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Rodrygo, Valverde, Arribas react after Al-Ahly 1-4 Real Madrid: “Going to be a difficult final”



Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Goals from Vinicius Jr, Federico Valverde, Rodrygo and Sergio Arribas gave Real Madrid a clean 4-1 win over Al-Ahly in the semifinal of the Club World Cup on Wednesday night. 

Yet, the game was far from straightforward. After securing a safe two-goal cushion, the European champions conceded one to bring the game to a nail-biting finish. A missed penalty later, the game was hanging by a thread until Rodrygo and Sergio Arribas buried it in stoppage time.

Several Real Madrid players spoke to the media after their win midweek. Here is the synopsis of their press interactions.

Rodrygo started as the central striker against the Egyptian opposition and scored Real Madrid’s third goal on the night two minutes into extra time. He spoke to the press about the team’s performance and said that they could have scored many more.

“It was a great game although the opposition made it difficult for us at times. We played well and created a lot of chances. We could have scored more goals, but we are in the final, which is the important thing,” he said.

Real Madrid face Al-Hilal in the final of the Club World Cup after the Saudi-based side defeated Flamengo in the semifinal. Rodrygo shared his thoughts on the final and what to expect from the game, saying:

“The final will be difficult. We were watching Al Hilal’s semi-final and they are very good. We have to watch out for them. It’s going to be a difficult final, but we’re focused, now we’re going to get some rest and hopefully win the title.”

Federico Valverde has seen a sudden slump in form after starting the season strong. The Uruguayan addressed the media after his impressive game against Al-Ahly, that included a goal, and attributed it to god comfort with the side.

“I’m really pleased and feel comfortable after so many games. I’m enjoying it more. I’m mentally prepared and I value this tournament so much because of all the hard work we’ve put in to make it this far. I’m happy with the team’s performance,” he said.

Valverde then stressed the importance of having a strong bond in the dressing room and the valuable advice his teammates shared with him, as he said:

“I appreciate the help from my teammates at this time. They’re always there to support me, give me advice, help me, or give me some encouragement. It was special to score the goal together with them.”

Finally, Valverde pointed out the flaws in Real Madrid’s display and said that the men in white could not afford such errors again.

“We have to fully respect our opponents. At times we were a bit relaxed because of the result in our favour. You can’t let that happen in the final. Now we have to work and rest well to go into the final with a winning mentality.”

Sergio Arribas, Real Madrid Castilla star, came on in the dying seconds of the game but still managed to find the back of the net. It took the Spaniard only 28 seconds to score on the night, and Arribas was more than happy to run the press down with details about his first goal with the senior side.

“The first time I got on the ball it went in. It was a free kick that Alaba crossed and I was there waiting for the rebound. I controlled the ball and hit it across to the keeper. I want to thank everyone who’s with me on a daily basis. I’d also like to thank my teammates because they’ve made me feel very welcome.”

The youngster then talked about how special the event was for him and the fate of the special shirt he wore last night.

“I’ve asked all the players to sign my shirt. It’ll probably be framed with the debut shirt,” Arribas added.

Arribas may see more minutes in the final, especially given that Karim Benzema is a doubt through injury. The forward then spoke about the upcoming final on Sunday.

“The final of the Club World Cup is really exciting. Now we have to enjoy the training sessions, and the atmosphere and go for the win on Saturday.”

The 21-year-old then elaborated on his season with the subsidiary team this season and how he was preparing himself for an eventual promotion.

“It’s been a really good season with Castilla because they’re in second place, two points behind first. I want to thank my teammates on the academy side and Raúl for helping me to develop.

“I hope that we can continue progressing and also myself as a player. Hopefully, we can be promoted to the Segunda División this season.”

Source: Real Madrid official website

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid set to go into 2023/24 season without any major reinforcements – report



Photo by ALAIN JOCARD/AFP via Getty Images

It has not been a great start to the year for Real Madrid. Barring a win over Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League, the Spanish giants have been humiliated by their arch-rivals Barcelona three times while dropping points carelessly in La Liga.

With 12 points dividing the two teams at the top of the table, there is not much hope for Real Madrid, in their bid to retain the title.

Unsurprisingly, this has led to immense pressure on Carlo Ancelotti, who is facing a fightback against those who want him gone at the end of the season.

In the midst of this chaos, a recent report from MARCA states that Real Madrid may once again endure a relatively calm transfer market in the coming summer.

It appears the club have no desire to make too many signings in the summer and are set to go into the 2023/24 campaign without any major reinforcements.

It is no doubt that Real Madrid’s poor performances have highlighted the team’s lack of depth and the need for reinforcements. Especially in the attacking and the defensive department, the club clearly need more depth as they often rely on their existing stars.

But it appears Real Madrid are calm about the issue and do not want to take any risks in the coming summer. Even before the start of the 2022/23 season, Aurelien Tchouameni was the club’s only notable signing, much to the disappointment of Ancelotti.

Recent reports have hinted that Real Madrid’s transfer activity would rely on who becomes the coach in the summer. But the club’s static approach to the market in 2023 could make sense, given the club that the Spanish giants are targeting star players such as Jude Bellingham, Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland.

All of the three aforementioned stars are either available or would be available on a cut-price deal in 2024. Erling Haaland, for one, has a special release clause in his contract that can be activated in 2024, even though Manchester City are actively looking to remove it.

Mbappe, too, has his contract at PSG expiring at the end of the 2023/24 season, so it will be interesting to see how Real Madrid go about their business in the coming summer.

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