After securing five back-to-back wins in La Liga, Real Madrid are set to face their biggest test of the season yet as they lock horns with cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid on Sunday night.
Speaking ahead of the game, Dani Ceballos has offered his thoughts, especially after a blistering start to the campaign.
The Real Madrid midfielder thinks it is going to be a competitive encounter between the two, stating: “It is a special match and it is very competitive. Madrid’s dressing room has marked it in red since the match schedule appeared.
“We have to play this match like any other and we have to go out and win from the start, as we did in the previous matches,” he added.
When asked about Real Madrid’s start to the season, Ceballos hailed the team’s strength in depth, especially in the midfield department.
“We are not just 11 players, but we have a very big team. Players come and go and we are all here to prove our quality and help the club. This is one of Real Madrid’s secrets, we have 23 players. When the season is long and there are many matches, we need everyone,” he said.
Ceballos went on to explain Real Madrid’s midfield situation while adding the fact that he feels extremely confident in the team.
“We have a very good midfield with players with a lot of experience, like Modric and Kroos, as well as young players with a lot of desire and enthusiasm like Valverde, Camavinga, Tchouameni and me.
“We are all a very competitive midfield and it’s clear that this year the coach tried different players and many different solutions and we gave the performance that everyone expects and we will continue.”
Ceballos’ thoughts on the derby were echoed by David Alaba, with the Austrian stating: “I’m sure it’ll be a special and tough game. Atlético Madrid are a great side, particularly at home.”
“The derby is always a special game. It’s a meeting between two great teams and we can’t wait for kick-off. I want to really thank the fans. Tomorrow it’s about going all out,“ he added.
The former Bayern Munich superstar also hailed Real Madrid’s good start to the season, adding: “We’ve started the season strongly and have to keep working hard to achieve many things. We’re not looking back and are only looking forward.”
“We’ve got some great facilities at Real Madrid City and work really hard, both on the pitch and in the gym. That explains why we’re all in such good shape.
“We’re working together as a team, from the forwards to the defenders. We did really well last season and have to work just as hard as we did last season,” he said.
Kylian Mbappe wants to be presented as new Real Madrid player before Euro 2024 – report
According to a report from El Chiringuito TV, Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe wants to be presented as the new Real Madrid player before the beginning of UEFA Euro 2024.
It is to be noted that Euro commences on June 14, a mere 13 days after this season’s UEFA Champions League final.
Now, PSG will have their commitment in Ligue 1 until May 18, and depending on their performance in the Champions League, they will officially end their 2023/24 campaign.
At best, if it ends in May itself, Mbappe can see his dream turning into reality but if the French team somehow reaches the UCL final, the French superstar will have to report for international duty soon after
Mbappe is extremely close to becoming the Real Madrid player after it emerged that the forward and the team are closing in on an agreement over image rights.
As such, there would not be any fee involved in the transfer since Mbappe will move as a free agent, but as reported before, the team from the Spanish capital will pay him an extravagant signing-on bonus expected to be around €120-150 million.
How can Real Madrid pull this off?
As of today, both Real Madrid and Mbappe are working on the final details of the contract. While it is assumed that he would earn a fixed salary of €14 million each season in addition to €30 million in bonuses, there remains a disparity regarding his image rights.
At PSG, Mbappe holds 100% of his image rights but Madrid have a policy that has only been mended once when a certain Cristiano Ronaldo joined from Manchester United in 2009.
Ever since the Galacticos era, Madrid have reserved 50% of the player’s image rights, but in the case of Mbappe, the team from the Spanish capital is okay with having just 20% of it as even that would churn in big money.
Once these details are sorted, Real Madrid can make the official announcement of the deal in collaboration with PSG. Once this is done, everyone will wait for PSG to end their campaign and depending on that, Mbappe will arrange his travel to Madrid.