As in 2022, Real Madrid and Manchester City meet on Tuesday May 9 in the semi-finals of the Champions League. In 2022, Real beat the Mancunians (3-4 in the first leg then 3-1 after extra time in the second leg) before winning the competition against Liverpool (1-0) at the Stade de France. Star strikers, prestigious coaches, young players with impressive faculties… this year again, the line-up between Real Madrid and Manchester City brings together the most remarkable and spectacular European professional football. Zoom on six stars who will be on the track for the first leg, at 9 p.m., on the lawn of the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid.
Haaland, an exceptional scorer
At 22, striker Erling Haaland is having an impressive season with Manchester City. The man nicknamed the Cyborg is endowed with exceptional athletic qualities and a keen sense of purpose. Top scorer in the Champions League with twelve goals in eight games, the Norwegian is the nightmare of European defenses. In England, he has just broken the record for goals scored in a single season in the Championship (35) four games before the end of the 2022-2023 financial year. The Madrid defense will have to be ultra-vigilant: if Haaland finds himself facing the cages, the Real goalkeeper will be in great danger.
Benzema, un danger permanent
Karim Benzema is one of the great architects of the fourteenth Champions League won by Real Madrid in 2022. After a brilliant season last year, the captain of Real approaches these semi-finals as the best French scorer in the competition. , with 90 goals. Despite a few injuries, the 35-year-old center forward, Ballon d’Or in 2022, maintains a remarkable state of form. At the origin of Manchester City’s misfortunes last season during the semi-finals – author of three goals in all of the two games – the nine remains a permanent danger this year.
Vinicius Junior, striking winger
Brazilian winger Vinicius Junior is one of the centerpieces of Madrid’s squad. The 22-year-old has established himself as one of the best wingers in the world. Thanks to his quality of percussion ball at the foot and his talent for creation, the number 20 is often involved in the offensive successes of Real. With his six goals and five assists, the Brazilian is the most decisive Madrid player in the Champions League this season. He is the one who energizes the game of the Madrid club. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has already understood this: “Vinicius Jr. is a player who hurts you every time he comes in contact with you. »
Ancelotti, the coach who makes Brazil dream
Carlo Ancelotti is the man that even the selection of Brazil would like to have. The Italian technician has a well-stocked trophy cabinet. An experienced coach who has led the best European teams, the 63-year-old has won the big-eared cup four times, and it is with Real that he has won it most often (twice). Beyond the duel between the two clubs, it is also a tactical battle that Ancelotti will lead against his counterpart, Pep Guardiola. The Madrid coach, who advocates attacking football, could adapt to Manchester City’s tactics, with the aim of making the Madrid defense less permeable in the absence of its best element, Eder Militao (suspended).
Guardiola looking for a 100e hit
In search of a first European title with Manchester City, Pep Guardiola finds himself in the semi-finals of the Champions League for the third time since his arrival on the bench of the Citizens, in the summer of 2016. The Spaniard is recognized as being one of the best tacticians in the world, thanks to his style of play based on ball possession. However, in previous editions, his tactical choices have sometimes confused his own players. “What happened in the past is in the past, we are not here to take revenge, it’s just a new opportunity”, believes Pep Guardiola, before the clash against Real. If his team wins, the Catalan could clinch his 100e victory in C1, a prestigious success for one who is considered one of the best coaches in the world.
Camavinga, the Frenchman who amazes
Arrived in the club of the Spanish capital in August 2021, Eduardo Camavinga is experiencing a meteoric rise. The young French player seduced his coach over the season and acquired, thanks to his versatility, a starting place. At Real, the player has turned into a left side, making up for the absence of his compatriot Ferland Mendy, injured in the calf. At just 20 years old, he won the King’s Cup on Saturday May 6, the last trophy missing from his collection with the White House. Phenomenon of precocity, the French international, who was part of the adventure of the Blues during the World Cup in Qatar, has become one of the rising stars of the football world.