Speaking in a chat with El Larguero, veteran Spanish striker Fernando Llorente has claimed that he has always wanted to play for Real Madrid and would jump at the chance in a heartbeat if they approached him.
The 37-year-old is currently without a club since leaving Eibar at the end of the season. A vastly experienced footballer, Llorente has played for teams like Athletic Club, Juventus, Tottenham Hotspur, Sevilla and Napoli.
However, the former Spanish international has now admitted that the one club he wished to play for is Real Madrid. He also revealed that he was never close to a move to the Santiago Bernabeu.
But he did admit that a transfer could have been possible in 2013 when his contract at Athletic had expired, but Juventus acted swiftly to sign him up.
“I would have liked to wear white. Real Madrid are incredible what they are doing in the Champions League and what we experienced last season,” Llorente said.
“I was never close to Real Madrid. Whenever they wanted me, they didn’t pay the clause and then Juventus was faster,” he added.
Llorente, who is still on the lookout for a new club this season, also added that he would jump at the chance to join for Real Madrid if an opportunity presented itself.
“I would go to Real Madrid for free tomorrow,” the 2010 FIFA World Cup winner exclaimed.
Los Blancos have a lack of depth in the striking department behind captain Karim Benzema as Mariano Diaz is no longer favoured by manager Carlo Ancelotti. However, Rodrygo Goes has thrived playing centrally in recent matches when Real Madrid have been without Benzema.
They are expected to sign a new striker next year or possibly in 2024. But, there is little to no chance that they will consider a move for Llorente.
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.