Real Madrid consolidated their place at the top of the La Liga table as they defeated Elche 3-0 away from home on Wednesday night.
Goals from Federico Valverde, Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio sealed the deal for Carlo Ancelotti’s men, sending them six points clear of rivals Barcelona, who will be in action against Villarreal later tonight.
It was an important win for Los Blancos, coming on the back of an impressive 3-1 victory over Barça in El Clasico. And Valverde, who continued his excellent goal-scoring streak, was elated after the match.
Talking about the performance of the team and the ten-goal challenge that Ancelotti has set for him this season, the Uruguayan said: “Happy for the team. He (Ancelotti) already said it, he had to pass the ten goals. I am focused to do it. It’s a nice pressure. I don’t want to be blamed for the coach retiring.”
During the game, Real Madrid had as many as three goals chalked off by VAR for offside. Speaking about that, the midfielder added: “You have to get used to it. It’s weird, you celebrate the goal and you think you’re comfortable. They cancel one, then another and then another… It’s like that.”
On the importance of the win after El Clasico, he said: “It’s hard, after winning an important game it’s hard. If we want to win all the titles, we have to win all the games.”
When asked if he can win the bet with Ancelotti and score ten goals, Valverde replied: “Let’s see if I can get it.”
Rodrygo Goes, who has been another standout performer for Real Madrid this season, also expressed his joy at the result, saying: “Whenever I speak, it’s that I’ve had a great match. I am very happy about the victory and the two assists.”
Talking about his position on the pitch, the Brazilian said: “I don’t even know what position. The coach always asks me to move a lot. I started on the wing, but I like to play in the middle. Moving is how I feel better.”
On the disallowed goals, Rodrygo added: “It was a bit of a weird game. After Karim’s goal, we were kidding, saying ‘I’m sure they’ll cancel it’.”
Giving his opinion on the challenge that Ancelotti has set for Valverde, the forward said: “I don’t want bets. The more goals and the more assists, the better.”
Andriy Lunin had a good game in goal for Real Madrid, as he made some important saves to keep Elche out. The Ukrainian has had to bide his time to get a run in the side and insisted that he is happy at the club.
“I am at the best club in the world, the best place. My family and I are very happy here. I enjoy every day. I work daily with the best, the training is of a high level,” he said.
On securing a clean sheet against Elche, Lunin added: “The clean sheet is important for the whole team, it gives us peace of mind and security. Upfront, with the players we have, we always do damage. The defensive phase was important. We played a good game.”
Source: Diario AS
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.