‘The Champions League is Real Madrid’s competition’ - Man City given warning ahead of semi-final second leg by Los Blancos star Fede Valverde
- Madrid held City to a 1-1 draw
- The tie hangs in the balance
- Valverde confident ahead of second leg
WHAT HAPPENED? The Uruguayan midfielder has established himself as an integral part of Carlo Ancelotti's setup and took the field in the first leg, which saw the two European giants share the spoils with Vinicius Jr. and Kevin De Bruyne scoring for their respective sides. Valverde is familiar with the mythical 'remontadas' of Real Madrid and believes that there's a "different energy" during these Champions League nights, which makes them even more formidable.
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WHAT THEY SAID: "Playing in the Champions League is special because it is Real Madrid’s competition. It is always different from any other match. You move to a different vibe, a different energy, everything seems as if it were a unique dream,” he told Diario AS.
“It is the competition that every footballer who is at a European club dreams of winning. And no doubt for the fans there is nothing more beautiful than seeing your team win this competition, because it is the most important at club level. That’s why I think it all comes together on the same Champions League night. At Madrid they have always taught us that it is until the end, so there are 90 minutes left."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Los Blancos feel confident going into the second leg at the Etihad Stadium as they thought "Manchester City were not better than us", according to a report in Marca. There is a sense of optimism among the players as they think Pep Guardiola's troops did not outplay them at the Bernabeu and have enough resources to tilt the tie in their favour in England.
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WHAT NEXT? Real Madrid will host Getafe at the Bernabeu on Saturday before heading to Manchester to take on City in the return leg of the Champions League semi-final next Wednesday.