Real Madrid’s decision to sell young academy prospects at an alarming rate in recent years has not fared well. Achraf Hakimi has gone on to become one of the world’s best right-backs while the same can be said about Fran Garcia at left-back.
The latter joined Rayo Vallecano on a permanent transfer at the start of the 2021-22 season after an impressive loan spell and has continued to shine brightly at the club. He spoke about his ultimate dream of returning to Real Madrid in a recent interview, as revealed by MARCA.
“Playing for Real Madrid has always been my dream since I was a kid, and I’m working hard so I can come back,” he said.
Los Blancos have suffered at the left-back position ever since club legend Marcelo left. Ferland Mendy was thought to be the solution to the problem but the Frenchman too has struggled to fill the void.
While Mendy has been a solid cog defending, he has lacked inspiration in the final third. The team look lifeless on the left side without an attacking full-back, and Fran Garcia could be the ideal reinforcement for the coming season.
The 23-year-old has started all 17 of Rayo Vallecano’s games this season and has provided two assists in that duration. In addition to overseeing six clean sheets, the youngster averages a whopping eight defensive actions and one key pass per game.
Alternatively, the Merengues could look to go after Alphonso Davies of Bayern Munich who is yet to renew his deal in Germany. The Canadian international is one of the world’s best fullbacks in his day and would completely transform the European Champions’ setup.
UFC Champion to kick off Real Madrid vs Sevilla, sends message to Mbappe: “Lucky to play for the best club in the world”
Coming on the back of his triumph at UFC, Featherweight champion Ilia Topuria has announced he will take honorary kick-off in the upcoming Real Madrid vs Sevilla in La Liga this weekend.
Topuria confirmed this in a recent press conference in the Spanish capital this midweek.
A self-proclaimed Madridista, Topuria expressed his deep connection with the club and even sent a message to Kylian Mbappe, who is widely expected to join the club on a free transfer this summer.
Ilia Topuria: A hardcore Madridista
Ilia Topuria did not hold back his affection for Real Madrid, stating, “For me, the team that represents the values of Spain the most is Real Madrid.”
The Georgian-Spaniard UFC champion went on to confirm that he will meet Florentino Perez on Sunday and take the kick-off.
“I’m going to meet Florentino Perez on Sunday and take the kick-off,” he said (h/t Mundo Deportivo).
Although born in Germany, Topuria made Spain proud last Saturday when he beat Alexander Volkanovski in the second round. In the process, he became the first fighter from Spain to capture a UFC belt.
Topuria’s triumph has granted him overnight success in Spain, with the 27-year-old even becoming a cultural icon for many.
Topuria’s message for Mbappe
Other than professing his love for Real Madrid, Ilia Topuria also had a message for Mbappe.
When asked about the Frenchman potentially joining Real Madrid this summer, he said, “Welcome. He’s lucky to play for the best club in the world.”
Real Madrid, for their part, also congratulated Topuria on his triumph. “Congratulations on your historic triumph for Spanish sport, Ilia Topuria. We are proud that a great Real Madrid fan like you becomes UFC world champion,” the club posted on X.
Real Madrid fans, meanwhile, will be excited to witness Topuria taking the honorary kickoff as Los Blancos take on Sevilla this weekend, with three crucial points on the line.