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Rodrygo, Courtois, Camavinga react after Chelsea 0-2 Real Madrid: “Ready for anything”



Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

A Rodrygo brace at Stamford Bridge helped Real Madrid set up a date with either Manchester City or Bayern Munich in the semifinal of the UEFA Champions League. It was a hard-fought encounter, but in the end it was Carlo Ancelotti’s dressing room that celebrated qualification.

The only goal-scorer of the night, Rodrygo, gave an interview after the final whistle. He began with a statement on what the Champions League meant to him and why it was so special for him to score on such a big occasion.

“I don’t know how to explain it, but I always say it’s a really special competition for me. Whenever I’ve played I’ve always managed to do something to help my team. I’m so happy, I hope I can keep going like this, scoring more goals, providing more assists and winning the Champions League again,” he said.

Rodrygo admitted that the pressure to progress deep into the European competition was eternal at Real Madrid and added a note on the sheer prestige just wearing the club’s white colours and crest brought with it.

“It’s a pleasure to be playing for Real Madrid, the greatest team in the world, and we know that we’re practically obliged to reach the semi-finals, the final and win the Champions League. Since we got here, we’ve had that in our heads,” he stated.

“We have to produce very good performances and I think we’re doing that. Since I’ve been playing here we’ve come a long way in this competition and I hope we can continue like this.”

The youngster also spoke about Thibaut Courtois’s fabulous save in the dying minutes of the first half and the road ahead.

“They could’ve made it 1-0 in the first half, but Courtois was there to bail us out. I’m delighted with my brace and eager to keep up this pace. Now it’s time for us to think about the semi-finals,” Rodrygo added.

Eder Militao will be unavailable for the first leg of the semifinal in the UCL through an accumulation of bookings. Talking about the impact of the Brazilian’s absence in such a big game, Rodrygo said:

“Militão won’t play, but we have other very good players who can stand in for him. The Champions League is very tough. We can’t choose our opponents and we have to be ready for anything.”

Finally, he ended his conversation with a jovial description of the thoughts that went through his head while selecting a celebration on the night.

“I thought about sliding on my knees, but I have a slight swelling so I couldn’t. Then Cristiano, who is my idol, popped into my head and that’s how it came out.”

Courtois happy with clean sheet on Chelsea return

Courtois made a fine save to deny Cucurella. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Thibaut Courtois was another star of the night who took out time to address the media and first brought to light how important the defence was in the first half. He also spoke about the course the game took later in the night.

“I’m really pleased. The match was intense for me and managing to win with a clean sheet is always a good thing. The first half wasn’t the best, but we corrected things at half-time. We improved in the second half and scored two important goals,” he said.

“They could’ve got back into the game, the fans were behind them. They were looking for that goal to bring them hope and fortunately, Rodrygo scored.”

Commenting on his save from Marc Cucurella’s shot that is largely being spoken of as a game-defining moment, the Belgian took one through the situation from his eyes, saying:

“The save I made came from a low cross across the face of the goal. Someone tried to shoot, I fell a bit and I saw that the ball fell to Cucurella. I tried to jump and make myself big, throwing my body to the left to try and cover the far post and the front post with my feet. I’m very pleased with the save.”

Eder Militao has been a formidable partner for Courtois in protecting the Merengues’ goal this season but will not be available for the next game. On the central defender’s booking, Courtois said:

“It was unlucky, Havertz just lifted the ball and Militão didn’t get to it. We have to have faith in the whole squad and I’m sure we can fight against City or Bayern.

“We’re going to try to do the same as last year, we have to believe. We’re on a good run, we have complete confidence that we can do it again and reach the final.”

It has become the norm for Real Madrid to reach the semifinal year after year as they have done so in 11 of the last 13 editions. Yet, Courtois insisted that the teams’ accomplishment should not be taken for granted as it requires immense quality to even get this far, as he said:

“It’s not easy to reach the semi-finals. For the last 13 years, Madrid have made it to many. We’re delighted to reach a semi-final. It’s not easy, but once you’re there, if you lose, it doesn’t mean much. We have the aim of winning, but we take it one game at a time.”

Eduardo Camavinga, Real Madrid’s starting left-back, also spoke to the press after the game, and said:

“The team played well. The first half was tough because Chelsea are also a good team, but we’re a great team, and the second half was easier and we managed to score two goals.

“We’re Real Madrid and when we’re in a tough game we all work as we always do and we managed to progress.”

Source: Real Madrid Website

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Real Madrid News

Harry Kane ‘very close’ to completing Real Madrid move, only final details remain – report



Jude Bellingham’s move to Real Madrid was finally closed earlier today as officially confirmed by Borussia Dortmund on their website. Yet, the offices at Santiago Bernabeu have not even taken a break to celebrate their success.

According to reports from Alfredo Pedullà, Los Blancos are now completely focused on the acquisition of Harry Kane. The English striker’s arrival is very close to approaching closure and only a few details remain to be sorted.

The Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur representatives reportedly held a meeting today over the striker’s transfer. The agenda was to agree on a number for the transfer fee.

The Premier League side began the proceedings with an expectation of €100 to €110 million in exchange for Kane. However, the Merengues suggested a lower point at €80 to €90 million, albeit with the option to include bonuses.

There is not much separating the two parties at the moment, and the minor gap will be bridged in the coming days. Overall, the meeting ended with a broad understanding between the two clubs.

Carlo Ancelotti sees the English striker as the centre-piece of his attack for next season given the recent departure of Karim Benzema. After all, Kane has been one of football’s most consistent goalscorers over the past decade.

Yet, Los Blancos cannot afford to let their guard down with one signing and will need to rope in at least two more names in attack to serve as backup options. The exits of Mariano Diaz, Marco Asensio, and Eden Hazard leave them with no squad depth, after all.

Kane has scored 30, 17, and 23 goals in his last three seasons in the Premier League and is the epitome of consistency. Further, he had three assists in his most recent league season and created 14 big chances.

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