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Man City mainstay on Real Madrid’s aura in the Champions League: “It’s not about the badge”

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Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

We are just a day away from Real Madrid’s blockbuster encounter against Manchester City in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinals.

Coming on the back of Copa Del Rey triumph at the weekend, Real Madrid are heading into this game full of confidence, especially taking into account their form in the knockout stages. The reigning champions swept aside Liverpool and Chelsea in the knockout rounds.

Following the performances, a lot has been said about Real Madrid’s pedigree at the highest level of football, which was particularly highlighted by former Arsenal striker Ian Wright.

Heading into this game, Manchester City playmaker Bernardo Silva talked about Real Madrid’s success as well, but instead of highlighting their pedigree in the competition, he praised the role of veterans, which play a crucial role in the club’s success.

“It’s not about the badge. If Real Madrid didn’t have Luka Modrić, Toni Kroos, Vinicius or Karim Benzema they wouldn’t win anything, because the shirt doesn’t do it by itself,” Silva said (h/t Diario AS).

The likes of Modric, Kroos and Benzema have indeed played a critical role for Real Madrid this season. They have been ever-present figures in the club’s starting eleven, using their experience and leadership to guide the team out of tricky situations over the past decade.

While not a veteran, Vinicius, too, has been of great importance for Los Blancos. The forward, who has 22 goals and 21 assists in all competitions this season, was involved in six goals during the last two knockout rounds of the Champions League.

Silva’s words, therefore, certainly have a pinch of truth attached to them, though it must also be highlighted that Real Madrid, as a team, have an abundance of experience in the Champions League, which in turn, often turns useful when facing a stern opponent like Man City.

Despite pointing out the role of key players in the Real Madrid team, Silva has no intention of undermining the club’s pedigree.

“We would be stupid if we didn’t respect them, but we have that goal (to eliminate Real Madrid), knowing that we lost last year in difficult circumstances. This time we will try to make it different,” he said.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid’s pursuit of 18-year-old prodigy dependent on captain’s future – report

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Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Real Madrid will step up their efforts to sign Lille defender Leny Yoro if Nacho decides to leave the club, according to a report by Agustin Martin in AS.

The situation surrounding Nacho is becoming increasingly uncertain. While he has received a lucrative offer from Al Ittihad, the move has reportedly hit a roadblock.

It is said that Nacho feels that his role in the team has not progressed under coach Ancelotti and his absence from the starting lineup in important matches, like the first leg of the quarterfinals against Manchester City and the Clasico has made him consider leaving the club. 

Furthermore, the recoveries of Eder Militao and David Alaba, along with the presence of Antonio Rudiger and the potential return of Rafa Marin have also influenced his thoughts about his future.

Nacho is aware of market movements

Real Madrid are very much interested in signing Leny Yoro. (Photo by SEBASTIEN SALOM-GOMIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Interestingly, it is not just his teammates’ presence that has made Nacho think about leaving. There are strong rumours about Real Madrid signing Leny Yoro as well. 

The plan is to sign Yoro either this summer and possibly loan him out if Nacho stays, or in 2025 to join the first team. 

If Nacho decides to leave, it would pave the way for Yoro to join immediately. This decision depends on Nacho’s willingness to stay for another year or take up one of the offers he has received. 

This means the potential signing of Yoro hinges on Nacho’s decision. If the club captain chooses to leave, Yoro could join Real Madrid this year or next. 

For what it is worth, Yoro would strengthen a defensive lineup where most players, except for Militao and possibly Rafa Marín, are over thirty years old. But for this to happen, Nacho must decide whether to stay at Real Madrid or open the door for Yoro’s arrival.

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