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Real Madrid ‘not as strong’ as Manchester City, says former midfielder

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Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

After joining Real Madrid in 1999, Steve McManaman won two UEFA Champions Leagues, one UEFA Super Cup, one La Liga championship, and one Supercopa de Espana.

He eventually went on to play two seasons at Manchester City before retiring in 2005.

Despite his past allegiance with the Merengues, he believes Manchester City possesses the upperhand in their upcoming Champions League quarter-final clash with Real Madrid.

The first leg concluded in a stalemate, with both sides scoring three each. But Los Blancos are bound to face a tougher time at the Etihad Stadium, especially with City retaining key players.

McManaman Favors Manchester City

With merely eight teams remaining in the competition, McManaman acknowledges this as a crucial phase of the competition to the Mirror (h/t AS).

“Now is when the Champions League really begins. This is the part of the competition where only the best teams remain,” he remarked.

With the aggregate score tied at 3-3, McManaman believes Manchester City is the strong favorite. He pointed out their status as the tile holders, their current form, and their position at the top of the Premier League.

“I already said before that I thought Real Madrid needed to score a couple of goals at the Etihad to qualify. It’s 3-3, so (Manchester) City has to be the big favourite.

They are the reigning champions, they are the team that is in form and they are back at the top of the Premier League. If they win at the Etihad, they are classified,” the Englishman claimed.

Man City stronger than Real Madrid says McManaman. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Although McManaman believes Real Madrid will improve next season, he argues Manchester City presently remains a cut above.

“Madrid will be better next year coming. They have brought in Jude Bellingham, but when you get fully into his squad, Madrid is not as strong as Manchester City,” he declared.

The 52-year-old used recent past as a means to justify Man City’s prospects of qualifying, since the Cityzens triumphed over Real Madrid last season and scored four past them on home soil in two consecutive years.

“Two years ago they scored four against Real Madrid and last year too. I think it will be difficult again for Real Madrid if we look at the two teams and what has happened in the past.

It is no surprise that Pep (Guardiola) and (Manchester) City continue to fight for these trophies,” McManaman concluded.

Real Madrid will be looking to prove McManaman wrong tomorrow night, but they are sure to face a gargantuan challenge in their quest to secure qualification.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid superstar reveals how advice from Brazil legend helped him improve

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Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Even with all the excitement around Kylian Mbappe, it is Vinicius Junior, who continues to be Real Madrid’s biggest star.

In the past few years, the Brazilian has witnessed substantial growth, notably establishing himself as one of the best players in world football.

Vinicius’ rapid rise to prominence has been backed by numbers as well, with the forward racking up 82 goals and 75 assists in 262 competitive matches for Real Madrid.

Vinicius on receiving advice from Ronaldo

In a recent media interaction, Vinicius Junior, when talking about his success at Real Madrid, revealed that the forward constantly receives advice from his compatriot and former Real Madrid legend Ronaldo.

Vinicius particularly pointed out Ronaldo’s advice in 1v1 situations and how it has helped him improve in such scenarios.

“Ronaldo always calls me and gives me advice, he teaches me so many things. Since he told me that his favourite thing is a 1v1 vs a GK, I thought about it a lot and started working on it really hard,” Vinicius said (h/t Madrid Zone).

Ronaldo regularly speaks with Vinicius. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

“Now, every time I’m in a 1v1 with a GK, I’m the calmest guy in the world. Ever since that conversation with Ronaldo, I stopped being afraid of making mistakes in a 1v1,” the forward added.

Vinicius has indeed witnessed an improvement in his 1v1 play in recent years, which has been reflected in his higher goalscoring numbers.

This season, the forward has netted 23 goals in all competitions while racking up 11 assists. His goalscoring prowess, coupled with his ability in 1v1 situations could prove to be critical as Real Madrid take on Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League final next month.

The Brazilian international, though, will be up against a challenging defensive duo of Mats Hummels and Nico Schlotterbeck, who have been able to keep the opposition attacks quiet this season.

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