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Former Real Madrid defender in awe of rising star: “Most in-form player in the world”

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Former Real Madrid defender Fabio Cannavaro will be present at the Santiago Bernabeu in the company of his children to witness the clash between two of his beloved teams, Napoli and Los Blancos tonight.

Interestingly enough, this will be the first time that the Italian World Cup winner will grace the iconic stadium since its renewal. 

Ahead of the game, while speaking in an interview with AS, the former defender shared his thoughts over several aspects, including his time as a Real Madrid player and most of all, who will he support during the game

“My heart is divided, but Madrid can give us a review of Naples,” he chuckled while answering.

“I know [Madrid have too many injuries], but it is a very complicated game for both teams. Napoli play well, they have a good team, the coach has changed, they have become a team again, but I recognize that leaving the Bernabeu with points is not easy,” he added.

Not easy being a Real Madrid player

Cannvaro played for Real Madrid between 2006 and 2009 and during this three-year stint, he featured in 118 games, winning two La Liga titles.

The veteran defender explained how difficult it is to play for Real Madrid, saying: “Being a Real Madrid defender is not easy. You have to cover a lot of space.

“It is not easy to play for Madrid, when you do it two or three years in a row it is a lot. That’s why if we think about Pepe or Ramos, who have won everything and have played for ten years, it is because they are of another level,” he said.

Thoughts on Jude Bellingham and tonight’s game

Jude Bellingham has been an impressive signing for Real Madrid. (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)

Jude Bellingham has been an absolute sensation for Real Madrid this season and the questions about the England midfielder were bound. While speaking about the youngster, Cannavaro said that he is currently the most in-form player in the world.

“Jude Bellingham is the most in-form player in the world. It’s been impressive. It was surprising for me. This guy, as he entered the dressing room, hit the ground saying I’m here, here I am in charge. It’s impressive,” he said.

Meanwhile, the former defender also said what he is expecting from tonight’s UCL encounter between two of his former teams, saying the feeling of entering the Bernabeu is very special.

“I came here because it is Madrid-Naples. They are two teams that I carry in my heart and that have given me a lot and when I can I return to Madrid. 

“But it is the first time that I will be inside the stadium, that for me is something very important. The feeling of entering the Bernabeu is on another level. 

“I played a friendly match there since I left, but since the construction started it’s the first time I’ve gone. They told me I was going to hallucinate. It is spectacular. I have my children with me and I am going to take them to see the museum,” he explained.

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Real Madrid News

Official: Real Madrid announce starting lineup to face Real Betis

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Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Real Madrid will sign off on their successful La Liga campaign today with a fixture against Real Betis at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The game, being seen as a final preparation for the UEFA Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund, sees manager Carlo Ancelotti field his strongest possible lineup.

All eyes will obviously be on the retiring Toni Kroos, who bids goodbye to the Bernabeu in what will be his final home game as a Real Madrid player.

The German international starts in the centre of the park alongside Federico Valverde, while Eduardo Camavinga slots in as the No. 6.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid captain, Nacho Fernandez, also starts in what could be his last game at the Bernabeu as well.

Nacho pairs up with Antonio Rudiger in defence, flanked by the full-back pairing of Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy. Thibaut Courtois starts in goal ahead of Andriy Lunin and Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Up front, Vinicius Jr. starts in attack, partnering up with Rodrygo Goes. Top scorer Jude Bellingham occupies the attacking midfield role for Real Madrid.

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