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Federico Valverde’s first words to the media after the Alex Baena incident

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Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images

Last week, Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde was involved in a major controversy as he punched Villarreal star Alex Baena after the two teams played out an enthralling clash at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The incident took place in the bus park area. Valverde’s entourage claimed that Baena’s ill-advised comments over the former’s wife’s pregnancy complications incited the response.

The Villarreal star, though, has denied making any such statements and has filed a complaint against Valverde with the National Police.

Real Madrid have not issued a statement on the matter as of yet, while Valverde himself has been keeping quiet.

However, after last night’s 2-0 win over Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League, Valverde had a brief interaction with Golazo de Gol during which he said that was doing well and that he is banking on the support of his family, loved ones and his fans.

“Yes, I am mentally better,” Valverde said, as quoted by Mundo Deportivo.

The midfielder then said that he was leaning “on the family, on the people of Madrid, and those who support me in the street,” and went on to thank them for their support.

Following the incident, the Anti-Violence Commission has been involved and it remains to be seen what kind of sanctions Valverde could face in the coming days.

Meanwhile, Valverde started and played the full game for Real Madrid against Chelsea last night and was one of the team’s best performers. In fact, manager Carlo Ancelotti went on to state that the midfielder was the best player on the pitch, as he said:

“He was the best player on the pitch. He brought so much energy and he was very aware of his positioning. He managed the defensive side of things with Kroos really well and was brilliant at recovering the ball after the opening 10 minutes when we made a few slight adjustments.”

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti sets a target for Real Madrid to achieve before facing Barcelona in La Liga

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Real Madrid are currently the frontrunners to win the La Liga title this season, having established a solid lead atop the table.

After 26 matchdays, Carlo Ancelotti’s Los Blancos have built a six-point lead over second-placed Girona and are eight clear of arch-rivals Barcelona in third.

Ancelotti sets a target

While Real Madrid have already faced Girona and Atletico Madrid twice in La Liga already, they still have to face Barcelona for the second time.

And, as per AS, manager Carlo Ancelotti has set a target for his Real Madrid side to achieve before they face off against Xavi Hernandez’s Barça in a few weeks.

Los Blancos host their bitter rivals at the Santiago Bernabeu in the weekend of April 20-21, in matchweek 32.

And before that, Ancelotti wants Real Madrid to reach 80 points in La Liga, which he believes is the safety point for his team to go on to win the title.

As things stand, the Merengues are on 65 points from 26 games and have five matches to play in the league before they face Barcelona.

And for them to achieve Ancelotti’s intended target, they will have to win each of their matches between now and April 20, which will be anything but straightforward.

After all, Real Madrid are set to face Valencia at a hostile Mestalla this weekend before they take on a Celta Vigo side battling to avoid relegation next week.

Following that, they face a tricky Osasuna side away from home and Athletic Club at home while they will also take on Copa del Rey finalists RCD Mallorca.

Ancelotti wants the La Liga title race wrapped up by this point so that the team can face Barcelona without any pressure and instead keep their focus on the UEFA Champions League, provided they progress in the tournament.

It will be easier said than done, but if we have learned anything from Real Madrid this season, it is that they thrive in the face of adversities.

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