Real Madrid star David Alaba has endured a disappointing start to 2023. The Austrian defender has missed a chunk of matches since the turn of the year due to a muscle problem.
The player had returned to training about a fortnight ago, but he suffered an injury relapse just before Real Madrid’s Copa del Rey derby against Atletico Madrid. He has since been missing in action.
A recent report from MARCA has offered an update on Alaba’s fitness. It appears the former Bayern Munich superstar has worked in the gym. He has worked alone on the gross as well, but a specific return date is not yet known.
Regarded as one of Real Madrid’s defensive lynchpins, Alaba has missed the last three league matches for Los Blancos. He has also missed all the Copa del Rey matches so far, including the most recent encounter against Atletico Madrid.
Alaba’s continued absence has hit Real Madrid hard. Especially with left-back Ferland Mendy also out injured, coach Carlo Ancelotti has been forced to deploy Eduardo Camavinga in the full-back position.
The central defensive area has also been an issue, with the club overly relying on the services of Eder Militao.
Alaba’s absence could hurt Real Madrid more in the coming weeks, as the Whites brace themselves for a tough run of fixtures in February. The club are indeed set for tight encounters against Valencia, Mallorca, Elche and the UEFA Champions League encounter against Liverpool.
Alaba has been confirmed to be out in the upcoming game against Valencia. But it will be interesting to see how the Austrian international recovers in the coming days and when he is ready to return.
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.