Real Madrid will lock horns with Bundesliga side RB Leipzig tomorrow night in Germany in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie.
Ahead of the big game, RB Leipzig manager Marco Rose spoke to the media earlier today and discussed his team’s chances against the most successful team in the competition’s history.
“We fear nothing, we’re happy to play against Madrid in our stadium, that’s what we want, that’s what we’ve fought for, to be here, in the last 16,” said Rose.
RB Leipzig had defeated Real Madrid 3-2 at home in the group stages of the UCL last season, but Rose insisted that it will not have any bearings on tomorrow’s match, saying:
“They are an excellent opponent, last season the game was different, without Vinicius, but he is back and gives a lot of quality to the team. They are in a good moment. They know what it means to play this competition and win it, we must focus on everyone.
“Brahim, Rodrygo, Kroos, Modric… they are all excellent. We can name others. But we have a good squad, good players. We’re going to give everything on the pitch and take our chances.”
Real Madrid head into the game tomorrow without star midfielder Jude Bellingham as he is out with an ankle injury. But Rose, who had worked with the Englishman at Borussia Dortmund, stated that he would not believe the midfielder was unavailable until he saw the teamsheet.
“I know Jude, he’s going to do everything to play the (return) game. He might see other doctors, I don’t know. We’ll see if he’s in or not,” said the RB Leipzig boss.
On Bellingham’s move to Real Madrid, he added: “I think he has come to the right team and he has surprised us with his performance, with a lot of goals, an unbelievable performance. I’ve had him for a year, he’s a great kid, with a great mentality, he moves very well.”
Rose added that if Bellingham is unfit, Real Madrid have the resources to cope, saying: “If he doesn’t play, there are others like Brahim or maybe they play in a 4-3-3 with Joselu in attack. There are small details in Madrid’s game that will change, he is a very important player.”
On Vinicius, Ancelotti
Rose then lavished serious praise on another Real Madrid superstar, Vinicius Jr., saying: “He plays on the outside and on the inside too, he wants the ball, he makes a lot of duels, he wants to score and he scores… it’s very difficult for the defence to stop him.”
On Ancelotti’s comments of Vinicius being the best player in the world, Rose said: “He’s one of the best in his position, of course. You can say that. There are other very good players at Madrid, like Bellingham, they score goals and create difficulties for the opponents.
“He does a good job, scores goals, gives assists, and supports the team. It’s incredible how he defends.”
When asked about his opinion on Ancelotti and his management style, Rose replied: “Ancelotti should not be discussed, he has won the Champions League many times, he is very calm, it is not the first time we have played against him.
“He has a lot of personality, a good character, he does a fantastic job, very calmly. He is a great coach, there is a lot to learn from him.”
Real Madrid do not want to pay ‘crazy money’ for top defensive target – Romano
As has been reported by multiple reliable sources today, Alphonso Davies is likely to be on his way to Real Madrid from Bayern Munich in the summer.
It has been suggested that the 23-year-old Canadian left-back already has a verbal agreement with Los Blancos over a transfer either this summer or in 2025, when his contract with the Bundesliga champions runs down.
Now, the idea is for Real Madrid to start negotiations with Bayern Munich over a transfer fee so that a mutually beneficial agreement can be reached for the summer window.
Real Madrid will not pay crazy money
Amidst all this, Fabrizio Romano has come out with an update claiming that Real Madrid do not intend to pay ‘crazy money’ to sign Davies from Bayern Munich given that he will be entering the final year of his contract.
The Italian transfer expert claims that Real Madrid have been the preferred destination for Davies for a while now and that the personal terms between the two parties will not be an issue at all.
So, a summer move would now hinge on Bayern Munich’s asking price for their left-back.
Romano states that the Bavarian giants will attempt to tie Davies down to a new contract until May or even June.
But if the left-back, who is demanding hefty wages worth around €20 million, does not agree to sign, they will be forced to sell instead of losing him for free next year.
In that scenario, Real Madrid will be best-placed to sign Davies, although Los Blancos will not go overboard with their spending on the Canadian.