Emotions are running high as the Champions League final nears. Just over 24 hours remain for the kickoff as both sides prepare to face off in the world’s biggest football game this season.
Speaking to Diario AS ahead of the game in Paris, Federico Valverde jokes about the extent to which he would go in order to lift the prestigious trophy tomorrow night.
“What would I give to win this Champions League? Not my son but maybe my wife yes (laughs),” he said.
Liverpool is the final hurdle that lies in front of Carlo Ancelotti’s side as they prepare to lift their first UCL in over three years. However, Jurgen Klopp’s men will be raring to end their season with silverware, too, especially after losing the league title to Manchester City.
Los Blancos pulled off back to back to back comebacks in the Champions League this season to secure a place in the final.
Federico Valverde is not expected to start in midfield the night, given that Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Luka Modric are all available. However, the Uruguayan could have a crucial role to play in the attacking trident.
The youngster started 19 La Liga games for his side this season, providing one assist and creating three big chances. Defensively, he provided two tackles and an interception every game.
From a pure mentality standpoint, Real Madrid head into the game as favourites. However, it would be unfair to write off Liverpool for they have been consistent with their performances throughout the season.
Real Madrid closely following the progress of 19-year-old Brazilian centre-back
Real Madrid have made it a habit to identify and sign the best young talents from Brazil in recent times. The Merengues recently signed Endrick Felipe from Palmeiras, although the striker will join the club in 2024, once he turns 18 years old.
Now, according to journalist Bruno Andrade on UOL Esporte, Real Madrid have set their sights on 19-year-old Brazilian defender Robert Renan.
The teenage centre-half came through the ranks at Corinthians and went on to make 13 senior appearances for the Brazilian outfit. He left the club last month to sign for Russian giants Zenit St. Petersburg as part of the operation involving Yuri Alberto.
Renan is yet to make his debut for Zenit, but Real Madrid have had their eyes on the 19-year-old for a while now and have been closely following his progress and performances.
The teenage defender is currently a part of the Brazil U-20 team at the South American U-20 Championship in Colombia. And he has performed admirably in the tournament, featuring in each of his team’s five matches so far.
Renan’s performances in the U-20 Championship are said to have further piqued the interest of Real Madrid.
The report suggests that Los Blancos will continue keeping tabs on the young defender’s development at Zenit over the coming months.
With Nacho Fernandez’s contract expiring at the end of the season and Jesus Vallejo’s future uncertain as well, Real Madrid could use a defensive reinforcement in the summer to support Eder Militao, David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger.
Established players such as Josko Gvardiol have been linked with a move to the Bernabeu.
Renan, too, could be an option for Real Madrid in the summer. But, as things stand, the interest in the Brazilian is at a very nascent stage and the Merengues will continue to track his progress at Zenit, where his contract runs until 2028.