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Federico Valverde on Madrid winning their 15th UCL: “Will match my shirt number”

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Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde has said that he is confident of winning the 15th Champions League title, despite drawing 1-1 with Manchester City in the first leg of the semi-final.

In a recent interview, the Uruguayan international has backed his team to secure a victory in the second leg, where Real Madrid must ensure a win in order to qualify for the final.

“A 1-1 draw in the first leg? They always taught us in Madrid that we play until the end, so we have 90 minutes left,” Valverde told Diario AS.

Real Madrid are indeed known for their pedigree in the UEFA Champions League. They have won the competition 14 times – more than any other team in Europe.

Even when the chips are down, the Spanish giants always seem to find a way and Valverde expects his team to do just that next week. The player reiterated Real Madrid’s powers in the competition while adding that winning the 15th title could be a special occasion for him.

“Playing in the Champions League is special because it’s Real Madrid’s competition,” he said. “Winning the 15th UCL for Real Madrid will be incredible as it will match with my shirt number.”

Federico Valverde had to operate as a central midfielder during Real Madrid’s first-leg match against Manchester City. But recent reports suggest Carlo Ancelotti might shift to a 4-4-2 formation in the second leg, which could see the Uruguayan operate out wide.

Having already been involved in 18 goals in all competitions this season, Valverde’s tenacity and ability to provide a scare in the final third will be of necessity as Real Madrid look to turn the tide in their favour at the Etihad next week.

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Real Madrid News

Spain midfielder credits Real Madrid assistant manager for career success

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Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Spain’s European Championship campaign so far has been one filled with revelations. From young Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams on the wings to the ever-so-solid midfield, La Roja have impressed across the park and have taken the tournament by storm.

One such player who has played a critical role for the team despite not being in many pundits’ squad for the tournament is Fabian Ruiz. The PSG midfielder has been sensational for Luis de la Fuente’s men so far, scoring once and providing one assist in two games.

Despite not having any direct links with Real Madrid, the Spanish midfielder interestingly credits Davide Ancelotti for his success and AS brings the story.

A chapter in Naples

Fabian Ruiz may have never played for Los Blancos in his career so far, but he crossed paths with the Ancelottis in Naples a few years ago.

Ruiz signed for the Italian club from Real Betis in 2018 for a fee of €30 million. At the time, he was not known widely and was just seen as another routine Spanish midfielder aspiring to make it big.

As revealed by the player in a recent interview, however, it was Carlo Ancelotti’s son and Real Madrid assistant manager Davide Ancelotti who first saw the spark in him.

“Meeting him was a very important step in my career. From the beginning, he backed me, and it was not easy to pay what Napoli paid for me, a player who had not played much in La Liga with Betis.”

“If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be here. I have a very good relationship and friendship with him,” he added.

Fabian Ruiz credits Davide Ancelotti for his success. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

A special eye

Ruiz’s comments on Davide Ancelotti only make it clearer as to why Carlo Ancelotti holds his son’s advice in high regard. It is, after all, a testament to the tactician’s keen eye for special talent.

As revealed earlier this year, it was the manager’s son who suggested Joselu’s substitution against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League semifinals when the team was on the brink of elimination.

What happened next was history as the veteran scored twice within minutes to turn the game around and send the Bavarians crashing out.

Davide has been rumoured to be interested in walking his own path soon as a specialist coach, but as it stands, will continue working under his father for at least one more year at Real Madrid.

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