RB Leipzig talisman Dani Olmo has said that his team will try to keep Real Madrid out of possession in order to avoid any kind of threat as the teams prepare for their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first-leg tie.
Olmo is gearing up for his fifth appearance in the Champions League against a team coming from his country.
His aim is clear: to shine on the pitch and highlight his form, ultimately making a compelling case for a return to the Spanish national team ahead of the upcoming Euros.
“We have to try to keep the ball away from the Real Madrid players, they are very good at handling it, and they have high-quality players. The farther the ball is from them, the better for us,” said Olmo as per AS.
“But we also have to be careful when we lose the ball, they have very fast players like Vinicius, Rodrygo, and Brahim, and all of them can surprise us with counterattacks,” he added.
Facing Real Madrid
Real Madrid and Leipzig have faced each other just twice in the past, but knowing the gravity and the recent performance of the team from the Spanish capital, he did mention that he likes of idea of playing against them.
“I like the idea of playing against a Spanish team again, and even more so against Real Madrid. Last year we met in the group stage and this year in the round of 16. There is no greater incentive.”
Having already experienced the sweet taste of victory against Real Madrid in their sole encounter in the tournament last year, where he secured a triumphant 3-2 win on the fifth day of the group stage, Olmo is now eager to showcase his skills in another crucial match.
“We do not think about what happened before, but we have to take advantage of the weapons we have in defence and attack, and we have to use them to perfection.”
His thoughts on Real Madrid players
Olmo was asked if there is anything in particular that worries him while facing Real Madrid, to which he said,
“Anyone would say, [Jude] Bellingham, Vinicius, who has an amazing level, and [Toni] Kroos. I cannot name everyone because they all make the difference in a match like this.”
Furthermore, while speaking about Luka Modric, who hasn’t played much this season, the Spaniard said,
“Modric has proven that he is one of the best players in the world, in general and in his position. But those who have come, like [Eduardo] Camavinga, Bellingham and [Aurelien] Tchouameni, are young and I am sure they are learning from him and other veteran players.
“Like Kroos. I know him personally, he is a role model on and off the field. Everyone will learn from him.”
Real Madrid have been reeling with injuries this season, especially in defence so much so that none of their first choice centre-backs are in the matchday squad for this fixture, except for Nacho.
Adding to the misery, Bellingham also picked up an injury against Girona and is set to miss this tie.
“They had a bit of bad luck, that’s true, but Real Madrid have a lot of players and a lot of quality to make up for injuries. Carvajal and Tchouameni played as centre-backs.
“I know it will be a competitive team. We have to be 100% ready and do damage to them,” said Olmo.
Real Madrid do not want to pay ‘crazy money’ for top defensive target – Romano
As has been reported by multiple reliable sources today, Alphonso Davies is likely to be on his way to Real Madrid from Bayern Munich in the summer.
It has been suggested that the 23-year-old Canadian left-back already has a verbal agreement with Los Blancos over a transfer either this summer or in 2025, when his contract with the Bundesliga champions runs down.
Now, the idea is for Real Madrid to start negotiations with Bayern Munich over a transfer fee so that a mutually beneficial agreement can be reached for the summer window.
Real Madrid will not pay crazy money
Amidst all this, Fabrizio Romano has come out with an update claiming that Real Madrid do not intend to pay ‘crazy money’ to sign Davies from Bayern Munich given that he will be entering the final year of his contract.
The Italian transfer expert claims that Real Madrid have been the preferred destination for Davies for a while now and that the personal terms between the two parties will not be an issue at all.
So, a summer move would now hinge on Bayern Munich’s asking price for their left-back.
Romano states that the Bavarian giants will attempt to tie Davies down to a new contract until May or even June.
But if the left-back, who is demanding hefty wages worth around €20 million, does not agree to sign, they will be forced to sell instead of losing him for free next year.
In that scenario, Real Madrid will be best-placed to sign Davies, although Los Blancos will not go overboard with their spending on the Canadian.