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Real Madrid dealt a heavy blow as Jude Bellingham misses UCL clash due to injury

Jude Bellingham will miss Real Madrid’s Champions League round-of-16 first-leg match against RB Leipzig in Germany due to an ankle injury.

Jude Bellingham did not make the Real squad for the journey following a sprained ankle suffered during Saturday’s 4-0 victory over Girona, where he managed to score two goals before being forced off.

Despite Bellingham’s absence, manager Carlo Ancelotti believes his team is capable of managing without him, expressing confidence in the squad’s ability to cope with the situation.

“We have to think that Bellingham isn’t here, but we’ve won four out of four games without him,” the Italian said at his pre-match press conference. “Those who have replaced him have done very well, like Brahim (Diaz) or Joselu.

“He’s a very important player, but I think this has been an opportunity to get more motivated.

“We arrive on the back of a good run – the form is good. We are up against a good side with plenty of quality that plays a high-tempo game.

“We have shown lots of character, and credit to the team. The vibe is good.”

Bellingham adds to Real Madrid’s long injury list

Leipzig boss Marco Rose, who previously coached Bellingham at Borussia Dortmund in the 2021-22 season, doubts that the 20-year-old midfielder will be absent from Tuesday’s match.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Monday, he said: “I won’t believe that Jude will be out until he’s not in the stadium tomorrow.

“I know Jude, I know that he will do everything to play a Champions League game.”

Even in the absence of Bellingham, Ancelotti still has plenty of star-power to choose from. However, Rose insists that his side will not be intimidated.

“We’re certainly not afraid,” he said. “We’re looking forward to the opponent, to the task, to our stadium. That’s what we want. What we worked hard for last season and now in the group stage.

“Real Madrid have developed outstandingly this season and become one of the strongest teams in Europe. They are in exceptionally good shape – in all areas.

“They know what it means to play in the Champions League and win it too. And we know about their qualities.

“But we’re not that bad and we have great footballers in our ranks. We will give everything and look for our opportunities to develop a good starting position.”

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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