Real Madrid will embark on a short trip to take on cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid at the Civitas Metropolitano on Sunday night in La Liga.
And ahead of the pivotal clash that will test Los Blancos’ perfect start to the season, Carlo Ancelotti has named his squad for the trip to Atletico.
As expected, there is no place for Karim Benzema and Lucas Vazquez, who have been ruled out of the contest due to injuries and are expected to return against Osasuna at the international break.
Eder Militao is back into the reckoning after missing the last two matches through injury, although Ancelotti did not give away whether the Brazilian would start against the Rojiblancos or not.
Otherwise, the rest of the squad is filled with the usual suspects, with Thibaut Courtois returning to face his former club while veteran midfielders Toni Kroos and Luka Modric are also part of the roster.
Fringe players such as Jesus Vallejo, Alvaro Odriozola and Mariano Diaz are also part of the travelling squad for the champions of Spain and Europe.
However, all eyes will be on a certain Vinicius Jr on Sunday at the Civitas Metropolitano after he has found himself at the centre of all the news over the past 24 hours, having been subjected to a racist slur by a football agent.
UFC Champion to kick off Real Madrid vs Sevilla, sends message to Mbappe: “Lucky to play for the best club in the world”
Coming on the back of his triumph at UFC, Featherweight champion Ilia Topuria has announced he will take honorary kick-off in the upcoming Real Madrid vs Sevilla in La Liga this weekend.
Topuria confirmed this in a recent press conference in the Spanish capital this midweek.
A self-proclaimed Madridista, Topuria expressed his deep connection with the club and even sent a message to Kylian Mbappe, who is widely expected to join the club on a free transfer this summer.
Ilia Topuria: A hardcore Madridista
Ilia Topuria did not hold back his affection for Real Madrid, stating, “For me, the team that represents the values of Spain the most is Real Madrid.”
The Georgian-Spaniard UFC champion went on to confirm that he will meet Florentino Perez on Sunday and take the kick-off.
“I’m going to meet Florentino Perez on Sunday and take the kick-off,” he said (h/t Mundo Deportivo).
Although born in Germany, Topuria made Spain proud last Saturday when he beat Alexander Volkanovski in the second round. In the process, he became the first fighter from Spain to capture a UFC belt.
Topuria’s triumph has granted him overnight success in Spain, with the 27-year-old even becoming a cultural icon for many.
Topuria’s message for Mbappe
Other than professing his love for Real Madrid, Ilia Topuria also had a message for Mbappe.
When asked about the Frenchman potentially joining Real Madrid this summer, he said, “Welcome. He’s lucky to play for the best club in the world.”
Real Madrid, for their part, also congratulated Topuria on his triumph. “Congratulations on your historic triumph for Spanish sport, Ilia Topuria. We are proud that a great Real Madrid fan like you becomes UFC world champion,” the club posted on X.
Real Madrid fans, meanwhile, will be excited to witness Topuria taking the honorary kickoff as Los Blancos take on Sevilla this weekend, with three crucial points on the line.