Real Madrid’s “Mentality” Triumphs Over Manchester City in Champions League Thriller

Real Madrid’s unwavering “mentality” proved decisive as they overcame Manchester City in a thrilling Champions League quarter-final second leg, securing a 4-3 penalty shoot-out victory after a 1-1 draw.

Jude Bellingham, who scored one of Real’s penalties, hailed the team’s ability to handle pressure under the guidance of manager Carlo Ancelotti. “Our biggest strength is he finds a way to let a lot of boys play with freedom,” Bellingham said. “As a man, he fills you with calmness and confidence.”

Real took an early lead through Rodrygo, but Kevin De Bruyne’s late equalizer forced the match into extra time. Despite City’s dominance, Real held firm, with Bellingham crediting their belief and character. “You have to see it as a responsibility, not a pressure, if you want to play for a team like Real Madrid,” he said. “Today it came down to mentality.”

Bellingham acknowledged City’s formidable opposition, but expressed satisfaction with Real’s revenge for last season’s semi-final defeat. “It’s belief,” he said. “We stood up really well.”

Ruben Dias, City’s defender, expressed disappointment at the result. “We dominated the game,” he said. “It’s obviously difficult to take.”

The victory was particularly special for Bellingham, who played in front of his brother Jobe for the first time since joining Real. “It’s beautiful,” he said. “My brother is here today, the first time he’s seen me play for Madrid.”

Real’s triumph sets up a semi-final clash with either Chelsea or Arsenal, while City will face Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday.

Real Madrid Face Mallorca Test Amid Champions League Battle

Real Madrid Face Mallorca Test Amid Champions League Battle

Real Madrid face a crucial test of their title credentials when they visit Real Mallorca on Saturday, as they seek to maintain their focus on La Liga amidst their captivating Champions League battle with Manchester City.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side, holding an eight-point lead at the summit, must navigate a delicate balancing act ahead of the second leg at the Etihad next Wednesday, following a thrilling 3-3 draw in the first leg. However, taking their eye off the domestic prize could prove costly, with the Clasico against Barcelona looming on April 21.

Resurgent Barcelona, currently second, will be desperate to close the gap when they visit the Santiago Bernabeu, eager to defend their crown. Copa del Rey runners-up Mallorca have enjoyed a strong season, and despite falling short in their bid for their first cup triumph since 2003, they will receive a rousing reception at their Son Moix stadium.

Javier Aguirre’s team, sitting 15th, must swiftly shift their attention back to La Liga, as they remain only six points clear of the relegation zone with eight matches remaining. If Ancelotti opts to rotate his squad to preserve players for the Champions League, Mallorca could capitalize, although the Italian has ample quality in reserve.

Brahim Diaz, Joselu, and veteran Luka Modric could all feature, while defender Eder Militao may make his first start since recovering from a long-term knee injury. Ancelotti has praised his forwards, including leading scorer Jude Bellingham and Brazilian duo Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo, for their tireless efforts against City.

However, there is a history of animosity between Mallorca defenders and Vinicius. Last season, full-back Pablo Maffeo mocked the Brazilian, prompting a social media backlash from Real Madrid fans. Maffeo has since deleted his Twitter account due to the abuse he received.

If Ancelotti decides to field Vinicius, their individual duel will be a captivating subplot. Aguirre believes Mallorca’s Copa del Rey defeat will motivate his players in La Liga.

Real Madrid Coach Carlo Ancelotti Faces Prison Sentence for Tax Evasion

Real Madrid Coach Carlo Ancelotti Faces Prison Sentence for Tax Evasion

Spanish prosecutors have requested a four-year and nine-month prison sentence for Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti, alleging that he failed to declare earnings to the tax office. The charges stem from undeclared image rights earnings in 2014 and 2015, amounting to over one million euros.

Prosecutors accuse Ancelotti of establishing a complex system of shell companies to conceal his earnings from image rights and other sources. They allege that he “simulated” the transfer of his image rights to entities outside Spain to avoid paying taxes.

In 2014, Ancelotti earned 1.24 million euros from image rights sales, and 2.96 million euros in 2015. A Spanish court ordered him to stand trial in July, but a date has not yet been set.

Ancelotti has acknowledged the actions that deprived the treasury of money, according to court documents. This could lead to an agreement with prosecutors to settle the case without trial and avoid prison.

Spain has recently cracked down on tax evasion among high-profile football players. Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Jose Mourinho have all faced charges and received sentences.

Ancelotti took over as Real Madrid coach in 2013 and left in 2015. He has since managed Bayern Munich, Napoli, and Everton before returning to Real Madrid in 2021. He has won the Champions League four times and domestic league titles in multiple countries.

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