We are just a week away before the season’s first El Clasico gets underway. It promises to be an exciting and rather consequential contest between two clubs, who have enjoyed an excellent start to their domestic campaigns.
For Real Madrid, a win against Barcelona could see them usurp the Catalans at the top of the league table. However, with a game against Shakhtar Donetsk awaiting them in midweek, there remains a layer of confusion as far as the team selection is concerned.
To that end, Carlo Ancelotti was asked to provide an update in regard to his potential starting eleven against Barcelona later this weekend.
The Italian was asked about the defensive personnel, in particular, following Eder Militao’s recent knock. Ancelotti, though, has appeared coy on the subject, adding that he is unsure of the defensive personnel that will feature against Barcelona next weekend.
“I still don’t know who will play vs Shakhtar! Militao has muscle contraction. Whoever plays in El Clasico, they will be good defenders,” he said (h/t Barça Universal) when asked about the defenders that will form the Real Madrid backline in El Clasico.
Militao’s muscle contraction could be significant for Real Madrid as the Brazilian international has proven to be the club’s defensive lynchpin in recent years. The defender also starred in Los Blancos‘ recent win over Getafe. He scored the winning goal while responsibly leading the backline to help Ancelotti’s men keep a valuable clean sheet.
His potential absence from the FC Barcelona game could force Ancelotti to deploy David Alaba at the heart of the backline.
However, with a week still remaining before Real Madrid lock horns with their arch-rivals, Militao will have ample time to recover from his knock and potentially return in time for El Clasico.
UFC Champion to kick off Real Madrid vs Sevilla, sends message to Mbappe: “Lucky to play for the best club in the world”
Coming on the back of his triumph at UFC, Featherweight champion Ilia Topuria has announced he will take honorary kick-off in the upcoming Real Madrid vs Sevilla in La Liga this weekend.
Topuria confirmed this in a recent press conference in the Spanish capital this midweek.
A self-proclaimed Madridista, Topuria expressed his deep connection with the club and even sent a message to Kylian Mbappe, who is widely expected to join the club on a free transfer this summer.
Ilia Topuria: A hardcore Madridista
Ilia Topuria did not hold back his affection for Real Madrid, stating, “For me, the team that represents the values of Spain the most is Real Madrid.”
The Georgian-Spaniard UFC champion went on to confirm that he will meet Florentino Perez on Sunday and take the kick-off.
“I’m going to meet Florentino Perez on Sunday and take the kick-off,” he said (h/t Mundo Deportivo).
Although born in Germany, Topuria made Spain proud last Saturday when he beat Alexander Volkanovski in the second round. In the process, he became the first fighter from Spain to capture a UFC belt.
Topuria’s triumph has granted him overnight success in Spain, with the 27-year-old even becoming a cultural icon for many.
Topuria’s message for Mbappe
Other than professing his love for Real Madrid, Ilia Topuria also had a message for Mbappe.
When asked about the Frenchman potentially joining Real Madrid this summer, he said, “Welcome. He’s lucky to play for the best club in the world.”
Real Madrid, for their part, also congratulated Topuria on his triumph. “Congratulations on your historic triumph for Spanish sport, Ilia Topuria. We are proud that a great Real Madrid fan like you becomes UFC world champion,” the club posted on X.
Real Madrid fans, meanwhile, will be excited to witness Topuria taking the honorary kickoff as Los Blancos take on Sevilla this weekend, with three crucial points on the line.