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Manchester City star is ruled out against Real Madrid, confirms Guardiola



Photo by IAN KINGTON/IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images

Manchester City will be without defender Nathan Ake against Real Madrid tomorrow in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final, manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed.

Ake has had some fitness over the past few weeks. The 28-year-old had missed a couple of Premier League matches in late April, but had returned to action in the lead-up to the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.

However, just a few days before the match, the former Chelsea ace had to be taken off injured during a game against Leeds United, which meant he missed the trip to the Spanish capital.

And now, Guardiola has confirmed that Ake has not recovered in time for the all-important second leg against Real Madrid which will take place at the Etihad tomorrow night.

Speaking at a press conference, the Manchester City manager said (h/t Manchester Evening News): “Except Nathan, everyone is fit.”

Guardiola’s statement also means that midfield mainstay Rodri is fit and ready to face Real Madrid.

The Spaniard had to come off with some physical discomfort during Man City’s last Premier League game against Everton, but the manager had assured that he would be ready for the UCL contest, which seems to be the case.

With the tie nicely poised at 1-1 after the first leg, everything is on the line heading into tomorrow’s match at the Etihad. And Guardiola insisted that his players will have to put a top performance if they are to defeat Real Madrid.

“The players have to make an incredible performance to beat Madrid. I have an idea to be more different, more fluid in attack. It will happen naturally at home, we feel free, doesn’t matter, we go.”

When asked why Real Madrid are so good in the Champions League, the former Barcelona manager replied: “I don’t know, if I knew that I’d know how to beat them. The reason is they’ve always had quality players, without that standard they wouldn’t achieve.”

“Whatever competition or year they always have a great squad. They always think of what they’re going to do. I think about what we’re going to do, our strengths, and what our threats can be,” he added.

“We’ll try to impose ourselves on the game. We know what we can do. We want to minimise their threats.”

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Real Madrid News

Spain midfielder credits Real Madrid assistant manager for career success



Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Spain’s European Championship campaign so far has been one filled with revelations. From young Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams on the wings to the ever-so-solid midfield, La Roja have impressed across the park and have taken the tournament by storm.

One such player who has played a critical role for the team despite not being in many pundits’ squad for the tournament is Fabian Ruiz. The PSG midfielder has been sensational for Luis de la Fuente’s men so far, scoring once and providing one assist in two games.

Despite not having any direct links with Real Madrid, the Spanish midfielder interestingly credits Davide Ancelotti for his success and AS brings the story.

A chapter in Naples

Fabian Ruiz may have never played for Los Blancos in his career so far, but he crossed paths with the Ancelottis in Naples a few years ago.

Ruiz signed for the Italian club from Real Betis in 2018 for a fee of €30 million. At the time, he was not known widely and was just seen as another routine Spanish midfielder aspiring to make it big.

As revealed by the player in a recent interview, however, it was Carlo Ancelotti’s son and Real Madrid assistant manager Davide Ancelotti who first saw the spark in him.

“Meeting him was a very important step in my career. From the beginning, he backed me, and it was not easy to pay what Napoli paid for me, a player who had not played much in La Liga with Betis.”

“If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be here. I have a very good relationship and friendship with him,” he added.

Fabian Ruiz credits Davide Ancelotti for his success. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

A special eye

Ruiz’s comments on Davide Ancelotti only make it clearer as to why Carlo Ancelotti holds his son’s advice in high regard. It is, after all, a testament to the tactician’s keen eye for special talent.

As revealed earlier this year, it was the manager’s son who suggested Joselu’s substitution against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League semifinals when the team was on the brink of elimination.

What happened next was history as the veteran scored twice within minutes to turn the game around and send the Bavarians crashing out.

Davide has been rumoured to be interested in walking his own path soon as a specialist coach, but as it stands, will continue working under his father for at least one more year at Real Madrid.

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