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Federico Valverde opens up on inheriting Kroos’ No. 8 shirt at Real Madrid

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Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

In a recent interaction with The Residency, Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde spoke candidly about taking over the mantle of the No. 8 jersey from Toni Kroos next season.

The Real Madrid midfielder also laid out the reason as to why he doesn’t shoot as much anymore. He was also asked about potentially going back to white hair.

Federico Valverde on Kroos

Shortly after Toni Kroos announced his retirement from professional football, it was widely reported that Federico Valverde would be his successor in the number eight position.

It wasn’t long until the player himself confirmed that he would take over the prestigious jersey next season.

When asked about Kroos giving him the responsibility, Valverde said, “I still can’t believe everything that’s happened. I didn’t have time to assimilate. To enjoy, football is something fast and you should already be thinking about the next competition.”

“But what I experienced the day he said he wanted to give me his shirt will be a memory forever in my heart,” he added.

Federico Valverde will wear Kroos’ number eight jersey next season (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Although Valverde will not be a like-for-like replacement for Toni Kroos, we can expect the Uruguayan international to play a more crucial role in central midfield next season.

In fact, Valverde stressed his deeper impact on the team’s build-up play and why he prioritises passes over shots now.

“I think I had another role this last time, and if I see a closer possibility than me to shoot the goal from afar, I always bet on the team. For me, it’s more valuable to find the right pass and not be selfish. We all help the team in that regard,” he said.

Finally, the Real Madrid star went on to confirm that he will soon dye his hair white.

“I will, after the Copa America. I didn’t have time to dye myself, as soon as we finished the Champions League we were already focusing on Miami,” he said.

The midfielder also welcomed the signing of Kylian Mbappe, saying: “It’s going to be insane. We have the best team in the world.”

Valverde also opened up on how he interacts with midfield partner Jude Bellingham given the language barrier, saying: “I am still not sure how me and Jude talk, but we understand each other. Sometimes we use Brahim as our translator (laughs).”

In the meantime, Fede Valverde will focus on the upcoming Copa America, with the Real Madrid midfielder likely to play a crucial role for a Uruguay team looking to secure the coveted tournament for the first time since 2011.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid defender set to stay after requesting to see out his contract

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Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Real Madrid welcomed four players back from loan this summer: Reinier, Rafa Marin, Juanmi Latasa, and Jesus Vallejo and bid goodbye to Marin already, while the others are expected to evaluate their futures with the club.

Vallejo joined Real Madrid in 2015, but he has primarily played on loan at other teams, including Real Zaragoza, VfB Stuttgart, Wolves, and Granada twice.

Having concluded his third stint at Granada, the player is back in the Spanish capital and now seeks a resolution over his future.

Jesus Vallejo held a meeting with Real Madrid’s hierarchy

Indeed, according to AS, Jesus Vallejo recently met with Real Madrid and made a request to fulfill the final year of his contract.

The club has opted not to exert pressure, leaving his future in his own hands: whether he decides to leave or stay, they support his decision.

Jesus Vallejo did not play much at Granada. (Photo by ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images)

After all, Vallejo has been with the club for several years, and Real Madrid intends to honour the wishes of one of the players who have been at the club for the longest time.

The 27-year-old centre-back was a part of the Real Madrid squad in the 2021/2022 season and played sparingly.

But he proved to be a dependable option when called upon and enjoyed a memorable performance in the Champions League against Manchester City as a late substitute.

Due to Real Madrid’s options at the back and the potential signing of Leny Yoro, Vallejo is unlikely to find regular game time if he opts to stay put.

Despite managing just three appearances for relegated Granada last season due to an injury, Vallejo looks forward to putting his physical woes behind him and starting afresh.

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