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Lionel Messi says loss against Real Madrid last season was hard: “We played great”

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Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Real Madrid’s run en route lifting the Champions League was historic; arguably the most difficult one of all time. Not only because of the teams they faced – and beat -, but also because of the manner in which they did.

Their run in the knockouts included comeback wins against Paris Saint-Germain in the Round of 16, Chelsea in the quarter-finals, and then Manchester City in the semi-finals.

PSG were head and shoulders better than Madrid in the first leg of the encounter. Thibaut Courtois was flawless for 93 minutes, but could not deny Kylian Mbappe’s 94th-minute winner.

In the second leg, too, Mbappe’s brilliance had a chokehold on Madrid for 60 minutes. It was not enough, though, as Karim Benzema’s second-half hattrick took the game away from their grasp.

Gianluigi Donnarumma got the lion’s share of the blame, but it is also difficult to look past Lionel Messi’s first leg penalty miss. A goal there, in the second half, no less, would have taken the game away from the Spanish side.

Messi opened up about the game, speaking to Barcelona legend Hristo Stoitchkov, as relayed by AS Argentina.

“It was very hard, because of how it happened. We played two great games, but lost because of small details”, he said.

PSG were undoubtedly one of the leading candidates to lift the trophy last season, alongside Manchester City and Liverpool – all three of whom lost to Real Madrid along the way.

Messi says their prime objective this season, much like last, is to conquer Europe, but that it is tricky because the best team does not always win it:

“The main objective for PSG, as every year, is to win the UCL. It is a very difficult competition, because the best team does not always win it. It is always decided by minor details, any mistake can knock you out.”

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Real Madrid News

France set for major boost as Real Madrid midfielder closes in on a return

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

After a long wait, the European Championship is finally underway, with one of the tournament’s favourites Germany opening the competition with an emphatic 5-1 win over Scotland.

Another favourite to win the Euro 2024 is France, who will be in action on Monday as they take on Austria. One of the talking points heading into this game is the fitness of Real Madrid superstar, Aurelien Tchouameni.

The Frenchman had picked up an injury late into the 2023/24 campaign, which notably saw him miss the UEFA Champions League final. It was thought that the midfielder would miss a chunk of the Euros as well.

Tchouameni available for France’s group stage games

However, it appears Tchouameni has made a remarkable recovery and could be in contention to feature in France’s group-stage matches.

That is according to AS, which suggests that coach Didier Deschamps is counting on the midfielder to become available sooner rather than later.

Aurelien Tchouameni will soon be available for France. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Although Tchouameni has been ruled out for France’s opening game against Austria, the player is hoping to feature in the two remaining group matches against Poland and the Netherlands.

Up until this point, Tchouameni completed individual training sessions with France’s physical trainer. But recently, he was able to join the team’s training session ahead of the Austria game.

Tchouameni’s return could serve as a massive boost for France. Even though Les Bleus already have a stacked midfield unit, coach Deschamps is a huge admirer of Tchouameni and had backed him to get fit the moment he picked up an injury.

Deschamps, after all, did not opt to replace the Real Madrid star with another player.

France, of course, will have to proceed with caution, knowing the youngster has just recovered from his injury. But they can be hopeful of the player taking part as the tournament progresses.

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