, 39, continues to be a part of the Brazil national team setup and is in the squad for the FIFA World Cup 2022, along with Rodrygo and Vinicius.
Having played some of football’s greatest like Kaka, Neymar, and Lionel Messi, among several others, Alves knows what it takes to reach the pinnacle of greatness. And the 39-year-old said that he sees something very special in both Rodrygo and Vinicius.
During an interview with The Guardian, the former Barcelona defender said about Rodrygo:
“I am a big fan of Rodrygo. I could spend all day talking about him. He’s a phenomenon, a prodigious talent who sees things no one else does, who plays where no one else does with daring, personality.
“It’s a long time since I saw a player like him. When he was at Santos I told friends: he’s going to be a football great, without a doubt.”
Talking about Vinicius, Alves added: “Viní brings the spectacular: a brutal individual talent, speed, power, an incredible willingness to take people on. He maybe has to work on the combinative play, which Rodrygo already has, but he’s, wow, amazing.”
However, Alves did insist that the two are still very young and need to keep working, saying: “There’s still a process to come. We can’t forget with a lot of these players that we’re talking about people who are 20, 21, 22.”
Both Rodrygo and Vinicius have grown into critical components of Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid side. They had a big hand in Los Blancos’ La Liga and UEFA Champions League success last season and have been in good form this term as well.
Vinicius has scored ten goals and set up five more in 21 games for Real Madrid this term whereas Rodrygo has seven goals and five assists from 19 matches.
Given the attacking riches at the disposal of Brazil manager Tite, it will be interesting to see how much the Real Madrid duo feature at the World Cup. But, in Dani Alves’ mind, it is clear that both Rodrygo and Vinicius are on the path to greatness.
UFC Champion to kick off Real Madrid vs Sevilla, sends message to Mbappe: “Lucky to play for the best club in the world”
Coming on the back of his triumph at UFC, Featherweight champion Ilia Topuria has announced he will take honorary kick-off in the upcoming Real Madrid vs Sevilla in La Liga this weekend.
Topuria confirmed this in a recent press conference in the Spanish capital this midweek.
A self-proclaimed Madridista, Topuria expressed his deep connection with the club and even sent a message to Kylian Mbappe, who is widely expected to join the club on a free transfer this summer.
Ilia Topuria: A hardcore Madridista
Ilia Topuria did not hold back his affection for Real Madrid, stating, “For me, the team that represents the values of Spain the most is Real Madrid.”
The Georgian-Spaniard UFC champion went on to confirm that he will meet Florentino Perez on Sunday and take the kick-off.
“I’m going to meet Florentino Perez on Sunday and take the kick-off,” he said (h/t Mundo Deportivo).
Although born in Germany, Topuria made Spain proud last Saturday when he beat Alexander Volkanovski in the second round. In the process, he became the first fighter from Spain to capture a UFC belt.
Topuria’s triumph has granted him overnight success in Spain, with the 27-year-old even becoming a cultural icon for many.
Topuria’s message for Mbappe
Other than professing his love for Real Madrid, Ilia Topuria also had a message for Mbappe.
When asked about the Frenchman potentially joining Real Madrid this summer, he said, “Welcome. He’s lucky to play for the best club in the world.”
Real Madrid, for their part, also congratulated Topuria on his triumph. “Congratulations on your historic triumph for Spanish sport, Ilia Topuria. We are proud that a great Real Madrid fan like you becomes UFC world champion,” the club posted on X.
Real Madrid fans, meanwhile, will be excited to witness Topuria taking the honorary kickoff as Los Blancos take on Sevilla this weekend, with three crucial points on the line.