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Real Madrid ‘fourth-choice’ centre-back’ determined to fight for a place



Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

It is easy for a professional sportsman to get demotivated when his team signs another player for his position. Not only does it signal the arrival of direct competition but also an indication that the club does not consider his contributions sufficient enough.

Last season, Nacho Fernandez was the third choice centre-back behind David Alaba and Eder Militao at Real Madrid. Yet, being the first-choice substitute helped him gather minutes when the starters were injured or rotated.

And he did a rather excellent job, including in the latter stages of the Champions League when the pressure ramped up.

This season, the Spaniard’s role is not as clear. The arrival of Antonio Rudiger has complicated the situation, for Nacho is now the fourth-choice centre-back.

According to reports from Diario AS, the Spaniard is not afraid of competition. He is not disheartened by the arrival of Rudiger and is, in fact, used to such complicated situations.

He finished last season at a very high level and came back to work with a determined mindset. During Real Madrid’s US leg of the preseason, the Spaniard displayed that he is a reliable presence in the back.

The reason for his mental strength in this difficult situation is that Nacho feels he is at his dream club and at the best moment of his career. Moreover, the manager’s trust in him is a driving factor too.

Last season, the 32-year-old made 28 La Liga appearances for the champions and scored three goals. Defensively, he averaged over six defensive actions per game and oversaw four clean sheets.

His current contract with the club expired in June 2023, but there have been talks over an extension for an additional year. It remains to be seen if Los Blancos push for the renewal or if the player departs because of a lack of playing time.

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Real Madrid News

Manchester City forward rejected Real Madrid after trials – ‘Good experience, but it’s in the past’



Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images

When Real Madrid took on Manchester City last at the Etihad Stadium, they were humbled by a 4-0 thrashing that sent them home.

The game had Manchester City written all over it as the men in blue dominated from start to finish, generating almost five times as much goal threat as Real Madrid.

The final nail in the coffin on the night was delivered by a certain Argentine sensation who had been on the field for just two minutes.

Coming on in the 89th minute, Julian Alvarez found the back of the net in the first minute of added time and secured the win for his side.

Speaking to the media ahead of his team’s second-leg clash against the Merengues, the World Cup winner revealed that he was close to signing for Real Madrid in 2011 when he was still an eleven-year-old player with no professional contract.

He played a tournament in the Real Madrid colours, impressing the administration and management and doing enough to secure a deal.

However, his dream was cut short by FIFA’s rules which implied that a player under 16 could only sign for a club if his entire family moved with him. That, however, was not an option for Alvarez’s family.

“I was there for about 20 days. I was just 11 years old. To go to Spain, all my family had to move. It’s already in the past.”

Julian Alvarez scored against Real Madrid last season. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

The young striker eventually signed for River Plate where he shone across all levels to earn a move to Manchester City in 2022. He now stares at another game against the club he could have represented and is determined to give his best tomorrow.

“It was a good experience but it’s in the past. Now I’m different, I’m a professional player. If we listen to what Pep tells us to do, we are going to win,” he said on his thoughts on Real Madrid.

When asked if he would like to score tomorrow against Los Blancos, the youngster did not hesitate in admitting that it would be special for him.

“Of course, I’d love to score again. Last game I was only able to play five minutes and I scored. This time I’d love to play a bit more and of course score.”

Finally, the World Cup winner spoke on Manchester City’s goal of defending the UCL title and why it was a very demanding ask from the men in blue.

“It’s going to be hard [to retain the Champions League]. Last season was hard, this season will be hard again. But we know what we have to do and we have the things to do it again.”

“We always learn, especially winning five different competitions, we learned a lot. But we always see the next game and we always focus on winning, winning, winning the next game,” he added on the team’s approach.

Source: Manchester Evening News

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