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Official: Real Madrid announce starting lineup to face Alaves

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Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will lock horns with Deportivo Alaves in what will be their penultimate home match of the 2023/24 La Liga in a couple of hours.

Los Blancos were crowned champions with four matches to spare and lifted the league title this past Sunday before celebrating the success with the fans at Cibeles.

The focus now shifts back to on-field action as Real Madrid hope to keep their momentum going heading into the UEFA Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund on June 1.

Ahead of the game, Carlo Ancelotti has announced the starting XI that will take on Alaves tonight at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Thibaut Courtois gets the nod in goal again as Real Madrid hope to have him in the best possible shape before the UCL final.

Ancelotti has opted to go for his near-strongest XI, with Dani Carvajal, Eder Militao, Nacho, and Ferland Mendy forming the backline.

Eduardo Camavinga operates as the defensive pivot while Toni Kroos and Federico Valverde take the two interior midfield positions.

Star man Jude Bellingham returns to the starting XI at the tip of the midfield diamond where he will operate behind the two Brazilian forwards in Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo.

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Real Madrid News

Toni Kroos opens up on retirement decision – ‘I am sad at the moment’

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Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Real Madrid have the opportunity to make this a historic season by lifting their 15th UEFA Champions League title.

But even in the event Madrid gets their hands on the trophy, the conclusion of the season will leave a bittersweet feeling as Toni Kroos is set to depart the club.

The German midfielder was urged to continue plying his trade in the Spanish Capital for another season since his timeless quality is yet to fade away, but Kroos remained firm on his decision.

Kroos opens up about retirement

Now, reflecting on his imminent departure from the club he has played 464 games with, Kroos has opened up about how the decision came about and his thought process.

“I am sad at the moment. Something that defined me, that gave so much fun and gave me so many positive memories is coming to an end,” Kroos professed on his podcast.

Kroos plays his final home game for Real Madrid tomorrow. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

However, he claims there is a slight silver lining about the news becoming public, as there is no more pressure on him to constantly answer questions about his future and focus solely on finishing his career in the best way possible.

“I am happy that the news is out. It is a relief because a lot of people were speculating and I didn’t feel like answering questions about my future all the time,” Kroos claimed.

The veteran midfielder adds that retiring was never a clear-cut decision as his emotions fluctuated frequently.

“Retiring was never a 100-0 decision. The feelings swing in other directions, in the days at the end it was maybe a 80-20 or 70-30 decision. And that 30% is what makes you feel something,” he said.

Furthermore, Kroos reveals that he shared the news of his retirement to Ancelotti first and foremost, then relayed his decision to his teammates.

“I told Carlo [Ancelotti] first that I’m retiring. Then the club, then Luka [Modric], Fede [Valverde], Lucas [Vazquez]…” he exclaimed.

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