Bayern Munich Forward Thomas Muller Calls Real Madrid ‘Vulnerable’ Ahead of Champions League Clash

Bayern Munich forward Thomas Muller has tried getting under Real Madrid’s skin by claiming that the Champions League holders are “vulnerable” ahead of their semi-final clash this week. 

Die Roten will host the Spanish giants at the Allianz on Wednesday in the hopes of finally getting past that particular hurdle. And the Bayern captain has said that his side will head into the match with loads of confidence.


“We’re aware of Madrid’s qualities. We must attack them, must score goals and make use of the weaknesses Real have,” he said to reporters after Bayern beat Hannover on Saturday (H/T ​Kicker).

“They lost the second leg against Juventus 3-1, and that means that they are also vulnerable. We’ll go into this match with a lot of confidence.

“It’s a Champions League semifinal. If you play with fear, you stand no chance,” he said.

“You must be convinced that you can beat Real, don’t take it too easy but, in a certain way, remain relaxed.

Bayern exited the competition last season after losing to Real, they were also booted by Los Blancos in both 2013 and 2014. Muller, though, insists the circumstances are different this time around.


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“It was just a different situation last year. I wasn’t fully fit, not at 100 percent, and trudged through it. We were unlucky to crash out,” he explained.


“It wasn’t Lewy [struggling with fitness]. We had many problems last year, especially in Madrid. We played with a team in which three, four players were at 50 percent. We still fought until the last minute. This year, we are all fit.”


Ex-Madrid & Bayern Star Looking Forward to UCL Clash But Says Los Blancos Will ‘Suffer’ at Allianz

Former Spain international Xabi Alonso says he’s looking forward to the Champions League semi final clash between his two former sides Real Madrid and Bayern Munich and will enjoy the matches regardless of who goes through.

The first leg of the tie comes this Wednesday at Bayern’s Allianz Arena, where Alonso reckons the holders will “suffer”. But he also says that a Madrid goal could make all the difference.


“I’m very excited to see them play from the other side of the barrier, and every time they meet, it’s one of the great European qualifiers,” the erstwhile midfielder told ​Marca. “The two games will be very exciting and I hope it’s two games.”

“The first leg is very important, despite the surprises that have happened in the quarterfinals, which is why football is so exciting, Bayern are very strong at Allianz and Madrid are going to have to suffer. But the home side will have to be careful with the blows of Madrid, which makes you a goal with half a chance.

Bayern Muenchen v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Semi Final

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Alonso also played for Premier League outfit Liverpool before his move back to Spain. And with a mouthwatering tie against AS Roma coming up, he’s also looking forward to seeing the Reds show their stuff in Europe’s grandest competition.


“Here I have it much clearer, I am very much looking forward to being able to sneak into the final, deservedly also, very Klopp style,” he said. “Rome has a historic opportunity as well but I think the Anfield factor can be very important.”


Dani Carvajal Admits Concerns Over Bayern Munich Attacking Trio Ahead of Champions League Semi

Real Madrid defender Dani Carvajal has insisted that dealing with the attacking trio of Arjen Robben, Robert Lewandowski and Franck Ribery is the most difficult task he faces ahead of Los Blancos’ Champions League showdown with Bayern Munich. 

The two European superpowers lock horns in Munich on Wednesday evening at the Allianz Arena, where the holders will be eyeing their fourth final in five years. 

However, going into the contest, the 26-year-old revealed to ​Marca he is preparing for what he knows will be a ‘very difficult’ two-legged affair; considering the ruthlessness of the German’s front three. 

​​“Robben, Lewandowski and Ribéry are so difficult to stop,” he said. “They are three very difficult players and it is complicated to stop them scoring and, in the end, with any chance they can score.”

However, despite what will undoubtedly be one of the toughest tests of the season, Carvajal was thankful that he has had the opportunity to feature in the latter stages of the competition with such regularity since joining Real Madrid; with this being his fifth semi-final in succession. 

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​​“I am lucky that every year I have been able to reach the semi-finals since I have been here,” the Spaniard stated. “Every year has a special feeling, and this year, considering the competition from our rivals, we are happy and looking forward to the match.”

Los Blancos will be hoping to overcome Bayern for a chance to secure their third consecutive Champions League title; something that has never been achieved before. And Carvajal is confident he and his team-mates can achieve such an immense feat. 


“Nothing is impossible, we are going to fight for it,” the right back added. “We are working, and if we have achieved two, why are we not going to go for that third? We are still hungry to win the Champions League, and we will keep our feet on the ground and face the semi-finals with great enthusiasm.”


Jupp Heynckes Denies Real Madrid Have Scheduling Advantage Ahead of Champions League Clash

Bayern Munich boss Jupp Heynckes does not believe that Real Madrid’s prolonged respite ahead of their Champions League showdown this week offers the Spanish side any significant advantage. 

The Bundesliga champions warmed up for the visit of Los Blancos on Wednesday with a comfortable 3-0 win at Hannover this weekend, in which the likes of Mats Hummels, Joshua Kimmich, Robert Lewandowski – who appeared as a second-half substitute – and Franck Ribery were all afforded a break from the starting lineup. 

However, with Zinedine Zidane’s side scheduled to play Sevilla in this matchweek, and Los Rojiblancos otherwise engaged with the Copa del Rey final, the Spaniards have enjoyed much longer to prepare themselves for the semi-final. 

But Heynckes insisted to ​Goal that he was unsure as to whether the extra time would offer a significant advantage for Real Madrid, although reminded his players that their concentration levels are crucial if they are to overcome the 12-time winners. 

“You never know if it [Madrid’s extra preparation time] is something important”, the veteran coach eyeing his third European crown said.

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“The most important thing at the moment is the psychology,” Heynckes told reporters after Saturday’s game. It is key that everyone is already fixed on the Madrid game, that we only think and focus about that.

“The truth is that it was very important to win before playing the Champions League, it always is. We are used to playing every three days for a long time; the important thing is that the players want to play always and be prepared.


“It is vital that they want to be on the pitch to show me that they want to play.”


Premier League Elite on Alert as Real Madrid Lower Asking Price of Attacking Star to £60m

A host of top Premier League sides are believed to be considering making a summer move for Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale, after Los Blancos president Florentino Perez reportedly dropped the player’s asking price from £90m to £60m.

As reported by Spanish outlet Don Balón, the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool, Man Utd and Spurs are all believed to be interested in the Welsh sensation. Real Madrid – after an underwhelming season in La Liga – are believed to be planning a major overhaul of their squad this summer, and Bale could well sold in order to build a formidable transfer budget to sign new talents.


Man Utd are long term admirers of Bale, and would feel confident of beating their rivals to sign the 28-year-old. Meanwhile Chelsea could use Eden Hazard or Thibaut Courtois as a  bargaining chip in their pursuit, while Spurs offer the allure of a brand new stadium and a chance to return to the club where he made his name as a top quality player. Liverpool may also look to sign Bale, as they look to push on to challenge for the Premier League title next season. 

The former Southampton man has experienced mixed fortunes since moving to the Bernabéu in 2013. Despite scoring an impressive 81 league goals in 183 matches, Bale has persistently been targeted for abuse by the home supporters – with his individual performances often called into question when the team are struggling.

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Meanwhile,​ Real Madrid talisman Cristiano Ronaldo is moving closer to signing a lucrative new deal with the club, that would keep him extend his stay until 2021. 

The Portuguese legend is thought to be planning to sign a new deal before the World Cup this summer, and could see his earnings rise to a staggering €30m per year with additional bonuses on top of that.


Luka Modric Reveals How He Wants to Finish His Career & Doesn’t Rule Out Real Madrid Departure

Luka Modric says that he ‘can see [him]self’ finishing his career in the MLS – but would prefer to retire at current club ​Real Madrid.

The Croatian moved to Madrid from ​Tottenham in 2012 and has made over 250 appearances for Los Blancos, winning three Champions League titles along the way.

At the age of 32 he remains an integral part of the team, but with a major squad overhaul planned for this summer Modric may find himself fazed out over the next few years.

Real Madrid v Club Atletico de Madrid - UEFA Champions League Final

Asked about the prospect of a move to the MLS, Modric did not rule it out.

“You never know what can happen,” Modric said in an interview with Sweden’s ​SVT Sport (translated by ESPN). “I still have two more years on my contract with Real Madrid.

“I’m happy. I always said that I would like to finish my career in Madrid if it’s possible. But if not, maybe I can see myself also [in the U.S.].”

The MLS has become a haven for retiring players to end their careers, with David Villa, Andrea Pirlo, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard all choosing to play their final matches there.

Eibar v Real Madrid - La Liga

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The latest high-profile player to move to North America is Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swede enjoyed an illustrious career in Europe and has started well for his new team LA Galaxy, scoring three goals in his first four games for them. Modric paid tribute to Ibrahimovic.

“He was such a big player in Europe the last 10-20 years, one of the the best strikers,” he said. “I would like him to stay a bit more in football to watch him, but I wish him all the best in future.”


Modric’s Madrid are chasing a third consecutive Champions League title, and they face ​Bayern Munich in the semi final first leg on Wednesday.


Real Madrid Plan to Offer Cristiano Ronaldo Improved Contract Ahead of Upcoming World Cup

Real Madrid are planning to give Cristiano Ronaldo an improved contract at the club before the World Cup.

Despite a poor start to the season, Ronaldo has managed to notch 24 goals in La Liga this season. The Portugal international is also the top goalscorer in the Champions League so far this season with an impressive 15 goals – seven goals ahead of second-placed Roberto Firmino.

General director Jose Angel Sanchez has informed Ronaldo that he will be getting an improved deal at the Bernabeu, according to Spanish outlet AS.


AS also report that Ronaldo could go from earning 21m-a-year to a possible €30m, plus €2m in add-ons. However, Los Blancos won’t extend Ronaldo’s contract past 2021.

The improved contract should be offered before the upcoming World Cup in Russia where Ronaldo will be playing for Euro 2016 champions Portugal. The 33-year-old’s first job in the competition will be helping Portugal qualify from their group which features Spain, Morocco and Iran.


A new contract has been in the works for a while, with the 33-year-old ​using ​former employers Manchester United as an intimidating factor in an attempt to secure a better deal at Madrid.

It was reported by th​e Sun last month that Ronaldo was demanding more money than rival Lionel Messi, who is earning €40m.


However, it looks like a new deal is close to being completed, ensuring Ronaldo will be staying at the Bernabeu for at least the next couple of seasons.


Real Madrid’s Lucas Vázquez ‘Very Confident’ of Victory Over Bayern Munich Despite La Liga Woes

​Real Madrid’s Lucas Vázquez insists that his side have “no worries” about facing Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi final, despite his side’s lacklustre displays in La Liga this season.

Speaking after ​a frustrating 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao at the Bernabéu – and ​quoted on the football website Goal – the 25-year-old winger said: “Of course we are thinking about that game but we do not have a single doubt. We are not worried, we are very confident.”

Nevertheless, Vázquez stressed that his side would need to prepare thoroughly for the first leg at the Allianz Arena, which will take place on Wednesday: “We have got to work all week because we want to win over there.”

Los Blancos have had a poor season by their high standards in La Liga, currently third in the table and 15 points behind bitter rivals and expected champions Barcelona.

They also needed a late Cristiano Ronaldo goal to salvage a point at home against Bilbao on Wednesday, though Vázquez does not believe the scoreline was a fair reflection of his side’s performance.

Real Madrid v Athletic Club - La Liga

He added: ​​”It’s a kind of bittersweet feeling at the end of that game because we played really well and I think we dominated the game throughout. They defended well, we had a lot of chances throughout and couldn’t find the back of the net.”

Vázquez has good reason to be optimistic that his side will perform better in the Champions League than in La Liga, as they have done so for most of the season.

However, they were somewhat fortunate to stave off a stunning Juventus comeback in the Champions League quarter final, as only a controversial last-gasp penalty at the Bernabéu spared Los Blancos the prospect of extra time.

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In fact, Vázquez was at the epicentre of the controversy, as he was deemed to have been fouled by Juve’s Medhi Benatia – a decision which enraged Juventus keeper Gianluigi Buffon so much that he was sent off for dissent.


Inter Open Talks With Real Madrid Over Former Midfielder Linked With €30m Serie A Return

Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovačić is poised to make a €30m return to San Siro this summer, with Internazionale’s hierarchy eager to see the Croatia international return to Milan when the transfer window opens.

Kovačić left Italy in 2015 after an impressive two-year spell in Serie A. The former Dinamo Zagreb academy star has made over 100 appearances for Real Madrid during that time, but the 23-year-old is often forced to make an impact from the bench.

Malaga v Real Madrid - La Liga

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Now in search of regular first team football, Kovačić has been linked with a number of clubs across Europe but Italian outlet Il Corriere dello Sport (via Calciomercato) report that the Austria-born midfielder is already the subject of discussions between Inter and Real Madrid.

Malaga v Real Madrid - La Liga

It is claimed that Nerrazzuri director of football Piero Ausilio is determined to bring Kovačić back to Milan at the end of the season, and he is even prepared to match the €30m that the midfielder was sold for just three years ago.

But Inter will face competition for his signature this summer, with it also reported that Jürgen Klopp is considering bringing Kovačić to Liverpool.


Should Inter miss out on resigning their former player, then Ausilio has other targets lined up. One name who was on the Nerrazzuri’s wishlist is William Carvalho, but the Sporting CP midfielder’s buyout clause – believed to be in excess of €40m – has put the Italian giants off making a move.


Real Madrid Starlet Reportedly Set for Anfield Switch After Reaching Agreement With Liverpool

​Liverpool have reportedly reached an agreement with Real Madrid central midfielder Dani Ceballos as they look to find a replacement for Emre Can.

According to ​Calciomercato, the 21-year-old, who joined Los Blancos from Real Betis last summer, has been offered a four-year deal to join the Anfield side and has already agreed to move to the Merseyside at the end of the season.

The youngster has endured a difficult season at Madrid and has only started twice in La Liga so far. He wants to play more regularly under Zinedine Zidane but is finding it very hard to establish himself as a starter in the star-studded squad.

Calciomercato claim that the player received a call from Jurgen Klopp, who has since convinced him to join the Reds in the summer. And by their indication, he has given the manager his word.


With Can likely to depart in the summer, given his contractual situation at the club, Ceballos has been tipped to come in as a replacement for the German, whose deal is set to expire in June.

The Reds are believed to have several players on their radar at the moment. RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner is understood to be a chief target, while Naby Keita is already set to join their ranks next season.


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Klopp’s side can clinch a place in the Premier League’s top four with a win over West Brom on the weekend, but the manager is likely to rest some of his key performers as he looks forward to the Champions League clash with AS Roma in midweek.