Barcelona’s midfield of Xavi, Sergio Busquets, and Andres Iniesta dominated the world of football for years on end before Real Madrid created their own beast in the form of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, and of course, Casemiro.
With Modric 36, and Kroos 32, this incredible midfield is heading into its twilight years, but Madrid have the likes of Federico Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga to fall back on as central midfielders.
As for Casemiro, the search for his long term replacement is going on, and it seems Florentino Perez and co. have identified AS Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni as his successor. The club, according to MARCA, is ‘in love’ with the player.
The French midfielder has gained quite a few followers across Europe over the course of the season, and Monaco want to capitalise on the same by slapping a €60 million price tag on him.
Tchouameni, who can play both as a central midfielder and as a defensive midfielder, is lauded for his incredible defensive acumen. With 139 interceptions, 185 tackles, and 450 ball recoveries in 2021, the proof is in the pudding.
As such, the 22-year-old can serve as a direct replacement for Casemiro, who is quite the defender himself. Playing with him can only go to benefit Tchouameni, and for the Brazilian, it could serve as a much-needed boost given his less-than-ideal form this season.
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.