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Inter Milan vice-president hoping to avoid Real Madrid in UCL final: “Competition made for them”



Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Inter Milan became the first team to book a place in the final of the UEFA Champions League this season. They faced local rivals AC Milan in the semifinal of the prestigious event, and the grand derby ended 3-0 in their favour on aggregate.

They will face the winner of Real Madrid and Manchester City in the final and would appear to be the underdogs irrespective. Yet, Inter Milan vice-president Javier Zanetti had a clear preference and did not think twice before naming Manchester City as the team he would like the Nerazzurri to face in the final.

“I’d like to avoid Real Madrid because this competition seems made for them,” he said as revealed by Daily Mail.

He also went on to reflect on how big it was for his group of players to make it this far in the competition, saying,

“However, the most important thing is to have arrived here. It was a difficult path, it’s not easy to play a derby in the semi-finals. I did and I was defeated in 2003.”

The battle between Real Madrid and Pep Guardiola’s side currently sits tied on a 1-1 scoreline. The fixture tonight is expected to bring nothing short of fireworks as both sides look to edge past the other to face Inter in the final.

Inter Milan manager Simone Inzaghi was asked about his thoughts on the second semifinal and who he thought would progress. His reply, however, was more conservative as he refused to take sides, saying (h/t ESPN):

“It’s normal that when you go to face City or Real you start underdogs, but football is always open: we met Real Madrid last year and we lost two games, but playing well. Manchester City needs no introduction: we will watch and whoever arrives will arrive.

“Whoever we end up with, we will be unlucky, because they are two really great teams with incredible quality.”

The Champions League final will be played in June at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul. While the semifinal tie is equally balanced at the moment, one knows that Real Madrid could have a small edge, at least from a psychological standpoint.

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Real Madrid News

Saudi giants want to team up Messi and Benzema next season – report



Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal are making ambitious plans for the summer transfer window. After Al Nassr roped in Cristiano Ronaldo in January, their rivals have been making efforts to bring in superstars from European football.

And, according to the Independent, Al Hilal have grand plans of teaming up Real Madrid captain and icon Karim Benzema with Barcelona legend Lionel Messi at the club.

Benzema’s renewal at Real Madrid was believed to have been tied up until 2024 following his Ballon d’Or triumph.

However, the 35-year-old has a real chance of leaving the Santiago Bernabeu in the coming weeks itself thanks to the lucrative proposal that has arrived from Saudi.

As per the report, Benzema stands a chance to earn a mammoth €100 million per year if he were to accept the offer from Al Hilal, which is he now seriously considering.

What would really be interesting is that fans might get a chance to see Benzema potentially team up with Messi at the club and they would be taking on Ronaldo. However, at this point, deals for Benzema and Messi are not yet closed.

The Real Madrid captain is understood to have asked the club for time to think and could arrive at a decision by the weekend.

In case he does end up making the jump to the Saudi Pro League, Real Madrid will have to dip their toes in the market for a replacement. Names such as Roberto Firmino, Harry Kane, and Victor Osimhen are being talked up as possible candidates.

All in all, an important week awaits Benzema and Real Madrid which could set the course for the club’s transfer plans this summer.

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