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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

Real Madrid’s teenage sensation to join camp on Wednesday, Brazilian core to return later



Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid enjoyed strong representation at the recently concluded European Championship and Copa America.

Dani Carvajal is the only player who returned with silverware, but it is safe to say that all the team’s stars on international duty put up displays to be proud of.

The attention now turns towards the season that lies ahead. Carlo Ancelotti and co. have already begun working ahead of the new campaign, and the internationals will begin rejoining training in the coming week, as relayed by MARCA.

The early returnees

Having suffered an early elimination in the Euro with Croatia, Luka Modric is set to return to training as early as the beginning of the coming week.

The veteran recently renewed his contract with the club and will be looking to prove that he still has it on his feet.

Modric will be available soon at Ancelotti’s disposal (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

The team’s new signing, Endrick, will join forces with Los Blancos on Wednesday as he begins a new chapter in his short, yet illustrious career so far. All eyes will be on his official signing and presentation.

Meanwhile, Arda Güler and Antonio Rudiger are expected to return to training under Ancelotti towards the end of the week.

The late entries

Players who progressed relatively deeper into the recently concluded tournaments have understandably been granted a longer vacation, and both the French and English representatives of the club enjoy that luxury.

Needless to say, no specific date has been set for their return, considering that their campaign in the Euro ran deep into July.

The team’s Copa America stars, Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo, and Eder Militão, meanwhile, will report to training on July 31st. Federico Valverde, who finished third with Uruguay, will likely enjoy a longer hiatus.

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