Sport Zidane believes in all of us – Nacho happy to play his part for Madrid
Real Madrid 'looking to offload £150m loanees to finance Mbappe move'
Gareth Bale and Arsenal pair Martin Odegaard and Dani Ceballos are among nine players out on loan from Real Madrid, with the Norway captain in particular impressing out of the trio in north London. And according to Spanish outlet AS, Madrid are looking to sell some of the players in that €176m 'loan box' to help them finance a move for star players Mbappe or Haaland.
Nacho was delighted to pick up three pivotal points in the LaLiga title race as Real Madrid demonstrated their strength in depth with a 2-1 triumph over rivals Barcelona on Saturday.
Zinedine Zidane's Madrid moved to the top of the table in Spain – albeit potentially for only 24 hours with Atletico Madrid playing on Sunday – by completing the league double over their Clasico rivals Barca for the first time since the 2006-07 season.
Reigning LaLiga champions Madrid scored both of their goals in the first half, Karim Benzema getting the first with an audacious back-heeled finish before Toni Kroos doubled the lead, albeit his free-kick took a deflection to beat goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Zidane says Real Madrid deserve trust ahead of Liverpool showdown
Zinedine Zidane believes that his Real Madrid team has been unfairly criticised this season and they will be out to prove as much when they face Liverpool in the Champions League.A 2-0 win over Eibar at the weekend saw Madrid cut Atletico Madrid's advantage at the top of LaLiga to just three points, while Zidane's side are the only Spanish side still standing in the Champions League.
While Oscar Mingueza halved the deficit on the hour mark, Madrid's centre-back pairing of Nacho and Eder Militao helped make sure Madrid retained their advantage through to the final whistle.
"They're three very important points in terms of the title race," Nacho said. "We now have to push on because there's still a long way to go.
"Winning a Clasico is always special and a nice thing, especially with the way the league table is so tight, with everyone fighting to win the league, it's a very important win."
Madrid finished the contest, which saw the second half played out amid heavy downpours, with 10 men – midfielder Casemiro dismissed in the 90th minute.
Gallery: Germany players hoping to be a part of Joachim Löw's EURO 2021 squad (dw.com)
Zinedine Zidane 'would NOT be Real Madrid boss', says Enrique Riquelme
Businessman Riquelme, who is interested in becoming Real president, has insisted that he would prefer to have Liverpool manager Klopp or club legend Raul in the Bernabeu hotseat.The current Real boss has just over a year left on his deal at the Bernabeu and has come under pressure due to inconsistent performances this season.
On the game itself, Nacho said: "We were very comfortable on the counter-attack. Barcelona like to have a lot of the ball, they can hurt you and you have to defend well and we had to dig in, but we got a two-goal lead which helped us to grow in to it.
"We had to work hard, but we got the win, which is the most important thing."
The home team were once again without captain Sergio Ramos – who missed his first LaLiga Clasico game having appeared in 31 consecutive showdowns – due to injury, while fellow centre-back Raphael Varane is still isolating after a positive COVID-19 test result.
However, having performed admirably in the 3-1 Champions League win over Liverpool in midweek, the combination of Nacho and Militao again impressed at the heart of the Madrid defence.
Lionel Messi could not help Barcelona rescue a point in an eventful finish; he has now failed to score in seven successive games against Madrid in all competitions for the first time in his career.
"We have a very strong squad, we're all contributing in big games like today and the other day against Liverpool," Nacho said.
"The coach believes in all of us and we're at 100 per cent. We still have a lot of really big things left to keep fighting for."
Barca felt aggrieved they were not awarded a penalty after substitute Martin Braithwaite tangled with Madrid full-back Ferland Mendy.
"I was just the wrong side of Mendy and I don't know what to tell you know. When I've seen it, I'll be able to have an opinion on it," Nacho said of the incident.
Chelsea are viewed as no match for Real Madrid by Spanish press .
PETE JENSON IN SPAIN: Real fans were torn between believing they have one foot in the final, and being wary of underestimating Chelsea, but Spain's press make Madrid the firm favourites.‘When Madrid can start to smell the final, their rivals should be praying to all the saints’ the triumphal column continued.