With three wins in six matches, Atletico Madrid have not had the best of starts to the new season, with the 2020 La Liga champions currently dawdling in the seventh position in the league table.
They recently lost to their cross-town rivals Real Madrid, who have maintained a 100% winning record so far. One of the protagonists behind the 2-1 win at Wanda Metropolitano was Luka Modric.
The veteran midfielder provided a solid creative outlet for Real Madrid on two-thirds of the pitch. His experience and leadership were crucial in helping Los Blancos navigate through the Atleti press.
In light of Real Madrid’s victory, Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodrigo de Paul has hailed Luka Modric as the best midfielder in the world. During a Q&A session on Tiktok, the Argentine international said: “Best midfielder in the world? Modrić.”
Modric has indeed emerged as one of the most consistent performers for Real Madrid over the past five years. Even at the age of 37, the Croatian has shown no rapid sign of deterioration, leaving even opposition players such as de Paul mesmerised.
In addition to praising Modric, Rodrigo de Paul also hailed Diego Simeone as the best coach in the world as well, even after Atletico Madrid’s poor start to the campaign and the layer of uncertainty that has been spiralling around the club for the past two years.
UFC Champion to kick off Real Madrid vs Sevilla, sends message to Mbappe: “Lucky to play for the best club in the world”
Coming on the back of his triumph at UFC, Featherweight champion Ilia Topuria has announced he will take honorary kick-off in the upcoming Real Madrid vs Sevilla in La Liga this weekend.
Topuria confirmed this in a recent press conference in the Spanish capital this midweek.
A self-proclaimed Madridista, Topuria expressed his deep connection with the club and even sent a message to Kylian Mbappe, who is widely expected to join the club on a free transfer this summer.
Ilia Topuria: A hardcore Madridista
Ilia Topuria did not hold back his affection for Real Madrid, stating, “For me, the team that represents the values of Spain the most is Real Madrid.”
The Georgian-Spaniard UFC champion went on to confirm that he will meet Florentino Perez on Sunday and take the kick-off.
“I’m going to meet Florentino Perez on Sunday and take the kick-off,” he said (h/t Mundo Deportivo).
Although born in Germany, Topuria made Spain proud last Saturday when he beat Alexander Volkanovski in the second round. In the process, he became the first fighter from Spain to capture a UFC belt.
Topuria’s triumph has granted him overnight success in Spain, with the 27-year-old even becoming a cultural icon for many.
Topuria’s message for Mbappe
Other than professing his love for Real Madrid, Ilia Topuria also had a message for Mbappe.
When asked about the Frenchman potentially joining Real Madrid this summer, he said, “Welcome. He’s lucky to play for the best club in the world.”
Real Madrid, for their part, also congratulated Topuria on his triumph. “Congratulations on your historic triumph for Spanish sport, Ilia Topuria. We are proud that a great Real Madrid fan like you becomes UFC world champion,” the club posted on X.
Real Madrid fans, meanwhile, will be excited to witness Topuria taking the honorary kickoff as Los Blancos take on Sevilla this weekend, with three crucial points on the line.