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Brahim, Lunin react after RB Leipzig 0-1 Real Madrid: “We continue to show we’re a great team”



Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Having won all six of their group-stage games in the UEFA Champions League, Real Madrid kept the winning streak alive by securing a 1-0 win over RB Leipzig in their Round of 16 first-leg tie on Tuesday night.

Playing away at the Red Bull Arena was a testing task, but Carlo Ancelotti’s men were up for the task. They now have a slender one-goal lead heading into the second leg, and although they would have liked a larger advantage, the one-goal difference was hard-fought and is worth its weight in gold.

Brahim Diaz stole the show on the night with a sensational solo goal that eventually proved to be the difference between the two sides. Speaking to the media after the game, he expressed his happiness for being able to contribute to such a vital goal.

“I’m delighted I could help out by getting the goal and with how the team performed despite our injuries.”

“I picked the ball up, turned well and then I saw they were scared to tackle me, they stepped off and I bent it into the top corner. I’m intuitive. I saw Vini and I wanted to pass to him but then I waited. It was a beautiful goal,” he added, describing how the beautiful finish came about.

The youngster then emphasised how one must take into account that Los Blancos pulled off the result with many of their key stars unavailable through injury.

“We’re missing Jude, Rüdiger, the guys who have been out for a long time. But we continue to show we’re a great team and we’re Real Madrid.”

Carlo Ancelotti brought Diaz off after it appeared like the youngster suffered an injury. Providing an update on his fitness, the Spanish winger said,

“I’m not sure right now. I felt a kick and then it was like my calf seized up. I guess we’ll run tests tomorrow and nothing will come of it.”

The goalscorer then talked about the game as a whole and how it required a monumental effort from the team to get past the German opposition in the first leg.

“We had chances and so did they. It was a great game. The end-to-end nature benefitted us, I think we could have dominated a bit more but we put in a good performance. We’ll score in the second leg.”

With Jude Bellingham and Diaz competing for the same starting spot in the team, many expected that the duo see each other as rivals. The Spaniard, however, revealed that their rapport was very good and spoke about his relationship with the English star.

“I love him, we’ve got on so well since day one. I’m helping him with his Spanish. He’s a world-class player and we’re going to love having him here. Aside from his charisma, he’s a wonderful person and player.”

Finally, Diaz insisted that all he had to do on his part was keep up his high-quality displays and make the most of the chances given to him.

“I have to keep this up, keep showing what I can do on the pitch and nothing more. I just want to help the team and do my bit. I’m so proud to have these teammates who make everything much easier for you.”

Lunin reacts after clutch display

Lunin had a good game vs Leipzig. (Photo by ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images)

Andriy Lunin was the other hero for Real Madrid on the night, pulling off save after save and accumulating a goals-prevented tally of close to 2.5 on the night.

“It was a tough game, really demanding. I’m really pleased and grateful to the team for all their hard work. We came through it together. We picked up a good win and our morale is high. Now we turn our attention to the next game,” he said about his performance at Red Bull Arena.

Looking ahead to the second leg at Santiago Bernabeu, the Ukrainian star admitted that it would be far from easy.

“You always want to improve things, the way you played or the result, but we come away with a win and a slight advantage. It will be a different game at the Bernabéu, starting from scratch. We’ve taken a step in the right direction but we have to keep going.”

Finally, the goalkeeper spoke about the disallowed goal on the night and revealed his perspective on the same, having been a first-hand witness to the incident.

“He was putting me off, I think you can interpret it as a foul. I don’t know. After I punched it, the player shot from the edge of the box. Then I took a couple of steps forward because I didn’t have time to get back in position and I stayed high so I could react if the ball came back in. I think he called it for offside.”

Source: Real Madrid website

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Real Madrid’s best lineup next season with Kroos retiring, Mbappe and Endrick joining



Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images

It is set up to be a transformative summer for Real Madrid. After the UEFA Champions League final has concluded and the grand showdown finally has a victor, the Merengues are expected to undergo a squad revamp.

Indeed, the Santiago Bernabeu is preparing to welcome several high-profile signings, while also bidding farewell to some beloved Madrid legends.

Considering the potential arrivals of Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, as well as Toni Kroos’ recent retirement, here is how Real Madrid could shape up next season:


Having made a long-awaited return from injury, Thibaut Courtois is anticipated to guard Real Madrid’s goal next season once more.

The Belgian goalie has already started featuring in the starting XI and is expected to play against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final, too.

As such, his place for next season is hardly in doubt. However, unlike previous seasons, he will face much fiercer competition from Andriy Lunin, who has enjoyed a stellar campaign.


Fortifications in the defensive line remain high on Real Madrid’s priority list in the upcoming summer transfer window. However, even with the given options the Royal Whites boast assurance and grit in their back-line.

The likely occupants on the flanks would be Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy, who have both produced great exhibitions throughout the campaign.

Ferland Mendy has the full trust of Carlo Ancelotti. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Carvajal is known to punish defensive lines and on the defensive end, his anticipation of forwards has been equally appreciable.

Meanwhile, Mendy’s resurgence this season has earned him immense faith from the coaching staff, as his defensive aptitude continues to set him apart.

In the centre-back positions, Real Madrid are expected to rely on the dependable figures of Antonio Rudiger and Eder Militao.

Real Madrid consider Rudiger to be indispensable owing to his front-footed style and the important role he has had to play amidst the injury crisis. Similarly, Militao is valued by the team as he proceeds to regain match fitness after recovering from a long-term injury.


The void of Toni Kroos in midfield will compel coach Carlo Ancelotti and co. to
reconsider their midfield strategy.

Real Madrid will be unable to count on Kroos next season. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Thankfully for Real Madrid, their succession stage had begun a while ago and they have ample options to trust in the center of the park.

With Aurelien Tchouameni protecting the base of midfield, Real Madrid will possess security and deep progression.

Ahead, occupying the interior midfield positions, Fede Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga are well-suited to provide a combination of energy off the ball and threat in possession.

And to put the cherry on top, Jude Bellingham’s place as the number 10 behind the two strikers would certify his status as a pivotal playmaker and scorer in the team’s setup.

However, he is adept at making third-man runs and connecting the midfield with the offence and could play deeper to not only make up for Kroos’ absence but also facilitate more options up front.


Real Madrid’s offensive department is where the largest reform is expected to take place.

Kylian Mbappe’s goalscoring instincts need little introduction by now and he is thus anticipated to be fielded as the striker.

Vinicius Jr. is expected to take up the position as a secondary striker drifting from the left, something he has become quite accustomed to this season.

Endrick will have to battle for a starting spot. (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)

It is worth noting that Endrick could also play a part by either replacing Vinicius off the bench and playing off Mbappe.

It remains to be seen how many men forward Ancelotti will commit to but the presence of Mbappe and Vinicius seems set in stone, given their huge profiles and status in world football. How the manager uses Rodrygo Goes will be interesting to see as well.

All in all, considering Ancelotti’s proficiency in profiling players, Madrid fans can expect to see these stars play in favourable environments.

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