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Valverde, Fran Garcia react after Real Madrid 3-2 AC Milan: “Going to achieve big things”

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Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Over the years, Real Madrid have become famous for their ability to pull off comebacks from seemingly unthinkable situations. It is only poetic that their first pre-season game ahead of the 2023-24 campaign featured a comeback of incredible proportions.

Los Blancos went 2-0 down on the night against AC Milan after goals from Fikayo Tomori and Luka Romero. However, they came back strong in the second period to finish the game with a 3-2 scoreline and get off to a winning start.

Federico Valverde was named the man of the match on the night for his brace in the second half. Speaking to the media after the game, he talked about his feelings over the first match of the new season.

“It was great to get the win and to be able to share it with the fans. It’s the first game of the season, we came into it with a bit of fatigue from pre-season training and now we’ll start getting used to the coach’s system. We’ll feel much better in time.”

The midfielder then elaborated on his motivation heading into a new campaign and the general sensation in the dressing room, saying:

“I’ve started the season with motivation sky high, the same hunger and desire as ever to achieve my goals with this club. I try and enjoy myself with the team and my teammates, who always help me to be my best. It’s beautiful to be a part of this.”

When Los Blancos were down and out, the Uruguayan’s goal came as a saving grace and one that reignited hope of a comeback. Valverde emphasised the importance of his first goal and how it came about.

“When you score a goal after being 0-2 down, the team up the pressure as you try and find the equaliser. That’s the way it went. I won the ball back and it ended up in the back of the net.”

Finally, he has special words for his teammates Luka Modric and Vinicius Jr and stated that there was good reason to hope for a successful season ahead.

“I enjoy winning the ball, watching Modrić pick passes like that and then seeing Vinicius finish so brilliantly. This is a great group and if we all pull in the same direction, we’re going to achieve big things and we’re so excited for this season.”

New signing Fran Garcia started the game on the bench but came on at half-time to replace Ferland Mendy. Speaking after his first game as a Real Madrid player this season, the left-back expressed his joy with no hesitation.

“I’m pleased with how the game ended up because I got to play. I’m feeling great about starting out with this team.”

“We have worked hard, understanding what each one of us has to do and helping each other out. We can adapt to a different style of play or to whatever Ancelotti asks of us.”

The Spanish defender then went on to speak about the pride he felt wearing the white colours after a long hiatus and the responsibility that came with it.

“It’s a dream and a great honour to pull this jersey on again, to be wearing these colours. It really is unbelievable for me. I had the drive and the ambition to come back and wear this jersey again to defend the Madrid badge.”

Garcia elaborated on his bond with Vinicius Jr and revealed that the duo played together when the Brazilian was training with the Castilla side early into his spell at Real Madrid.

“I was with Vini at Castilla and I was chatting to him about that the other day. I’m proud of how we have played together and we have to keep working hard.”

Finally, he closed with a statement expressing his excitement over the period to come and the immense support the team has in the United States.

“When you experience what Real Madrid means, you start to see it differently. To come to Los Angeles and see everyone so excited to watch the game just makes you so happy.”

Source: Real Madrid website

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Elfran Czeko

    July 25, 2023 at 1:16 am

    I watch games and also read write ups about Real Madrid- team, players, individual players, as fan. With this news post on Valverde, I want to recall a news write up some days/weeks ago, which I read: “…there is talk in Madrid that Valverde will be sold because there are so many midfielders now with addition young good players…” and I said to myself “he should not be sold.” What now…? Valverde made Real Madrid and the millions of RM fans happy with his goals. Qstn: Will anybody still dare say “Valverde should be sold?”

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Real Madrid News

Premier League club close the doors on defender’s exit amid Real Madrid interest

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Back in March, news surfaced that Real Madrid and Manchester United were both interested in signing Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite

The competition for his signature was fierce, but United eventually shifted their attention to another target, Leny Yoro, leaving Real Madrid without a new defender. 

Despite their interest, Everton’s high valuation of Branthwaite at €80 million made both clubs reconsider their pursuit.

According to a report from The Athletic, Everton’s stance on Branthwaite has now solidified. They are not entertaining any offers for the defender. 

Real Madrid, in reality, never made an official bid. They were merely observing from a distance as Everton turned down two substantial offers from Manchester United. 

The highest of these offers was close to €60 million, including both fixed and variable components, yet it still fell short of Everton’s expectations.

Everton want nothing less than €80 million

Everton’s valuation of Branthwaite is influenced by recent high-profile transfers of defenders like Harry Maguire, Wesley Fofana, and Josko Gvardiol. 

Jarrad Branthwaite will not leave Everton this summer. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

These deals have set a precedent, making Everton firm in their demand of £65-70 million, equivalent to over €82 million, for Branthwaite. Despite his high valuation, Everton is adamant about retaining him, considering him a crucial part of their future plans.

Complicating matters, Everton are facing significant financial difficulties. The club has been in a precarious financial position, confirmed by recent reports. 

The Friedkin Group, owners of Roma and potential new buyers for Everton, have halted negotiations with the club’s current owner, Farhad Moshiri. 

They have accumulated over €600 million in debt, and the uncertainty surrounding its management has only worsened the situation.

In light of these financial troubles, selling Branthwaite for a substantial amount could have provided a much-needed financial boost for Everton. However, the club is reluctant to part with one of their most promising young talents. 

They view Branthwaite as a vital component of their long-term strategy and are unwilling to sell him at a discount, even in their current economic state.

At Goodison Park, the decision to keep Branthwaite despite lucrative offers is a clear statement of their commitment to building a strong future. The young defender is seen as a key asset, and Everton’s refusal to sell him underscores their belief in his potential. 

The club’s financial struggles continue to pose challenges, but they are determined to navigate these difficulties without compromising their long-term vision.

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