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‘Strange team’ – Manchester City midfielder opens up on playing against Real Madrid

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Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Containing Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League is not a task for the faint-hearted.

The competition has invariably been considered as the club’s stomping ground and Europe’s elite can testify to that claim, having faced Madrid’s wrath on European stages innumerable times.

Manchester City, the reigning champions, recently suffered at the hands of Real Madrid in the quarter-finals as the Merengues cruised past them with a win on penalty shootouts.

Despite largely dominating the tie on the ball and creating an abundance of chances, in the end, it was Real Madrid who took home the spoils of war.

The counter-attack kings

Now, Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva has opened up about the duality of Real Madrid, drawing attention to the team’s unpredictable nature, and emphasizing how quickly and effectively Madrid can shift the tide, even when opponents feel in control.

“Real Madrid is a strange team. Sometimes it seems like you have control of the game and out of nowhere, they run twice (on the counterattack) and score two goals because their players individually are very good.

“They are so fast and strong on the counterattack that it’s not easy to control them,” Benardo remarked to AS.

Deadly on the counter. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

This was arguably the story of the Manchester City vs. Real Madrid matchup across both legs, where Madrid relied on flashes of brilliance in the final third to find the back of the net.

With pacy wingers like Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo and energetic ball carriers in midfield, their fast-paced transitions are capable of overwhelming opponents in an instant

Bernardo further reflected on the dilemma teams face when playing Los Blancos, as
playing against a team with a potent counterattack like Real Madrid requires a delicate balance between offense and defense.

“If you attack with too many players, they run on the counter. If you don’t attack with many players, it feels like you’re not effective enough to attack them properly. So it’s hard to make these little decisions in the game,” he exclaimed.

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Real Madrid News

Official: Real Madrid announce starting lineup to face Real Betis

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Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Real Madrid will sign off on their successful La Liga campaign today with a fixture against Real Betis at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The game, being seen as a final preparation for the UEFA Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund, sees manager Carlo Ancelotti field his strongest possible lineup.

All eyes will obviously be on the retiring Toni Kroos, who bids goodbye to the Bernabeu in what will be his final home game as a Real Madrid player.

The German international starts in the centre of the park alongside Federico Valverde, while Eduardo Camavinga slots in as the No. 6.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid captain, Nacho Fernandez, also starts in what could be his last game at the Bernabeu as well.

Nacho pairs up with Antonio Rudiger in defence, flanked by the full-back pairing of Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy. Thibaut Courtois starts in goal ahead of Andriy Lunin and Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Up front, Vinicius Jr. starts in attack, partnering up with Rodrygo Goes. Top scorer Jude Bellingham occupies the attacking midfield role for Real Madrid.

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