Real Madrid star Federico Valverde showed real passion after scoring the opener against RB Leipzig in the UEFA Champions League.
The rigorous fist pumps were indeed a mark of a mockery apparently targeted towards David Raum, but it showed the rock-solid character Valverde has built over the years.
The left-footed strike scored during the Champions League encounter and his overall performance on that night highlighted his value to the team.
As reported earlier, the midfielder was a subject of strong interest from Liverpool. Real Madrid, however, had no interest in letting the 24-year-old as they seem as an ‘untouchable’ player on the team.
The Uruguayan went on to play a crucial role during Real Madrid’s comeback wins over Paris-Saint Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City before providing the all-important assist to Vinicius Jr in the Champions League final against Liverpool last season.
It’s pretty much known that Valverde’s performances are appreciated by his manager Carlo Ancelotti. For now, the 24-year-old will continue to play a vital role for Ancelotti, but his aim is bigger.
As reported by Spanish publication Diario AS (h/t Madrid Xtra), Valverde’s aim is to become the captain of Real Madrid.
The leaders in the Real Madrid squad – Karim Benzema, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Nacho, are entering the twilight years of their careers.
Hence, it won’t be long before the team might need to appoint a new captain and if Ancelotti continues to serve, Valverde could become one of them. After all, the manager has already set a ten-goal target for the Uruguayan this season.
Valverde arrived at Real Madrid in 2016 for a sum of €5 million from Penarol. After a year with Castilla and a loan season away, he has been a part of the first-team setup and has grown in stature year after year.
The 24-year-old has shown his Madridismo time and again and if he continues performing the way he has been, there is no stopping Valverde from becoming the captain of Real Madrid in the future.
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.