Real Madrid are no strangers to battling it out with Catalan opposition for the league title. However, this time their nemesis is not Barcelona but Girona from Catalonia.
Later this week, the two teams take on each other at Santiago Bernabeu in what will prove to be a critical game in terms of the league standings. After all, only two points separate the two Spanish giants at this point in the season.
Girona star praises Real Madrid talent
Girona’s success this season has only been made possible through a combined effort from players across the field. Yet, one of the key pillars of Michel’s project has been the 19-year-old Brazilian winger Savio.
In just 22 starts for Girona this season, he has scored five goals and provided seven assists. Further, he averages 1.3 key passes per game and has created over nine big chances so far.
Speaking to the media ahead of the clash against Real Madrid, Savio was asked about the player he looked up to and related with the most, to which he chose his young compatriot from Real Madrid.
“My reference right now is Rodrygo,” he said (h/t Madrid Xtra).
En route Manchester City
Savio’s future has been a hot topic in the media for months with clubs from across the globe interested in securing his services for next season.
Eventually, however, Manchester City appear to have secured his future. After all, they are managed by the same parent group that manages Girona and the player’s original club, Troyes.
Documents between City and Savio will be signed in the coming days, but Savio is completely focused on Girona’s current campaign. In fact, he is expected to start against Real Madrid this weekend.
Ancelotti apologised to Real Madrid youngster after substitution incident vs Sevilla – report
According to journalist Fabrizio Romano, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has apologised to youngster Arda Guler after last night’s substitution incident against Sevilla.
When Real Madrid played host to Sevilla, Los Blancos were desperately trying to find a breakthrough and amidst that, Ancelotti decided to introduce Guler, but his decision quickly changed soon after Luka Modric scored.
The 19-year-old wonderkid was close to come onto the pitch and was receiving instructions from the coaches, before being asked to sit back on the bench.
Why was Guler sent back?
Just as the former Fenerbahce midfielder was gearing up to enter the field, Modric scored from the edge of the area to put Real Madrid in lead.
In response, the manager called an impromptu discussion with one of his assistants, conveying a sense of calm through various gestures, signalling a decision to delay the planned substitutions.
Having overcome the challenge of breaking through Sevilla’s defence, the coach opted to bring in a player with the ability to control the possession and provide some solidity on the field.
Eventually, Dani Ceballos was called into action and Guler was ordered to go back to the bench. Explaining his decision after the game, Ancelotti explained that before Modric’s goal, he had some plans for Guler but all that changed after his side went a goal up.
“I had a thought before the goal and I changed my mind after the goal and I preferred to bring on a more defensive player such as Ceballos. I think he understands it very well and if he doesn’t, that’s fine,” said the manager.
Guler’s presence on the field has been extremely limited this season, with only five appearances, one of which was as a starter in the Copa del Rey match against Arandina.
His involvement in league matches has been brief, featuring in the final stages against Las Palmas, Girona and Rayo which is why he has had minimal opportunities to showcase his talents.