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Real Madrid loanee Rafa Marin talks Bellingham, Raul, first-team role: “Hasn’t crossed my mind”

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Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Real Madrid will shortly be facing off against Deportivo Alaves at the Mendizorrotza Stadium with the team aspiring to close the distance with Girona on the league standings.

Currently, on loan from Real Madrid and plying his trade in defence for Alaves, Rafa Marin will be locking horns against his parent club.

The Real Madrid youth academy product was loaned out with no purchase option as the Merengues aim to retain his services next summer.

Touching upon the present-day matters related to his team, the future, and his objectives, Marin opened up to MARCA ahead of the clash with Real Madrid.

The Spaniard was asked how he approaches such a special match after spending seven years in Madrid, to which he answered:

In the end, I have been there for many years in Madrid, but the team faces it with great enthusiasm after the defeat against Girona we do not find ourselves with the confidence that we have had in the previous games.

“But football is like that, it gives you another game here soon, on Thursday in Mendizorrotza, with our people, our fans and the truth is that we hope it will be a nice, hard-fought game and that the three points stay at home.

Marin was then asked if he feels that Thursday’s game is a good day to send a message to Madrid, with an ‘I am here…’ type performance.

“Well, I don’t see it as direct as a message… but as a challenge for the team and another challenge for me. It is a very nice match against great players like all of Real Madrid, each one better, and as I tell you, I see it as a personal challenge to see my level against such good players,” he replied.

Jude Bellingham, who proceeds to show no signs of slowing down, especially with his unprecedented output in the final third was brought up.

When asked if the Englishman has any weaknesses in his game, Marin responded that he is a complete package and will certainly present difficulties. But he acknowledged his presence as a nice challenge.

“Well, what don’t you see in Bellingham? The truth is that you leave him space and he makes a pass, you go in quickly and he dribbles past you. For me, he has everything a footballer needs to have.

“He is showing it with goals and assists, and also with that defensive character that also contributes a lot to the team. It is a fairly complicated opponent to defend, but at the same time a nice challenge.”

The 21-year-old was then inquired if there is a special connection between the youth players of Madrid and Alaves, and what this club has that makes him perform so well.

“They have that confidence in those players who perhaps are not so veteran and are young people who are eager, who have character and desire to learn. Well, the truth is that they give you confidence.

“Here people support you, protect you and take care of you. And the truth is that it feels like that helps you when push comes to shove, to be on the field and give your all,” he remarked.

Admitting the enormous difficulty one finds breaking into the illustrious Real Madrid first team, Marin expressed that the level is very high and one must prove themselves worthy to feature with the seniors.

“In the end, playing for Madrid’s first team is very difficult, because the level they put you at is the maximum. They are players who have a world level and it is not easy at all.”

Rafa Marin will face Real Madrid tomorrow. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

“I think you have to demonstrate and have that desire to go out, to get better… and then, if in the future or whatever comes your way, you have to do it and come back, well, come back, but in the end you have to prove that to be able to be there with the best,” he said.

With the ongoing injury crisis, as Madrid’s entire starting back-line is out injured, the possibility of Rafa Marin being recalled during the January window has been discussed, although no decision has been made.

The youngster was asked if it had crossed his mind that he could have been a first-team player for Los Blancos if he had not left in the summer, to which Marin replied:

“No, the truth is that it hasn’t crossed my mind at all. In the end, life takes many turns and the decision we made to come to Alavés today is the right one, because I am here super comfortable, super comfortable, playing. They are giving me a lot of confidence and that is helping me a lot as a footballer and as a person to improve.”

Mentioning the role Raul played in his development, Marin stated: “Raúl has always been an idol for all Real Madrid fans, for his role as a player and his way of playing that character.

“Well, the truth is that he does not deceive and he conveyed the same as a coach. That character, that grip, that energy, he transmitted it to you day by day and in each training session he didn’t care whether it was regenerative or whether it was pre-match.

“In the end, he wanted the maximum from each player and that leads you to give everything in the game.”

The centre-back was also asked if he feels that Madrid is still counting on him. Marin acknowledged there is still a long road ahead of him and mentioned what is needed to play at that level.

“That is very difficult, in Madrid, there are the best and what is sought with the loan is to improve as a footballer, to gain that experience that I did not yet have and still do not have because, well, the level of La Liga and the players is very high and getting higher and higher.

“You have to work hard, improve physically and mentally and get as tough as you can,” he said.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid midfielder issues fitness update ahead of UCL final – ‘It is very difficult’

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Real Madrid officially played their final game of the league season this past weekend and the focus now shifts to the UEFA Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund on June 1.

The Spanish champions have the glorious opportunity to secure their 15th Champions League title this on Sunday.

But heading into this clash, Real Madrid are likely to miss out on the services of one of the key players – Aurelien Tchouameni.

The Frenchman will likely be ruled out for the UCL final due to an injury incurred earlier this month.

Tchouameni on UCL final

Speaking ahead of the final, Tchouameni admitted that it would be very difficult for him to participate in the UCL final.

“I can run, I think it is very difficult to play in this final and we have more players who can be in my position. The important thing is that we are going to win this Champions League,” Tchouameni said.

Tchouameni is certain to miss UCL final (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

The Frenchman added that he would try to help the team any way he can, stating, “If I can be the MVP from the bench, I’ll do it.”

Considered by many as the future of the Real Madrid midfield, Tchouameni has played a valuable role in the middle of the park this season.

His versatility, coupled with his ability to spread the play and put pressure on the opposition have served as key to Real Madrid’s success.

Although Tchouameni might not feature in this final, the player expressed his optimism about the Real Madrid team, adding, “I really want to play in this final, but I’m sure we will reach more finals [in coming years].”

Finally, Tchouameni expressed his happiness at Real Madrid, stating, “It’s an incredible feeling to be at Real Madrid.”

Formerly of AS Monaco, Tchouameni has featured in 88 competitive matches since joining Real Madrid in 2022. With Toni Kroos retiring, he is expected to play a crucial role for the club going forward, although not necessarily in the upcoming Champions League final.

Source: RMTV

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