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Real Madrid captain admits team was not good enough in 1-1 draw vs RB Leipzig



Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid’s performance against RB Leipzig last night was right up there with their worst displays of the season. The men in white, despite having the home advantage, salvaged just a 1-1 draw and scraped past the Germans into the quarterfinals.

Nacho Fernandez donned the captain’s armband on the night and played out the entire 90 minutes in what was a gruelling match for the defence. In that duration, he completed five clearances and won two duels.

The Spanish defender spoke to the media after Real Madrid’s clash against Leipzig marked his 350th game with the club and spoke on how privileged he felt to don the captain’s armband week in and week out.

“It’s very nice to wear the captain’s armband on nights like this. For me it’s a dream to be in the club of my life, it’s incredible.”

“Being a captain is one more reason, also in a special match like today’s, in which he played 350 games with the Real Madrid shirt. A beautiful night,” he added.

Commenting on the game that unfolded in Madrid on the night, the captain was critical of the team’s performance but relieved at getting past the Round of 16 and into the final eight.

“It has not been our best game of the season, but we have met the goal of qualifying. There are times when you have bad games.”

“For what it’s worth, we have to be happy because we are in the quarterfinals of the Champions League,” he added.

Speaking on the progression of play on the night and how the Germans maintained the pressure on his team, Nacho insisted that there was not a point in the game where his side were on top in terms of pressure.

“In general, it has not been a good match. Neither in the beginning, nor in the second part, nor by getting ahead on the scoreboard did we become dominant.”

“They have a lot of potential, they come out very quickly and it hasn’t been our best day. But the goal is fulfilled and we have to keep working, no one said that this was going to be easy,” he added.

Finally, the veteran concluded his interview by commenting on how such hard-fought wins were as important as the smooth ones.

“When things don’t go the way you want, it’s time to fight. Playing games like today’s makes you grow and learn. Now let’s think about the next one.”

Source: Real Madrid website

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Real Madrid News

‘Will have to put my feelings aside’ – Bellingham on facing Borussia Dortmund in UCL final



Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

It has been a special debut season for Jude Bellingham at Real Madrid.

Since arriving from Borussia Dortmund in a deal worth €103 million, plus add-ons, last summer, the 20-year-old sensation has become an instant hit at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Despite his form declining a bit in the second half of the season, Bellingham has racked up returns of 23 goals and 12 assists from 41 games in all competitions.

A special game for Bellingham

Having won La Liga and the Spanish Super Cup, Bellingham now has the chance to end the season in the most epic ways possible by lifting the UEFA Champions League, against his former club, in his homeland.

As such, Saturday’s UCL final at Wembley, against Dortmund, is set to be a special one for the young phenom, and he acknowledged as much during an interview today.

“It’s a very special game for me but I’ll have to put feelings aside. It’s been a great season, they’ve made me feel very welcome and I’ve enjoyed playing football with them,” said Bellingham, as quoted by Mundo Deportivo.

Bellingham faces his former club in the UCL final. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

When asked if he had been in touch with any of his former Dortmund teammates ahead of Saturday’s showpiece event, Bellingham replied:

“I’ve spoken to Sancho, we said we’d meet there. He took me under his wing when I came to Dortmund and that meant a lot to me.”

On how Real Madrid can win the game

Earlier today, Carlo Ancelotti was asked if he had sought any information from Bellingham to prepare a strategy to beat Borussia Dortmund.

The midfielder himself was asked by the media as to how Real Madrid can get past his former club at Wembley this weekend, to which he replied:

“To win we will have to play at our maximum level, if we are at that level it is very difficult for our opponents. The staff are sure to do a great job analysing Dortmund, I trust them 100 per cent.”

Stressing how it is a dream for him to win the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid, Bellingham remarked:

“Winning the Champions League is the reason I’m here, I always dreamed of playing for this team, and this team is linked to the Champions League. I want to be a small part of their history.”

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