Pep Guardiola is one of the few managers in the world with whom Carlo Ancelotti has a negative record. The two tacticians have locked horns eight times over the years, but it is the Manchester City boss who edges out the Real Madrid head coach with five wins.
The head-to-head record between Real Madrid and Manchester City, however, is different. The two European giants share the spoils with four wins apiece out of their ten clashes since 2012.
Guardiola’s men face the defending European Champions on Tuesday night at Santiago Bernabeu in a repeat of last season’s semifinal. This time around, the odds appear far more even than ever before.
The Man City manager spoke to the press ahead of the semifinal tie and here are the snippets from his interaction.
The former Barcelona manager’s interview began with the immortal question surrounding the favourites on the night. Guardiola accepted that his side entered the game with a slight edge but reasoned out the claim.
“If we’re favorites against Real Madrid, it’s because we’re a very good team.”
Last season, the same teams met at the same stage of the same competition. It was Real Madrid who advanced on that occasion but the Premier League coach insisted that things were different this time around.
“We were prepared last year too. We’re the same managers, mainly the same players, but completely different games. The difference is the second leg is at home.”
Revenge has been a constant theme when referring to the tie between the two European giants. After all, Real Madrid stole level in the final seconds of the game to force extra time and eliminate the English champions last season. On that topic, Guardiola said,
“We arrived here last season with encouragement to get to the final. We played really good in both games. But what happened happened. We are here one year later. We are not here for revenge. This is completely different to last season.“
The Man City boss, however, did not hold back in his praise for Ancelotti’s men and had big words when asked about the opposition his team faced in the final four.
“To win this competition you have to beat the best teams and [Real Madrid] have been the best in the last seven, eight years. You have to perform.“
Finally, Guardiola spoke a short note on Vinicius Jr and the Brazilian’s ability to turn the game around with his magical feet.
“Vinicius Jr sinks you every time, Madrid can get the ball to him. He is decisive, but the team has much more.”
Source: Manchester City official website
Kylian Mbappe wants to be presented as new Real Madrid player before Euro 2024 – report
According to a report from El Chiringuito TV, Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe wants to be presented as the new Real Madrid player before the beginning of UEFA Euro 2024.
It is to be noted that Euro commences on June 14, a mere 13 days after this season’s UEFA Champions League final.
Now, PSG will have their commitment in Ligue 1 until May 18, and depending on their performance in the Champions League, they will officially end their 2023/24 campaign.
At best, if it ends in May itself, Mbappe can see his dream turning into reality but if the French team somehow reaches the UCL final, the French superstar will have to report for international duty soon after
Mbappe is extremely close to becoming the Real Madrid player after it emerged that the forward and the team are closing in on an agreement over image rights.
As such, there would not be any fee involved in the transfer since Mbappe will move as a free agent, but as reported before, the team from the Spanish capital will pay him an extravagant signing-on bonus expected to be around €120-150 million.
How can Real Madrid pull this off?
As of today, both Real Madrid and Mbappe are working on the final details of the contract. While it is assumed that he would earn a fixed salary of €14 million each season in addition to €30 million in bonuses, there remains a disparity regarding his image rights.
At PSG, Mbappe holds 100% of his image rights but Madrid have a policy that has only been mended once when a certain Cristiano Ronaldo joined from Manchester United in 2009.
Ever since the Galacticos era, Madrid have reserved 50% of the player’s image rights, but in the case of Mbappe, the team from the Spanish capital is okay with having just 20% of it as even that would churn in big money.
Once these details are sorted, Real Madrid can make the official announcement of the deal in collaboration with PSG. Once this is done, everyone will wait for PSG to end their campaign and depending on that, Mbappe will arrange his travel to Madrid.