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Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Liverpool – Champions League final

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Photo via Getty Images

The fateful day is upon us again as Real Madrid gear up to face Liverpool in the Champions League final for the 2021/22 season. Carlo Ancelotti has selected his best XI to face arguably the best team in Europe, hoping for a replay of the 2018 final.

Karim Benzema, wearing the captain’s armband, starts as the striker. He is the top scorer in the UCL this season with 15 goals and will be hoping to add to his tally tonight. The top assist provider of the campaign, Vinicius Jr, joins him on the left-wing.

Federico Valverde, on paper, starts as the right-winger, but will be everywhere on the flank, tirelessly running the channels alongside Luka Modric. Casemiro is the defensive midfielder, while Toni Kroos rounds off the lineup as the left central midfielder.

Dani Carvajal walked out injured in the first half of the Champions League final against Liverpool in 2018, and has been given another chance tonight, starting as the right-back. Ferland Mendy is his partner in crime, starting on the left.

The defensive trident, as he been so often this season, features Thibaut Courtois with the gloves. He is guarded by David Alaba and Eder Militao.

Official Real Madrid XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius

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Real Madrid News

Manchester City forward rejected Real Madrid after trials – ‘Good experience, but it’s in the past’

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Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images

When Real Madrid took on Manchester City last at the Etihad Stadium, they were humbled by a 4-0 thrashing that sent them home.

The game had Manchester City written all over it as the men in blue dominated from start to finish, generating almost five times as much goal threat as Real Madrid.

The final nail in the coffin on the night was delivered by a certain Argentine sensation who had been on the field for just two minutes.

Coming on in the 89th minute, Julian Alvarez found the back of the net in the first minute of added time and secured the win for his side.

Speaking to the media ahead of his team’s second-leg clash against the Merengues, the World Cup winner revealed that he was close to signing for Real Madrid in 2011 when he was still an eleven-year-old player with no professional contract.

He played a tournament in the Real Madrid colours, impressing the administration and management and doing enough to secure a deal.

However, his dream was cut short by FIFA’s rules which implied that a player under 16 could only sign for a club if his entire family moved with him. That, however, was not an option for Alvarez’s family.

“I was there for about 20 days. I was just 11 years old. To go to Spain, all my family had to move. It’s already in the past.”

Julian Alvarez scored against Real Madrid last season. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

The young striker eventually signed for River Plate where he shone across all levels to earn a move to Manchester City in 2022. He now stares at another game against the club he could have represented and is determined to give his best tomorrow.

“It was a good experience but it’s in the past. Now I’m different, I’m a professional player. If we listen to what Pep tells us to do, we are going to win,” he said on his thoughts on Real Madrid.

When asked if he would like to score tomorrow against Los Blancos, the youngster did not hesitate in admitting that it would be special for him.

“Of course, I’d love to score again. Last game I was only able to play five minutes and I scored. This time I’d love to play a bit more and of course score.”

Finally, the World Cup winner spoke on Manchester City’s goal of defending the UCL title and why it was a very demanding ask from the men in blue.

“It’s going to be hard [to retain the Champions League]. Last season was hard, this season will be hard again. But we know what we have to do and we have the things to do it again.”

“We always learn, especially winning five different competitions, we learned a lot. But we always see the next game and we always focus on winning, winning, winning the next game,” he added on the team’s approach.

Source: Manchester Evening News

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