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Real Madrid is a red flag for RB Leipzig

Real Madrid is a red flag for RB Leipzig
Jude Bellingham (right) is out.
Image: APA/AFP/OSCAR DEL POZO

The Spanish football leader Real Madrid opens the knockout phase of the Champions League on Tuesday (9 p.m., Sky) with a guest appearance in Leipzig against the “Red Bulls”. “We are in a good mood, reaching the quarter-finals is the goal,” said head coach Carlo Ancelotti after the convincing 4-0 gala win against Girona. The only downer is that there is one more name on the injured list. Austria’s team captain David Alaba, Eder Militao and Antonio Rüdiger were joined by Jude Bellingham, who is suffering from an ankle injury.

The statistics underline how valuable the Englishman is for the “White Ballet”. The 20-year-old midfielder leads the Spanish scoring list with 16 goals. “His loss obviously hurts,” emphasized Ancelotti, who is not taking part in the discussions about the Super League, which is being pushed by Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, ​​which has slipped deep into the red.

This presumably lucrative competition still hangs over the Champions League like the sword of Damocles. “I’m tired of Covid, tired of two wars and of nonsense projects like the so-called Super League. They can’t get enough. They don’t care if others get less and less,” said UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin, who will be born in 2027 will no longer run for office. “Some people think that everything can be bought and is for sale. But they cannot buy 70 years of history,” added the Slovenian.

According to FC Barcelona boss Joan Laporta, the new Super League could start as early as next season, “but at the latest in 2025/26”. Wait. Real opponents RB Leipzig have sided with UEFA and positioned themselves against the Super League: “The framework for European club football can only be placed under the umbrella of UEFA. Competitions outside of this basis damage the statics of European football,” said RB CEO Johann Plenge.

Regardless of this, the Saxons want to give the “Royal” a headache. That’s easier said than done, because the start to spring was pretty mixed for the team around Xaver Schlager, Nicolas Seiwald and Christoph Baumgartner. Of the first five German Bundesliga matches in 2024, only one was won (2-0 against Union Berlin).

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