Real Madrid Boosted Ahead of CL Final Clash With Liverpool as Key Men Resume Full Training

Champions League finalists Real Madrid have been given a much-needed fitness boost ahead of their match against Liverpool next week, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Dani Carvajal returning to full training on Wednesday.

Los Blancos are preparing for the final game of the La Liga season, where they will travel to Castellón to take on Villarreal – who are assured of qualification to the Europa League this campaign.

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The Spanish giants could finish the season as high as second place in the league table, but only if city rivals Atlético Madrid – who play in the Europa League final against Marseille on Thursday – lose at home to mid-table side Eibar.

But all eyes are fixed on the Champions League final in Kiev next week, and Real Madrid have confirmed on their official website that their squad is back to full fitness thanks to the return of Carvajal and Ronaldo to first team training.

The reigning European champions came through the group stages with just one loss to their name, and Real Madrid continued their good form with a 5-2 win on aggregate against the continent’s big spenders, Paris Saint-Germain.

Juventus then felt the sting of being drawn against Real Madrid once again in a two-legged tie that was eventually settled by a last-minute penalty, and German champions Bayern Munich were then edged out during the semi final of this season’s Champions League.

And Real Madrid will now have to face one of European football’s most dangerous attacking sides in ordto retain their trophy, with the final set to be played at the NSC Olimpiyskiy in Ukraine’s capital city.

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Messi Reveals How He’d Feel About Neymar Joining Real Madrid & Hints They’ve Discussed Speculation

Lionel Messi has conceded it “would be terrible” if former ​Barcelona teammate Neymar joined ​Real Madrid this summer, as the five-time Ballon d’Or winner voiced his opinion on the furious speculation surrounding the Brazilian’s future.

Neymar famously departed Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in a record-shattering €222m transfer that left many in in Catalonia and La Liga devastated. However, despite picking up Ligue 1 and Coupe de France trophies in his first season with PSG, there has been near-constant reports linking Neymar with a sensational return to Spain.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is a known admirer of the 26-year-old Brazil star, while ​reports from Spain have talked of a campaign to court Neymar – whose prospective price tag in the press ranges from €260-400m – as he recovered from a footy injury in his homeland.

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While ​recent reports claim incoming PSG boss Thomas Tuchel has been given assurances over the future of his star player, speculation continues to rage and Messi has admitted he has even spoken to his former attacking teammate about it.

​The Argentina captain told TyC Sports channel programme ‘Libero’ (via ​Sport): “It would be terrible [if Neymar moved to Madrid] because of everything he means to Barcelona.

“Ney won important trophies here. He won the Champions League [and] La Liga [titles]. It would be a huge blow for everyone.

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Messi also admitted signing Neymar “make Real Madrid even stronger from a football point of view”, before adding of the rumours, “I speak with him, so he already knows what I think.”

Neymar, who formed one third of the ‘MSN’ trident alongside Messi and Luis Suarez at Barça until last summer, recently said that the thing he most misses from his time in Spain is the friendship with his two attacking teammates.

Speaking in an interview with Canal Zico 10: “The friendship that we had was something very beautiful. What I miss from Barcelona and about Barcelona is these two [Messi and Suarez], due to the joy we had on a daily basis.”

Should Real Madrid wish to actually deliver the ‘huge blow’ to Messi and their rivals at Barcelona, they may have to get past the Emir of Qatar. Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the owner of PSG, ​is reported to be the main road block in their pursuit of Neymar, as he values the Brazilian as a major asset in image-building for the club and Qatar as a nation.

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Zinedine Zidane Struggling to Resolve Selection Dilemma Ahead of Champions League Final

​​Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is struggling to resolve a selection headache ahead of this month’s Champions League final against ​Liverpool.

The two sides will meet in Kiev on Saturday 26th May as they battle it out to be crowned the champions of Europe. Madrid stand as favourites as the current holders, and are looking to snatch an incredible fourth title in five years. 

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With the Premier League season over and just one game left in ​La Liga, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and Zidane will both be turning their focus to that game in Ukraine, with Spanish rumourmongers ​Don Balon reporting that the Frenchman is undecided on who to hand a place to in the starting XI.

Cristiano Ronaldo is a guaranteed starter, while Karim Benzema’s double in the semi final may have been enough to earn him a spot in the lineup. However, it is in the attacking midfield roles that the French manager faces a selection headache, with Gareth Bale, Marco Asensio, Isco and Lucas Vázquez are all competing for the same spot.

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Bale has recently returned to form, scoring an outstanding equaliser against Barcelona at Camp Nou before bagging a brace against Celta Vigo, and Zidane is thought to believe that he could cause the most trouble for Liverpool.

Spanish newspaper ​Marca claim that the Welshman is desperate to start in Kiev, after missing out on a place in the starting XI in last year’s final in Cardiff. Isco starred in Bale’s absence that day, and he too scored in ​that victory against Celta Vigo at the weekend, whilst Vasquez and Asensio both started as Madrid knocked out Bayern Munich in the semi final.

With one La Liga match remaining for the Spanish side against Villarreal on Saturday, every player will be hoping for the chance to impress their boss and earn themselves the opportunity to line up against Liverpool in the Champions League final.

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Liverpool Ready to Pounce on £70m Transfer Target After Real Madrid End Interest in AS Roma Star

Real Madrid have reportedly pulled out of the race for highly rated Roma keeper Alisson Becker, paving the way for Liverpool to bag their man.

Liverpool have been looking to add a strong number one between the sticks following some patchy form from Simon Mignolet. Jurgen Klopp has already tried to address the situation in adding Loris Karius to his Liverpool side.

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The young German was viewed as a long-term successor to Mignolet but has struggled for form himself. Both first-choice keepers have been at fault for errors this season, leading to it becoming an area of the field Liverpool hope to address in summer.

Madrid were thought to also be keen on Alisson but Don Balon are now reporting that Zinedine Zidane is happy to stick with his current number one Keylor Navas. The club believes Alisson would be unwilling to move if he is not guaranteed first-team football next season and have such ended their interest.

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The Brazilian international has risen to become one of the highest rated goalkeepers in Europe after his displays at Stadio Olimpico this season. His side has the joint-second best defensive record in Serie A, behind only league leaders Juventus.

Defence has been an issue for Liverpool this season, who have the worst defensive record in the top four. The addition of Virgil van Dijk has already strengthened the defence, with Naby Keita also expected to have a significant impact, Alisson could be the final piece of the puzzle for Klopp.

Don Balon are also reporting that Liverpool are ready to make a £70m bid for the shot-stopper and are expected to get their man.  

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PSG Assure New Manager Thomas Tuchel That Neymar Will Stay Amid Real Madrid Links

Paris Saint-Germain have promised their new boss Thomas Tuchel that star forward Neymar will not be sold, while outgoing manager Unai Emery also believes the Brazilian will stay put amid fierce speculation of another record-breaking summer move.

There have been reports that Neymar is unhappy at the Parc des Princes and may seek a return to Spain to join Real Madrid, the rivals of his former club Barcelona.

German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung claims that Tuchel met with Neymar for the first time on Sunday, a day before his appointment as PSG manager was ​officially confirmed.

Speaking after PSG’s final home game of the season against Rennes, club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi was positive that their star player would remain in Paris.

“Neymar will stay, that’s a 2000% guarantee,” said​ Al-Khelaifi, quoted by ​Diario Sport.

His words were echoed by departing PSG manager Emery, who said that Neymar had become tired with constant speculation about his future, but did not expect him to leave.

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“Neymar told us one day that he was tired of all the lies that are told about him,” Emery told El Larguero (quoted by ​Mundo Deportivo). “I’m not a spokesperson, but I think next season will stay at PSG. I believe it because I think it would be as fair for the player as for the club itself.”

Emery also reserved a high level of praise for Neymar, ranking him alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as one of the best players in the world.

“I have enjoyed a lot with Ney, I am very happy with him,” said Emery. “He is a footballer of the level of Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi.”

Emery will take charge of his final PSG game against Caen this weekend.

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Marcelo Admits He’d Love to Play With Neymar at Real Madrid But Insists He Won’t Try to Convince Him

​Marcelo would love for his Brazil teammate Neymar to join him at ​Real Madrid, but said that he would not try to convince the Paris Saint-Germain striker about his future.

Neymar joined PSG from Madrid’s hated rivals Barcelona last summer but has been ​strongly linked with a return to Spain to join Zinedine Zidane’s team. Marcelo has made 450 appearances for Los Blancos since joining the club from Fluminense in 2006. 

He and Neymar were both part of the Brazil squad that reached the semi finals of the World Cup on home soil in 2014 and will link up again in Tite’s team this summer.


Speaking after Real Madrid ​thrashed Celta Vigo 6-0 on Saturday, Marcelo admitted that he would like to play with Neymar at club level as well, but would not force his hand.

“The best come to Madrid and I would love to play with Neymar,” he said, quoted by ​AS“When I talk to Neymar, I’m not talking about Real Madrid or leaving PSG.”

Brazil’s quest for a sixth World Cup begins on 17 June when they face Switzerland in Rostov-on-Don. They will also play Costa Rica and Serbia in Group E, and Marcelo says that he and Neymar will be focused on the Selecao, rather than transfer rumours.

“We will be in Russia to play something very important,” he said. “We will not be talking about signings. We will be representing our country.”

Neymar scored 28 goals in 30 games for PSG this season before an metatarsal injury ended his campaign early. However, he was still ​named Ligue 1 player of the season at an awards ceremony on Sunday.

Without his assistance, PSG have gone on to complete a domestic treble, clinched by beating third division side Les Herbiers in the Coupe de France final.

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Real Madrid Give Approval to FIFA’s Proposed 24-Team Club World Cup

Real Madrid’s Director of Institutional Relations, Emilio Butragueno, has revealed that Los Blancos are in favour of FIFA’s proposed 24-team Club World Cup, which could debut in 2021. 

In April, it was revealed that FIFA are exploring a possible $25bn revamp of the Club World Cup. In its current format, the competition is played each December and consists of just seven clubs who qualify via winning their respective Champions Leagues. 

The world’s governing body of football wants to expand the tournament to 24 teams and have it played in June every four years. The Confederations Cup would consequently be scrapped. It’s claimed that the revamp could generate $25bn in revenue.

Nevertheless, a number of clubs in Europe are reportedly against the proposed competition, which could threaten the Champions League’s global popularity and thus revenue. European giants Real Madrid are not among them, however. 

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“We think that for fans it could be a very interesting competition,” Butragueno said on Real Madrid TV (via Marca). “Honestly, we think it could be a very attractive competition.”

“We are talking about the best European teams and from other continents. We think that for fans it’s very interesting, it’s how we see it and other important clubs in Europe, who are also keen on the possibility, see it.”

According to the BBC, FIFA are set to hold a meeting with its council members in mid-May to further discuss the proposal. The International Football Association have already held ‘positive’ talks with unnamed top sides back in April. 

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The ‘M’ Word: Ronaldo’s Sister Reveals Why Talk of Messi Is Banned From Ballon d’Or Holder’s Home

The name Lionel Messi​ might be a household one, but you won’t hear it if you visit the home of his Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Euro 2016 winner does not welcome people mentioning Messi’s name in his family home, according to his sister Katia Aveiro.

The Ronaldo or Messi argument has been going on for over ten years, as the world continues to debate who the better player is. It is an argument that will never be settled, but (mercifully) many are starting to concede to the fact that we should just celebrate the two five-time Ballon d’Or winners are exceptional talents that they are rather than constantly pitting one against the other.

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While the debate has caused fierce arguments amongst fans worldwide, the stars of ​La Liga themselves have always kept it very respectful between each other. They’ve battled it out on many occasions on and off the pitch, but each player has always spoken highly of the other.

However, with one playing for Barcelona and one playing for ​Real Madrid, and the Ballon d’Or trophy to compete for annually, there is no doubt that they are rivals. 

That being said, the insight from Ronaldo’s sister regarding the supposed Messi ban, is still a surprising one.

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Speaking to French newspaper Le Equipe, Katia said: “We don’t talk about Messi inside the house.

“Cristiano knows that outside the door, there’s a whirlwind. And he knows that when he crosses the door from the outside to the inside, he is protected. This is where he recharges all his batteries.”

Katia also revealed that she believes that her brother will play another four seasons before he hangs up his boots. 

She added: “He’s very focused, in his own bubble, but he’s also very anxious. He plays the match out in his head, thinks about how things will happen.

“There are some who play until the age of 37. Cristiano is not a machine, but he will continue to play while he can, I think for three or four more years.

“Cristiano has always been a perfectionist, he’s always seeking to be the best, to do everything to win. But aside from that, he is really reserved.”

Despite missing out on La Liga to Messi, Ronaldo remains the bookmakers’ favourite to retain the Ballon d’Or this year. However. ​Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah is second favourite ahead of Lionel Messi at the moment. The last time someone other than Messi or Ronaldo won the coveted award was back in 2007 with Kaka.

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Real Madrid ‘Thinking About’ Spurs Star as Zinedine Zidane Weighs Up Sergio Ramos Replacements

​Real Madrid are eyeing up the possibility of luring ​Tottenham Hotspur defender Davinson Sanchez away from the Premier League this summer, according to reports in Spain. 

The 21-year-old has enjoyed an impressive debut season since his £42m arrival from Ajax last summer; with his 31 league showings, including a cameo in Spurs’ bizarre 5-4 end of season victory over Leicester as well as his eight appearances in this year’s Champions League, catching the eye of a number of European clubs. 

And according to​ notorious Spanish rumourmongers ​Don Balon, after Florentino Perez was pointed in the direction for the north London ace by fellow Colombian James Rodriguez, Los Blancos are ‘thinking about’ a pursuit. 

The report claims that even though it was the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu chief who was made aware of the £70,000-a-week defender, the decision will be boss Zinedine Zidane’s on whether or not Real Madrid follow up on the tip. 

The Frenchman already has four highly-rated centre backs at his disposal – Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Nacho and Jesus Vallejo – however, is said to be eyeing up a potential long-term replacement for the 32-year-old Ramos. 

It is thought that both Atletico Madrid’s Lucas Hernandez and Sevilla’s Clement Lenglet are part of that list, although ​Barcelona have also shown interest in the latter who has enjoyed a stellar term at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium. 

If the Spanish capital outfit were to follow up their proposed interest, it is unlikely that Sanchez would leave Tottenham on the cheap – with the young defender’s current agreement at Spurs lasting until 2023. 

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Real Considered Making Liverpool Stunning £96m Offer for Incoming Star Prior to Anfield Arrival

​Real Madrid have reportedly ‘considered’ making an audacious £96m offer to ​Liverpool to snatch Naby Keita from the Merseysiders before the midfielder ever steps foot on the Anfield turf. 

After a lengthy transfer saga between RB Leipzig and the Reds last summer a deal was finally agreed which will see the Guinea international officially move to Liverpool on July 1, for a ​f​inal fee of £52.75m

The 23-year-old attracted interest from across Europe after a stunning debut season in the Bundesliga in 2016, but Real Madrid’s late arrival at the party came just as Liverpool were finalising the terms of the agreement last year. 

In response to missing out, ​Bleacher Report have claimed the Champions League finalists have “considered” tabling a sensational offer of £96m to Liverpool, before Keita even has a chance to pack his bags and join the Premier League club.

The Spanish giants’ offer would be close to double of what the Reds will hand to Leipzig for the midfielder, and whilst it is unknown whether the news has made it to the ears of Liverpool’s hierarchy, one source insisted it would be a waste of Real’s time. 

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There is no way Liverpool would agree to sell him before he has played a game,” the Anfield insider said. 

Whilst Liverpool have been susceptible to losing a host of stars to La Liga in recent years, there are very few concerns that Keita will bypass Anfield all together as he is expected to link up with his new teammates for pre-season training once his move is official. 

The midfielder will add much needed dynamism to the Reds’ midfield brigade – which is currently wiped out with injury – and the 23-year-old could be set to meet his new team sooner then he thought after Jurgen Klopp invited him to the Champions League final. 

Liverpool will face ​Real Madrid in Kiev on May 26 and Klopp said: “Bringing [Keita] in the dining room and saying: ‘Boys, he will play for you next season!’ doesn’t really make any sense. It’s not my first problem, but I will think about it.

“I have not been thinking about things like this, but if Naby is reading this and he wants to come with us to the final, he is invited! 

“Hopefully, Naby will have a big effect on the team immediately because of his quality,” he added. 

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