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Nacho talks Militao, Rudiger, Ancelotti, Ronaldo, future ahead of Real Madrid vs Barcelona

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Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid are all set to take on FC Barcelona in the finals of the Spanish Super Cup tomorrow night in Saudi Arabia.

The Merengues qualified for the finals after defeating neighbours Atletico Madrid 5-3 in the semi-finals, while Barcelona defeated Osasuna 2-0 in the previous round.

Tomorrow’s game promises to be a huge occasion for Nacho Fernandez as he will be captaining Real Madrid in a major final for the first time ever.

On the eve of the game, the veteran defender attended the pre-match press conference, where he discussed his feelings heading into the game as he is faced with an opportunity to lift a trophy as captain of the Real Madrid team.

“A very nice opportunity. All titles are important and it doesn’t matter who lifts them. At the end of the day the important thing is to win and win another title,” Nacho stated.

Real Madrid were humbled by Barcelona at this very stage last year, as they went on to win the Super Cup in style. When asked if last season’s defeat gave his team an added motivation to do well tomorrow, Nacho replied:

“We know they are a great rival, we know what happened last year. It gives us confidence to know how the team is coming. Everything else is football stuff. We want to win and lift the title regardless of the opponent we have in front of us.”

Real Madrid’s season has been ravaged with injuries to important players throughout the past few months, but they have battled on without showing any signs of slowing down.

“We have a united dressing room and a very strong squad. Despite the injuries we are leaders in LaLiga, we are first in the Champions League,” explained Nacho.

“We always compete no matter which players we have, the squad is competitive and tomorrow we have a very nice day to continue this dynamic.”

On his opinion on the depth in the centre-back department, with just two players left in the position, Nacho replied: “It’s not my role, it’s logical that being in January it seems a bit short, but the team has players to make up for those absentees.”

The defender then provided a positive update on the condition of one of the injured defenders in Eder Militao, saying: “I think Militao is recovering well. As of today, the idea is to continue as we are. We have a strong and very good squad.”

Nacho’s contract stands to expire at the end of the season, and the defender is very relaxed about the situation and would sign a new deal if offered as early as tomorrow.

“I am very happy in my life. Last year I was more worried about what was going to happen going forward and when I was I played everything until the end of the season,” he stated.

“I’m playing a lot, I feel good, I’m not worried about my future. My relationship with the club is great, if I want to sign tomorrow I could do it.”

Further discussing his situation and his happiness at being the captain of the club, he added: “I’m having a better and better career every year and I’m very happy about that. I am doing very well in my life. When the renewal comes, things are very easy for me. I have the confidence of the club and Ancelotti.”

On whether he has any message for the young players within the squad for the Clasico, Nacho said: “We don’t need to explain anything. We don’t have to win by obligation but we have to give our maximum against FC Barcelona. What game at this club should we not win? You can always ask me that question.”

When asked if he thinks Barcelona are strong, the Real Madrid skipper replied: “Barcelona are strong, they have their history. They won La Liga and the Super Cup, but it doesn’t matter if they are strong or weak, we have to give our best and go for the title.”

On the importance of winning the Super Cup tomorrow, Nacho said: “It’s a big boost if we win the first title of the season. If you win you haven’t won anything and if you lose it’s the opposite. It’s a confidence boost for the rest of the season.”

In the Super Cup, the audio of the referees interacting with the VAR will be made audible for everyone and Nacho welcomed the transparency, saying:

“I think it’s good to see this communication from the referees. Whatever is good for the fans and the players is always positive”.

There was also praise reserved for his defensive partner Antonio Rudiger, as Nacho said: “He’s a special player, a bit crazy as we say everything. He’s always in the game and he’s having a great season.”

Nacho also joked about the German defender’s enthusiastic celebrations, saying: “I jokingly say that because every time we score a goal, he always hits his teammates.”

On whether the squad is prepared for the game, he said: “We are ready for the big games. It motivates us to play matches like tomorrow’s. We are ready and it gives us peace of mind. We are prepared and it gives us peace of mind.”

Finally, discussing the influence of former Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo in Saudi Arabian footballing scenes, Nacho said:

“What can I say about him as a player, for me he’s the best. As a team-mate he is unbelievable… and his impact here has been maximum. He has dragged a lot of players to come here. It’s a country that is growing a lot football-wise. If players decide to come here it’s for a reason.”

Source: MARCA

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Real Madrid News

PSG president wanted Real Madrid to bear Mbappe’s €80 million loyalty bonus

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

It is only a matter of days before Kylian Mbappe is officially confirmed as a Real Madrid player.

The French superstar announced his departure from PSG as a free agent recently and even though nothing is official yet, everything points to him arriving at the Spanish capital club.

An official announcement and presentation are expected to take place sometime before the UEFA Euro 2024 starts.

While the move is all but done, it appears that PSG, in particular president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, are left with a bitter taste over Mbappe’s imminent exit.

Al-Khelaifi wanted Real Madrid to pay €80 million

As has already been reported, Al-Khelaifi tried to convince Mbappe to snub Real Madrid by presenting various arguments which had no effect.

Now, French publication L’Equipe has brought forth a report which claims that the PSG president simply cannot accept the fact that Mbappe is joining Real Madrid for free.

And things are now happening behind the scenes which suggest that the Frenchman’s departure will be far from smooth and amicable.

Indeed, as per the report, PSG have not paid Mbappe his salary for the month of April as well as an additional bonus he was due.

This is because of the €80 million loyalty bonus payment that the club had made to the France captain back in February, even though he had waived it off after deciding not to renew his contract.

Headed for an ugly split with PSG. (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images)

In August 2023, after he was frozen out of the team for refusing to extend his contract, Mbapp agreed to give up his loyalty bonus so that PSG do not suffer a huge financial hit as a result of his leaving as a free agent this summer.

However, Al Khelaifi made a U-turn and granted Mbappe the loyalty bonus in February this year, with the caveat that Real Madrid cover the €80 million as compensation for the 25-year-old leaving for free.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, however, refused that demand as he deemed that it was completely out of the question, as the La Liga champions are not obligated to pay for a player who will be out of contract in a few weeks.

A complete breakdown

Things have not been well between Mbappe and Al-Khelaifi ever since the player informed him of his decision to leave PSG.

The report suggests that the pair are no longer on speaking terms and that lawyers are involved in trying to resolve the matter of the unpaid dues.

PSG are looking for written confirmation that their all-time top scorer will waive the €80 million, which he had agreed to in the past, only for the club to make the payment.

As for Mbappe, he wants the money he is owed as part of his salary which was not paid in April.

Al-Khelaifi has not had the best relation with Perez either and this development further escalates the situation.

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