Real Madrid News
Boost for Real Madrid as key Barcelona forward ruled out of Copa del Rey semi-final
Ahead of this week’s Copa del Rey semi-final first leg, Real Madrid have received a huge boost as their opponents, Barcelona, will be without star striker Robert Lewandowski.
Indeed, according to journalist Toni Juanmarti, the 34-year-old superstar picked up a knock during Barcelona’s La Liga clash against UD Almeria on Sunday night, which they lost 1-0.
While more tests will be conducted on the Poland captain to determine the extent of his injury, early signs indicate that he will be out of action for a period of 14 days.
It means that Lewandowski will miss Barcelona’s cup semi-final first-leg encounter against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu, which will take place on Thursday night.
This is certain to come as a huge blow for the Blaugrana and a big boost for Real Madrid as Lewandowski has been the main source of goals for Xavi Hernandez’s side this term.
Indeed, in 31 matches across all competitions, the 34-year-old has scored 25 goals and set up six more for Barça this season.
Lewandowski had registered an assist in this season’s first El Clasico in La Liga back in October. Following that, he had scored and assisted a goal apiece as Barcelona defeated Real Madrid in the finals of the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia last month.
The striker’s absence, thus, will come as a boost for Carlo Ancelotti’s side as they head into the semi-final of the Copa del Rey later this week.
Apart from the Pole, Barcelona will also be without Pedri and Ousmane Dembele, but Ansu Fati could return in time for the midweek clash.
Meanwhile, the report adds that Lewandowski could be back in time for Barça’s second meeting with Real Madrid in March, which will take place in La Liga at Spotify Camp Nou.
Real Madrid News
Real Madrid forward sends clear message over future amidst Barcelona links
Marco Asensio is fighting for his future at Real Madrid. The 27-year-old winger is out of contract at the end of the season and there is no concrete decision made by the club over his renewal as of yet.
Some reports had suggested that the club had tabled an offer worth €4 million per year, which the Spaniard did not like as he sought a higher pay packet closer to around €6 million-a-year.
With his future a subject of intense speculation, Asensio had been linked with a move away to Premier League clubs such as Arsenal and Liverpool.
Meanwhile, closer to home, there were strong links to Real Madrid’s arch-rivals Barcelona. Indeed, the Catalans have been touted as potential suitors for Asensio for quite some time now due to the fact that he is represented by Jorge Mendes.
The superagent has close ties with Barcelona president Joan Laporta and reports in Spain have suggested that the Real Madrid winger has, indeed, been offered to the current La Liga leaders.
Amidst these speculations, however, Asensio has seemingly made it clear as to where his heart lies as he awaits a decision on his future.
During last night’s El Clasico against Barcelona, the Real Madrid winger came on as a substitute and went on to score a goal, following which he celebrated at Camp Nou, pointing to the Real Madrid logo on his shirt, showing where his allegiances lie.
The goal, however, was disallowed by the VAR, and Los Blancos ended up losing the game 2-1 thanks to a stoppage-time winner by Franck Kessie.
Earlier today, Asensio took to Instagram and posted a picture of him celebrating with his finger pointing to the Real Madrid logo, reiterating his commitment to the club amidst the links to Barcelona.
As for his disallowed goal, it sparked an angry reaction from Carlo Ancelotti, who questioned the legitimacy of the decision made by the VAR during his post-match press conference.