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Man City defender on facing Real Madrid in UCL semifinals: “We will try to take revenge”

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Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

The UEFA Champions League has not disappointed this season. The competition has delivered on every aspect that it promised, from the drama to the nail-biting action and enthralling comebacks.

Now, only four teams remain in the race for European glory. The semifinal stage of the competition is set to kick off early next week and it is clear that the world’s focus will be more fixated on one semifinal than the other.

Inter Milan and AC Milan contesting a derby in the final-four stage makes up for a special storyline. Yet, one cannot help but view the game between Manchester City and Real Madrid as a clash between the two best clubs in the world.

Earlier this week, Aymeric Laporte spoke about the opposition his side face in the Champions League next week. It was clear that the Machester City defender did not forget the painful defeat at the hands of Real Madrid last season as he said:

“In the Champions League, we face another big team in Real Madrid and we will try to get our revenge from last year.”

Pep Guardiola’s side looked to have sealed a spot in the final of the prestigious competition last year and even had a two-goal lead on aggregate heading into the 90th minute of the second leg.

Two clutch goals from Rodrygo in two minutes, however, downed the confidence of the English champions and forced extra time. Karim Benzema had the pleasure of inflicting the final blow on the night as City collapsed out of the competition.

This time, however, the Blues appear to be a rung higher in terms of quality. The addition of Erling Haaland makes them a formidable side in attack, while Kevin De Bruyne’s return from injury gives Guardiola a close-to full-strength squad.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men will thus have to play at their very best if they are to advance to the next round.

Source: ManCity.com

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid midfielder set for a change in roles heading into the new season

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(Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images

Federico Valverde, the dynamic midfielder for Real Madrid, is once again on the cusp of adapting to a new role under the guidance of coach Carlo Ancelotti, reports Mario Calderon for Mundo Deportivo

Valverde’s remarkable versatility has been a key asset for Real Madrid, allowing him to excel in various positions on the field. This adaptability has been crucial for the team, and it seems another transformation is on the horizon for the 25-year-old Uruguayan.

The team chances and so does Valverde

His potential shift in role comes amid changes within the team, notably the reassignment of the number ‘8’ shirt to Toni Kroos. 

The German midfielder’s responsibility for constructing the game will likely be shared among several players to ensure a seamless transition.

Here, Valverde’s ability to quickly grasp new concepts will be a significant advantage for both him and Ancelotti. Even during the current period, with many players still absent, Ancelotti is already strategizing on how to best integrate everyone into the team dynamics without compromising performance.

Federico Valverde might play a different role at Real Madrid next season. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Marcelo Bielsa must be credited

Valverde’s recent experiences with the Uruguayan national team in the Copa America under coach Marcelo Bielsa have further honed his skills. 

Bielsa entrusted Valverde with the captain’s armband and deployed him in a deeper role, where he was responsible for initiating plays from the back alongside his teammate, PSG’s young pivot, Manuel Ugarte. 

This experience has enriched Valverde’s understanding of the game, adding another layer to his already impressive skill set.

As the new season approaches, Valverde will need to re-establish himself in whatever role Ancelotti deems fit—be it as a winger, a pivot, or even a full-back, a position he has previously played under former coach Zinedine Zidane. 

Regardless of where he is positioned, Valverde’s importance to the team is undeniable. His versatility, coupled with his ability to adapt quickly, makes him a pivotal player for Real Madrid’s upcoming campaign.

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