The UEFA Champions League returned this week with a blockbuster clash for the Los Blancos. Real Madrid took on PSG at the Parc des Princes. It was a day of multiple storylines, with special emphasis on Lionel Messi facing his former rivals and Kylian Mbappe facing his dream club.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side played a very defensive game on the night. As PSG pushed continuously to find a breakthrough, the visitors made barely any effort to get on the scoresheet.
The performance of the Madrid-based side was so poor that Florentino Perez was said to be ‘ashamed’.
Ultimately, the fixture ended in a 1-0 win for the Parisiens. Kylian Mbappe scored a wonder goal in the dying minutes to cover up for Messi’s penalty miss and give the French outfit the advantage.
According to reports from ESPN (h/t Madrid Xtra), the Real Madrid players believe that they can overturn the tie vs Pochettino’s side. Considering the poor team performance and defensive tactics, the 1-0 result is not seen too badly by the dressing room.
The two teams will meet once again for the second leg scheduled on 9th March. With the game set to take place at the Santiago Bernabeu, Los Blancos will certainly have an upper hand.
Ancelotti will have to tweak his methods, for another defensive game will not suffice in the second leg. With the stakes high, Real Madrid will want to go out all guns blazing and propel themselves into the quarterfinals of the competition.
Ancelotti ‘liked’ €70 million Portuguese full-back offered to Real Madrid in January
Joao Cancelo has, for a long time, been considered one of the best full-backs in the world of football. What makes the Portuguese international special is not just his ability to contribute flawlessly at both ends of the field but also the fact that he can recreate his magic on both flanks.
For a player of such quality to depart Manchester City unsurprisingly broke the internet. Cancelo signed for Bayern Munich on a six-month loan in January with a whopping €70 million purchase clause included in the paperwork.
According to reports from AS, the player preferred a move to Spain. Both Real Madrid and Barcelona were offered Cancelo’s services, and it was only after both La Liga giants rejected it that Bayern Munich got the chance to sign him.
For the Catalans, the player’s salary was the hurdle preventing his arrival. In Real Madrid’s case, however, it was the board’s reluctance to change the squad midway through the season.
For a long time now, Real Madrid have maintained a low profile in winter transfer windows. Carlo Ancelotti liked the full-back’s profile and saw him as a good fit, but the management would not hear of it.
Real Madrid have had a torrid time at the full-back position in recent weeks, indicating that the squad was in urgent need of new signings.
For almost a month, Ancelotti has been without a right-back after both Lucas Vazquez and Dani Carvajal suffered injuries. Just as the latter recovered, Ferland Mendy hobbled off the field and could miss six weeks of action.
Cancelo’s signing would have thus been the ideal way to kill two birds with one stone. Nevertheless, the management have their faith in the young Vinicius Tobias and it remains to be seen if their gamble pays off.