Real Madrid News
Real Madrid squad believe they can still retain the La Liga title – report
Following the 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid on Sunday, it felt like Real Madrid had pretty much kissed goodbye to their hopes of retaining the La Liga title.
After all, the slip-up meant that league leaders Barcelona had the opportunity to increase their advantage at the top to ten points.
But, the Blaugrana failed to capitalise on the opening as they suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to UD Almeria last night, meaning Real Madrid remain seven points behind them.
And, now Mario Cortegana of The Athletic is reporting that there is a strong belief within the Real Madrid squad that they can still retain the La Liga title despite the gap between them and Barcelona currently.
The report claims that following Barça’s defeat to Almeria last night, the Real Madrid players’ Whatsapp group was very active, with messages of joy and even some jokes being exchanged among the squad members.
At the same time, Carlo Ancelotti and his staff were also understood to be happy with the outcome of their rivals’ match, after how things had panned out on Saturday.
The report states that the Italian and his team were upset at the amount of criticism that they had received after the draw against Atletico as they felt that the detractors were not factoring the toll that the comeback win against Liverpool earlier that week had taken.
Either way, Real Madrid squad members continue to believe that they can scale the gap between themselves and Barcelona and successfully defend their La Liga crown.
With the battle for the league title heating up, the Clasico at Camp Nou on March 19 will have major repercussions on how the race could unfold.
But before that, Real Madrid will host Barça in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final later this week. A victory here could be the ideal catalyst for Ancelotti & co. to push for the title while denting their rivals’ confidence further.
Real Madrid News
Real Madrid defender set to return from injury by appearing for his national team
In a positive update, Real Madrid defender David Alaba is set to return from his injury by making an appearance for the Austrian national team against Estonia later tonight, confirms Sergio Quirante.
Alaba has been out of action for over a month now, after picking up an injury during Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first-leg tie against Liverpool at Anfield.
The Austrian international had been making progress in training at the club but was not ready in time for the Clasico against Barcelona on March 19.
Despite the injury, Alaba travelled to join the Austrian national team during the current international break.
And, according to the report from Sergio Quirante, the Real Madrid ace has good feelings after training with his national team. Having had several sessions under his belt now, the versatile defender is all set to make his return later tonight.
Austria will face off against Estonia in their second UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifiers Group F encounter later tonight and Alaba is in line to get some minutes against the minnows.
What remains to be seen is whether manager Ralf Rangnick opts to start the former Bayern Munich superstar on the night or introduces him as a substitute in the latter stages of the game.
Alaba’s imminent return will be good news for Real Madrid, who have a series of important matches coming up after the international break as they look to salvage their season.
Following the loss to Barcelona earlier this month, Carlo Ancelotti’s men are now 12 points off the top of the table in La Liga and are pretty much out of the equation to retain the title. They are also training the Catalans 1-0 in the Copa del Rey semi-finals while Chelsea await in the Champions League quarter-finals.