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Real Madrid veteran issues update on contract situation: “Felt very bad at the beginning”



Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Speaking after Real Madrid’s thumping 5-2 win over Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League, veteran defender Nacho Fernandez has provided an update on his contract situation.

The 33-year-old versatile defender is out of contract with Los Blancos at the end of the season, but is yet to make a decision on his continuity.

It had been reported in the past that Nacho could decide to move on from the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer as he was not happy with his reduced role under Carlo Ancelotti this season.

But, things have improved for Nacho in recent weeks, especially with some of the defenders struggling with injuries. And the veteran star has made the most of his chances, turning in solid performances one after the other.

It was no different on Tuesday against Liverpool, as he kept Mohamed Salah under wraps after coming on as a substitute for the injured David Alaba in the first half.

Speaking to COPE after the game about his future, Nacho admitted that he was very upset at the beginning of the season. However, he insisted that the club were open to offering him a new deal if he wanted to continue, although he is yet to make a decision.

As quoted by Fabrizio Romano, Nacho said: “Real told me that if I want, I can renew. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do yet. I felt very bad at the beginning of the season. I will make a personal decision on my future, it’s about my family too.”

A product of the club’s youth academy, Nacho has been a solid and reliable member of the team for years now, even though he has not always been a regular starter in the lineup.

The 33-year-old has proven his usefulness time and again this season, slotting in everywhere across the backline, while his leadership also makes him an asset.

With the team set to go through a transition of sorts, it would bode well for Real Madrid to retain a player of Nacho’s experience and leadership abilities at least for another year.

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Real Madrid News

Kovacic speaks ahead of Real Madrid vs Chelsea: “Strange to have Modric as a rival”



Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

In less than two weeks, Real Madrid will play hosts to Premier League giants Chelsea in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie at the Santiago Bernabeu.

It is a repeat of last season’s Champions League quarter-final, with the change being that the first leg was played at Stamford Bridge back then, which Real Madrid won triumphantly.

So, even though they lost the second leg 3-2, Los Merengues progressed on aggregate. At one point in the second leg, Real Madrid were 3-0 down and looked to be crashing out of the tournament.

But, that is not how the match played out as Luka Modric produced a moment of magic, sending in a stunning outside-of-the-boot pass for Rodrygo to guide home. That forced the match into extra time and Karim Benzema then scored to seal an aggregate win for his team.

Mateo Kovacic, a former Real Madrid midfielder, was on the losing side with Chelsea on that fateful night. And the Croatian has now spoken to Sportske Novosti, about that moment of magic from Modric last year as well as the prospect of facing Real Madrid again.

“We were good against Real Madrid last year, especially in Madrid. Then Modrić invented that trivela assist for Rodrygo… We have to be at 120% against them. They immediately punish every minor mistake. Although I repeat, we are also a difficult opponent for them, we showed it, Kovacic said.

On the prospect of facing his close friend and national teammate Modric, Kovacic added: “[laughs] how the draw arranges it… It won’t be easy for us because Real Madrid is always the most dangerous team in the Champions League.”

“It’s a strange feeling to have Modric as a rival. There were hard fouls last year because neither he nor I pull back. We will fight for sure. I play on the left, he’s on the right, we will see who wants what. But I wouldn’t like to hurt him,” he added.

Chelsea had met Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League during the 2020/21 campaign as well and had managed to eliminate them at the semi-final stages on their way to winning the title.

While the Blues have not been in the best of form this season, they have the star power and quality in their ranks to hurt Real Madrid and Carlo Ancelotti’s men must be at their best to get through to the next round.

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