Champions League: Finals in the quarter-finals: Real against Man City electrified

Champions League finals in the quarter-finals: Real against Man City electrified

Erling Haaland (front) in a duel with Antonio Rüdiger. Both will meet again this Tuesday. photo

© Jose Breton/AP/dpa

A year ago, Real Madrid suffered a humiliating defeat against Manchester City. The big clubs will meet again on Tuesday – still without a superstar, but one should come soon.

The man who is of particular interest to Real Madrid fans these days is not playing at all in the giants’ meeting in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. Even before the first leg of the Spanish noble club against the English triple champion Manchester City this Tuesday (9 p.m. / DAZN), the question is always about when the French runner-up Kylian Mbappé will announce his move to Madrid. “Real Madrid is on the verge of a breakthrough,” wrote the very royal-tinged newspaper “Marca” recently.

In Madrid they are dreaming of a new era with Mbappé (25), who announced his departure from Paris Saint-Germain without a goal, and the already numerous exceptional talents around Jude Bellingham (20) and Rodrygo (23). Brazil’s super talent Endrick (17) is also coming from Palmeiras São Paulo in the summer. The German national player Toni Kroos (34) should remain the metronome in midfield, while Antonio Rüdiger (31) is on the defensive.

“With all due respect to all the other clubs I played for, which were also big clubs, I don’t think they are comparable to Real Madrid,” national player Rüdiger told media from the European Football Union UEFA before the city game . It’s “always about winning the Champions League without having to say it.”

Guardiola: “Real is a different team this season”

This self-image had suffered quite a bit in the past year. In the semi-finals, Man City defeated Los Blancos 4-0 in the second leg and later celebrated winning the silver pot. This season, however, Real is a “different team,” cautioned City coach Pep Guardiola, who knows emotional games at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu well from his time as a player and later coach of Madrid’s arch-rivals FC Barcelona. This is particularly due to the former Dortmund player Bellingham: “His influence is enormous.”

Even without Mbappé, who is required with PSG against Barcelona on Wednesday, the games on Tuesday and April 17th in Manchester are considered early finals. “City is one of the best teams in Europe at the moment,” said veteran coach Carlo Ancelotti, who will be the first coach to reach his 200th Champions League game. “It will be tough but if you want to be European champions you have to beat City. It will be a great quarter-final.”

Rüdiger, who faces City’s super striker Erling Haaland, spoke of “games you’ve always dreamed of. To be a part of it is incredible.” City have “a lot of great players” in the squad – not just Haaland, said the central defender. “He’s obviously a great striker. I’m really looking forward to this game, but I look forward to every game in the same way, without distinctions.”

dpa

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