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La Liga defender talks Ramos, Militao, Alaba, Bellingham ahead of Real Madrid clash

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Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Rafa Marin was one of many young players to leave Real Madrid in the summer, in favour of a loan move elsewhere. But tonight is going to be a special night for the youngster, as his team Alaves take on Real Madrid.

From playing for the Real Madrid youth side to featuring prominently for Alaves in La Liga, Marin has enjoyed a rapid rise to prominence.

With Rafa Marin set to face his parent club later this evening, the young defender talked about his future at the club, along with his current progress at Alaves, in a recent interview (h/t Diario AS).

“There have been sudden changes and I was uncertain about what could happen, but I am very well. The Alavés locker room is humble, it supports you. I think the good vibes there are can be seen on the field,” Marin said when asked about his growth.

The defender also talked about his footballing idol, Sergio Ramos. “Sergio has always been my idol since I watched Madrid games on TV with my father as a child,” he said about the former Real Madrid defender.

“The grit that he has on the field, that leadership that he transmits, that Real Madrid DNA. I don’t like to compare myself because he has won everything and I’m just starting out. I greatly respect his great career,” he added.

Rafa Marin went on to reveal that he had never actually met Ramos during his time at Valdebebas and that he would love to exchange shirts with him.

A special night awaits for Rafa Marin (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

“His mental strength is indestructible. The funny thing is that I have never been able to meet him, he is a thorn in the side. But I have said it, that is the shirt I have to exchange no matter what!” he said.

Rafa Marin joined Alaves on a loan deal quite early in the summer. But nine days after his move, Real Madrid confirmed the injury of Eder Militao, which might have led to a potential opportunity for the youngster.

When asked about Militao’s injury, Rafa Marin said, “The first thing that comes to mind is that was quite unfortunate for both Militao and Madrid. Nothing else. Because I had made the decision to come to Alavés to train as a footballer.”

“Maybe if I don’t get to sign for Alavés, maybe there are no injuries or opportunities. Life is like that, you never know. I am grateful and super happy. It’s going to be a good year here,” he added.

Marin also talked about the recent injury to David Alaba. He wished luck to the Austrian, as he looks to recover from a serious ACL knock.

“Whenever there is a serious injury it is bad news and, from here, I send all the strength in the world to David. Afterwards, I am two hundred percent focused on Alavés and helping to have a great game,” he said.

The defender also explained the decision to join Alaves, despite having other offers. “I had other offers, but the desire I had to play and Alavés’ desire to have me went together very well. It is a very nice club, which makes those first steps as a professional very easy,” he said.

With Real Madrid set to face Alaves later this evening, Rafa Marin was asked about Jude Bellingham, who has turned into a goal machine for Los Blancos this season.

“Madrid always have the top footballers. For Jude right now, the goal seems easy for him. It’s a nice challenge that I’m going to like and I hope we win,” he said.

When asked about a plan to stop Bellingham, Marin said, “It’s very complicated, Jude has a lot of repertoire. He can come out anywhere.

We will have to put up with him even though he is very strong and not let him think because he is also capable of making a pass that leaves a teammate alone. Let’s hope it goes well for us, but it’s not just Bellingham that is Madrid, eh,” he added.

However, Marin revealed that this is not the first time he faced Real Madrid in his career. He had earlier faced Los Blancos during his time at Sevilla, albeit the two sides met at a youth competition.

The young defender, did, however, address the elephant in the room – the fact that he is yet to make his competition debut with Real Madrid, despite being called up to the team six times.

“Whenever I was called up I thought, ‘this is going to be it, this is going to be it’, but for whatever reason it didn’t happen. That thorn is still there, of course. In the end, we all know that Madrid is a great club and that it is very difficult to belong to the first team,” he said.

“But I like to dream and I also like to dream big. The limits, in the end, are set by oneself and I don’t have to set them for myself. I have to improve a lot, and learn and, if that happens tonight it will be a dream,” he added.

When asked about the pressure of being closely watched by the Real Madrid coaching staff tonight, Marin added, “No, it’s putting pressure on your head and you have to play calm and relaxed. If something has to arrive, it will arrive. You have to give everything, be yourself and as I say, things will come to you.”

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Real Madrid News

France manager talks Kylian Mbappe to Real Madrid, Tchouameni injury

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

After unveiling the final squad for France for the upcoming European Championship, coach Didier Deschamps appeared in front of the media to discuss the nation’s preparations for the tournament.

Deschamps was notably asked about Kylian Mbappe and his potential move to Real Madrid in the coming summer.

Deschamps on Mbappe announcement

When asked when Real Madrid may announce the signing of Mbappe, the French coach replied (h/t L’Equipe), “They will decide when it’s time to make it official. As far as possible, I will adapt to the squad.”

This comes on the back of earlier reports which claim that Real Madrid are desperate to announce the signing of Mbappe before the start of Euro 2024.

Mbappe might become a Real Madrid player before the start of Euro 2024 (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

The coveted tournament begins June 14, though France’s opening game is on June 18 as they take on Austria in the city of Dusseldorf.

Deschamps also dismissed concerns over Mbappe’s form, stating, “You don’t find Kylian Mbappé in good shape? He only scored 44 goals in the season. It’s true that he could have done better.”

Deschamps on Tchouameni’s fitness

As things stand, a total of three Real Madrid players are a part of the France squad for the European Championship.

One of them is Aurelien Tchouameni, who picked up a knock earlier this month which could keep him out of the upcoming Champions League final.

Deschamps, though, is not worried about his fitness and is hopeful of having the midfielder back for the Euros.

“Tchouaméni? I’m not worried. The deadline is too short for the UCL final but for the Euro it’s more than doable,” he said.

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