Real Madrid have released their official squad list ahead of tomorrow’s Copa Del Rey semifinal against FC Barcelona.
Antonio Rudiger was the notable absentee for Real Madrid in their last game against Valladolid due to knee discomfort. But the German is back in the squad and is in contention to start against Barcelona tomorrow.
Another absentee was Mariano Diaz, but even the former Lyon star is now back on the team sheet, even though his involvement in tomorrow’s game remains a doubt.
Another notable inclusion in the team is David Alaba, who had started at centre-back against Valladolid, in the absence of Rudiger. Dani Carvajal, too, makes the list and should start ahead of Lucas Vazquez at right-back.
On the flip side, Ferland Mendy misses out once again due to injury, while youngster Alvaro Rodriguez has not been called up. So it will be interesting to see who starts at left-back, while Rodriguez’s exclusion means that the team will rely heavily on Karim Benzema once again.
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.