Matches in La Liga continue to come hard and fast as Real Madrid get ready for their second away trip in as many weekends. After a comeback win against UD Almeria to open the season, Carlo Ancelotti’s men will lock horns against Celta Vigo.
Ahead of the game, the biggest talking point is the absence of Casemiro, who will be completing his move to Manchester United. Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed the same during his pre-game press conference.
Toni Kroos is sick with flu, and will not travel either, alongside Rodrygo, who is suffering from a muscle overload.
Alvaro Odriozola has been dropped from the team, as well, after picking up a muscle discomfort in training, while Daniel Carvajal returns. Lucas Vazquez started over him at right-back and scored the equaliser last weekend.
Karim Benzema, Eden Hazard, Mariano Diaz, Marco Asensio, Vinicius Jr, and of course, Federico Valverde form the attacking core. The Uruguayan could, however, return to his natural central midfield spot in place of Kroos.
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.