Real Madrid News
PSG defender names Real Madrid superstar as one of his toughest opponents ever
If there is one player sale from recent years that Real Madrid regret, it is Achraf Hakimi.Their decision to sell the prodigy was not for their inability to see his talent but a gross underestimation of his ceiling.
After a loan spell at Borussia Dortmund, the right-back moved to Inter Milan for a short spell before his big transfer to Paris Saint Germain.
The 24-year-old has made 21 league appearances for PSG this term in Ligue 1, scoring four goals and providing three assists. He has created five big chances and averages 1.4 key passes per game.
Earlier this week, Hakimi spoke to Prime Video Sport France where he had many interesting points to share about Real Madrid.
The PSG defender was first asked about his most special memory as a footballer. Without any hesitation, he named his period at Real Madrid as one such memorable stint.
“Winning the Champions League with Real Madrid, and also the 2022 World Cup,” the PSG right-back said.
Regarded as one of the best right-backs in modern football, Hakimi has faced opponents of all possible calibres and skill sets. Speaking to the media, he revealed the three toughest players he has ever faced, saying: “Mbappé, Coman and also Vinicius Jr.”
Hakimi has revealed in the past that Zinedine Zidane had nothing to do with his departure from Real Madrid in 2020 and that he will forever be grateful to the legendary manager for trusting him at the highest level.
In his recent interview, he reiterated his gratitude to the manager, saying: “I thank Zidane for giving me the opportunity to play for Real Madrid.”
Finally, the Moroccan international was asked to name the best left-backs in history in his books, to which he responded with the names of two Real Madrid legends, as he said: “Marcelo and Roberto Carlos too.”
Real Madrid News
Kovacic speaks ahead of Real Madrid vs Chelsea: “Strange to have Modric as a rival”
In less than two weeks, Real Madrid will play hosts to Premier League giants Chelsea in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie at the Santiago Bernabeu.
It is a repeat of last season’s Champions League quarter-final, with the change being that the first leg was played at Stamford Bridge back then, which Real Madrid won triumphantly.
So, even though they lost the second leg 3-2, Los Merengues progressed on aggregate. At one point in the second leg, Real Madrid were 3-0 down and looked to be crashing out of the tournament.
But, that is not how the match played out as Luka Modric produced a moment of magic, sending in a stunning outside-of-the-boot pass for Rodrygo to guide home. That forced the match into extra time and Karim Benzema then scored to seal an aggregate win for his team.
Mateo Kovacic, a former Real Madrid midfielder, was on the losing side with Chelsea on that fateful night. And the Croatian has now spoken to Sportske Novosti, about that moment of magic from Modric last year as well as the prospect of facing Real Madrid again.
“We were good against Real Madrid last year, especially in Madrid. Then Modrić invented that trivela assist for Rodrygo… We have to be at 120% against them. They immediately punish every minor mistake. Although I repeat, we are also a difficult opponent for them, we showed it,“ Kovacic said.
On the prospect of facing his close friend and national teammate Modric, Kovacic added: “[laughs] how the draw arranges it… It won’t be easy for us because Real Madrid is always the most dangerous team in the Champions League.”
“It’s a strange feeling to have Modric as a rival. There were hard fouls last year because neither he nor I pull back. We will fight for sure. I play on the left, he’s on the right, we will see who wants what. But I wouldn’t like to hurt him,” he added.
Chelsea had met Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League during the 2020/21 campaign as well and had managed to eliminate them at the semi-final stages on their way to winning the title.
While the Blues have not been in the best of form this season, they have the star power and quality in their ranks to hurt Real Madrid and Carlo Ancelotti’s men must be at their best to get through to the next round.