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Rayo Vallecano defender admits Real Madrid match is ‘special’ ahead of summer move

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Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images

Real Madrid take on Rayo Vallecano in their penultimate home game of the season later today. Not much rides on the result for Los Blancos, but one would expect the men in white to go all out for a win after losing their last two games.

One of the special storylines of Wednesday’s game, however, is the prospect of Fran Garcia facing Real Madrid. The young full-back has already signed a deal with his former club for next season, and there is excitement ahead of his arrival at Santiago Bernabeu later today.

The 23-year-old spoke to MARCA in the buildup to the midweek fixture and was asked about his feelings ahead of facing his new club.

“The match against Real Madrid is special for me? I know the feeling I’ve always had for Real Madrid and that doesn’t change. Of course, it’s a special match,” he remarked, giving nothing away about the emotions running about in his mind.

Throughout his spell at Rayo Vallecano, Garcia has been very professional with complete dedication towards the crest. He has played a part in 35 La Liga games for Andoni Iraola’s side this season, scoring two goals and providing three assists in that duration.

The Spaniard is expected to arrive in Madrid early in July and will complete the preseason under Carlo Ancelotti. Given Ferland Mendy’s struggle for form and fitness this season, Garcia could well be Real Madrid’s first-choice left-back for the 2023-24 campaign.

Los Blancos’ pursuit of Alphonso Davies is presumably the only factor that could stop him from a regular starting spot next season. Given the club’s prioritisation of Jude Bellingham and a centre-forward, however, the Canadian international’s transfer does not appear close to materialising.

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti sets a target for Real Madrid to achieve before facing Barcelona in La Liga

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Real Madrid are currently the frontrunners to win the La Liga title this season, having established a solid lead atop the table.

After 26 matchdays, Carlo Ancelotti’s Los Blancos have built a six-point lead over second-placed Girona and are eight clear of arch-rivals Barcelona in third.

Ancelotti sets a target

While Real Madrid have already faced Girona and Atletico Madrid twice in La Liga already, they still have to face Barcelona for the second time.

And, as per AS, manager Carlo Ancelotti has set a target for his Real Madrid side to achieve before they face off against Xavi Hernandez’s Barça in a few weeks.

Los Blancos host their bitter rivals at the Santiago Bernabeu in the weekend of April 20-21, in matchweek 32.

And before that, Ancelotti wants Real Madrid to reach 80 points in La Liga, which he believes is the safety point for his team to go on to win the title.

As things stand, the Merengues are on 65 points from 26 games and have five matches to play in the league before they face Barcelona.

And for them to achieve Ancelotti’s intended target, they will have to win each of their matches between now and April 20, which will be anything but straightforward.

After all, Real Madrid are set to face Valencia at a hostile Mestalla this weekend before they take on a Celta Vigo side battling to avoid relegation next week.

Following that, they face a tricky Osasuna side away from home and Athletic Club at home while they will also take on Copa del Rey finalists RCD Mallorca.

Ancelotti wants the La Liga title race wrapped up by this point so that the team can face Barcelona without any pressure and instead keep their focus on the UEFA Champions League, provided they progress in the tournament.

It will be easier said than done, but if we have learned anything from Real Madrid this season, it is that they thrive in the face of adversities.

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