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Former Real Madrid boss picks his favourite for this season’s UEFA Champions League



Photo credit: PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

Former Real Madrid and Spain manager Vicente del Bosque has said that the Los Blancos are favourites to win the UEFA Champions League this season.

“Real Madrid are favourites to win the Champions League,” del Bosque told Spanish publication MARCA (h/t Madrid Zone).

Real Madrid, already a 14-time European champion, have been drawn to face Chelsea in the quarter-final of this year’s Champions League. The Merengues started their title defence with an impressive 3-0 win over Celtic on Matchday 1 of the group stage tie.

The team went on to beat RB Leipzig 2-0 followed by a 2-1 win over Shakhtar Donetsk before stumbling along the road. After three consecutive wins, Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw by the Ukrainian team before losing 2-3 against Leipzig.

A confident 5-1 win over Celtic on the final matchday, however, assured them of a top-place finish and a spot in the round of 16. In February, when they lock horns with Liverpool, Madrid once again showed that despite having an ageing squad, they are no pushovers.

Despite going 0-2 down within the first 15 minutes, the Los Blancos went on to win the game 5-2, courtesy of goals coming from Vinicius Jr., Eder Militao and Karim Benzema.

Having a three-goal cushion heading into the second leg allowed Madrid to go easy and a 78th-minute goal from Benzema allowed Madrid to beat Liverpool 6-2 on aggregate.

Up next for them lies a tricky test against Chelsea. Although the Blues haven’t been prolific in front of the goal lately, they have eliminated Borussia Dortmund from the competition. 

Meanwhile, former Madrid player Luis Figo is of the opinion that although one can never discount Madrid from the Champions League, the likes of Manchester City and Bayern Munich are his favourites.

“In the Champions League, you always have to count on Real Madrid, but my favourite is between Manchester City and Bayern Munich. Inter Milan have it a little more complicated and my level of favouritism is a little lower,” the Portuguese was quoted by MARCA.

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Real Madrid News

Harry Kane ‘very close’ to completing Real Madrid move, only final details remain – report



Jude Bellingham’s move to Real Madrid was finally closed earlier today as officially confirmed by Borussia Dortmund on their website. Yet, the offices at Santiago Bernabeu have not even taken a break to celebrate their success.

According to reports from Alfredo Pedullà, Los Blancos are now completely focused on the acquisition of Harry Kane. The English striker’s arrival is very close to approaching closure and only a few details remain to be sorted.

The Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur representatives reportedly held a meeting today over the striker’s transfer. The agenda was to agree on a number for the transfer fee.

The Premier League side began the proceedings with an expectation of €100 to €110 million in exchange for Kane. However, the Merengues suggested a lower point at €80 to €90 million, albeit with the option to include bonuses.

There is not much separating the two parties at the moment, and the minor gap will be bridged in the coming days. Overall, the meeting ended with a broad understanding between the two clubs.

Carlo Ancelotti sees the English striker as the centre-piece of his attack for next season given the recent departure of Karim Benzema. After all, Kane has been one of football’s most consistent goalscorers over the past decade.

Yet, Los Blancos cannot afford to let their guard down with one signing and will need to rope in at least two more names in attack to serve as backup options. The exits of Mariano Diaz, Marco Asensio, and Eden Hazard leave them with no squad depth, after all.

Kane has scored 30, 17, and 23 goals in his last three seasons in the Premier League and is the epitome of consistency. Further, he had three assists in his most recent league season and created 14 big chances.

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