Belgium’s goalless draw with Croatia this evening meant that the European giants are out of the tournament, after finishing third in Group F, behind Morocco and Croatia.
Speaking after the match, the Belgian goalkeeper wished luck to all his Real Madrid teammates who are still participating in the World Cup. But most notably, he admitted his support for the Spanish national team during the remainder of the competition.
“Now I will support Spain, but I also want my Real Madrid colleagues to do well, so I also wish the best for Lukita, the Brazilians, Vinicius, Rodrygo, Rudiger. I hope everyone can go as far as they can and see the champion be one of them or more than one in December,” he said (h/t RM4Arab).
Modric was notably involved in the Croatia team that moved to the knockout rounds after a goalless draw with Belgium. As for Antonio Rudiger, his Germany team must secure a win and hope Spain beats Japan if they are to qualify for the next round.
The Brazilian national team, meanwhile, represented by Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo, have their place in the knockout rounds sealed as well following back-to-back wins over Switzerland and Serbia respectively.
In his post-match speech, Courtois went on to offer his thoughts on Eden Hazard. The goalkeeper backed the former Chelsea star to do well in the future despite his apparent failure with the Belgian national team.
“Eden has shown he’s playing well. It’s a pity that today he only played 10 minutes. He is very good and deserves more chances. Psychologically, the substitution was a blow for him, I’m sure of that. He is a great player and can still give a lot to football,” he said.
Hazard has featured in all three of Belgium’s group matches in this World Cup. But the forward has not been able to be involved in a single goal. It has been the same case at the club level, with the player recording just one goal and one assist so far this season.
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.