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Real Madrid star does not regret summer transfer decision despite reduced role

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Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Real Madrid’s win over Real Sociedad last night took the team one step, and two wins, closer to the league title.

With the critical UCL semifinal against Bayern Munich scheduled in less than a week, Carlo Ancelotti opted to field a heavily rotated lineup on the night including Arda Guler, Fran Garcia, Joselu and Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal.

The Spanish goalkeeper, in particular, dished out a splendid performance with three saves, two of which came from shots inside the box and was rock solid in goal.

A true professional

Life in Madrid has not quite gone as Kepa would have expected.

The Spanish shot-stopper began the season as Los Blancos’ regular goalkeeper in all competitions, but an injury against Braga gave Andriy Lunin his chance to shine and helped him take over the starting position.

As revealed by MARCA, however, Kepa’s response to being snubbed after the Ukrainian star’s rise has been nothing but graceful. He has never turned up to training half-heartedly, nor has he shown any signs of unhappiness in the dressing room.

Kepa had a good game vs Sociedad. (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images)

The 29-year-old had been waiting for his chance to prove to Ancelotti that he is still dependable, and he did not let the manager last night when gifted with that opportunity.

Kepa is aware that Lunin’s rise loses the doors to his potential future in Madrid. Yet, he wishes to leave a good mark on the club as long as his stay extends and return the trust they placed in him in August.

No regrets

Kepa Arrizabalaga was all set to sign for Bayern Munich last summer when Real Madrid made a last-minute entry into the race to swoop him away from Bavaria.

Having possibly lost the chance of playing for the German giants, he will travel to the Allianz Arena next week in the first leg of the UCL semifinal, ironically against the club he was close to joining.

Despite his reduced role under Ancelotti, however, the Spanish outlet add that Kepa has no regrets over his decision to snub Bayern for a loan in Madrid. He is confident that his form will be noticed, and future resolved.

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Real Madrid News

‘Will have to put my feelings aside’ – Bellingham on facing Borussia Dortmund in UCL final

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Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

It has been a special debut season for Jude Bellingham at Real Madrid.

Since arriving from Borussia Dortmund in a deal worth €103 million, plus add-ons, last summer, the 20-year-old sensation has become an instant hit at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Despite his form declining a bit in the second half of the season, Bellingham has racked up returns of 23 goals and 12 assists from 41 games in all competitions.

A special game for Bellingham

Having won La Liga and the Spanish Super Cup, Bellingham now has the chance to end the season in the most epic ways possible by lifting the UEFA Champions League, against his former club, in his homeland.

As such, Saturday’s UCL final at Wembley, against Dortmund, is set to be a special one for the young phenom, and he acknowledged as much during an interview today.

“It’s a very special game for me but I’ll have to put feelings aside. It’s been a great season, they’ve made me feel very welcome and I’ve enjoyed playing football with them,” said Bellingham, as quoted by Mundo Deportivo.

Bellingham faces his former club in the UCL final. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

When asked if he had been in touch with any of his former Dortmund teammates ahead of Saturday’s showpiece event, Bellingham replied:

“I’ve spoken to Sancho, we said we’d meet there. He took me under his wing when I came to Dortmund and that meant a lot to me.”

On how Real Madrid can win the game

Earlier today, Carlo Ancelotti was asked if he had sought any information from Bellingham to prepare a strategy to beat Borussia Dortmund.

The midfielder himself was asked by the media as to how Real Madrid can get past his former club at Wembley this weekend, to which he replied:

“To win we will have to play at our maximum level, if we are at that level it is very difficult for our opponents. The staff are sure to do a great job analysing Dortmund, I trust them 100 per cent.”

Stressing how it is a dream for him to win the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid, Bellingham remarked:

“Winning the Champions League is the reason I’m here, I always dreamed of playing for this team, and this team is linked to the Champions League. I want to be a small part of their history.”

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