Real Madrid midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni will miss the Champions League final due to a foot injury and could be a doubt for the Euros.

The 24-year-old, who has made 38 appearances across all competitions for the Spanish champions this season, has not played since he suffered a stress fracture during Madrid's Champions League semi-final win over Bayern Munich earlier this month.

Madrid play Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final at Wembley on June 1.

And ahead of Los Blancos' final LaLiga match of the season against Real Betis on Saturday, Ancelotti confirmed the former Monaco star's injury is relatively serious.

"He's doing individual work but he's not ready for the (Champions League) final," Ancelotti told reporters.

"Let's see if he's ready for the Euros."

France coach Didier Deschamps named Tchouameni in his 25-man squad for Euro 2024, which starts on June 14.

Meanwhile, for Madrid, Saturday's match is an opportunity for fans to bid farewell to Toni Kroos, who is retiring after Euro 2024.

The 34-year-old is one of Madrid's most successful players, winning the Champions League four times during his 10-year stint with the club.

Having also won the title once with Bayern Munich, the Germany international could become only the second player after Madrid great Paco Gento to win six European crowns.

"I don't think it was a difficult decision for him. Veteran players, legends, have to choose their destiny. Toni has made that decision and it must be respected," Ancelotti said.

"We have to say goodbye to him as best we can. I respect his decision. Saying goodbye like this would be ideal. Then you have to have the courage to do it and I have a lot of respect for what he has done.

"Replacing someone like this is almost impossible, but this squad has resources in young people so that they take responsibility and follow the path set over the last 10 years."

Unai Emery says Aston Villa have achieved their dream after qualification for next season's Champions League was secured.

Tottenham's 2-0 defeat to Manchester City on Tuesday left Ange Postecoglou's fifth-place side five points behind Villa, who subsequently sealed a fourth-place finish with a game to spare.

More importantly, the Villans are back in UEFA's premier club competition for the first time since the 1982-83 season, when they suffered European Cup quarter-final elimination to Juventus.

Additionally, the club secured their highest top-flight finish since the 1995-96 campaign, which they also ended in fourth place.

Emery, whose side reached this season's Europa Conference League semi-finals, now has his sights set on Europe's top prize next season, in which he is demanding even more from his players.

"It's a very special day," the Spaniard told Villa's official media channels. "It was our dream when we started the season to be here. To play Champions League is, after the Premier League, the best.

"You can play in the Premier League against the best teams in the world, it's very difficult. When you are playing in the Champions League, you are playing against the best teams, at the same time, from other countries. And it's amazing.

"We know the history of Aston Villa is so long and so successful. Even in the Champions League, we knew the responsibility was to try to increase our level, try to be demanding and to dream.

"I want to enjoy more and, next year, the new challenge starts for us. To build a team again, and be strong to go and always increase our level; this is our objective."

Aston Villa will play in Europe's top continental competition for the first time in 41 years next season after qualifying for the Champions League.

Tottenham's 2-0 defeat to Manchester City on Tuesday sealed Villa's fourth-place finish in the Premier League.

Unai Emery's side have not played in UEFA's premier club competition since the 1982-83 season, when they suffered quarter-final elimination to Juventus in the European Cup.

Villa were knocked out of the Europa Conference League in the semi-finals this term by Olympiacos, but will now have their eyes on Europe's top prize in the Champions League next campaign.

Real Madrid have already secured their 36th LaLiga title but head coach Carlo Ancelotti is keen to make the most of the remaining games in the build-up to next month's Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund.

Madrid are attempting to win a third trophy this season, having also lifted the Supercopa de Espana in January, and Ancelotti says Tuesday's home match against mid-table Alaves will be a big part of their preparations.

"We have to take advantage of these games in order to build some momentum," Ancelotti told reporters on Monday following Madrid's 4-0 victory at Granada on Saturday.

"Those who were rested against Granada will play tomorrow. We'll use it to get into a rhythm and good motivation ... the aim is for the whole squad to be at full strength."

Ancelotti said the matches will give players like goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and defender Eder Militao, who have recently returned from long-term injuries, game time before the June 1 final.

"[Militao] needs to play more minutes. He's progressing very well, he's getting better every game. Hopefully, he can be at his best for the final," added the Italian. "We'll make the necessary decisions the week before the final."

Madrid are unbeaten in all competitions since January and have 90 points from 35 LaLiga games, 15 more than second-placed Girona with three league matches left.

"After the game against Alaves I'm going to give them three days' rest," Ancelotti added. "We'll then have two weeks to prepare well for the final, but the team needs to rest after such a demanding season."

Borussia Dortmund will not go easy on Mainz in the Bundesliga on Saturday as they look to maintain their rhythm ahead of the Champions League final, says coach Edin Terzic.

Dortmund are fifth in the Bundesliga with two games remaining, with the performances of German clubs in Europe ensuring that will be enough for Champions League participation next season.

They are also building towards their third appearance in the final of Europe's premier club competition, having overcome Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 on aggregate in the last four.

While all eyes will soon turn to their trip to Wembley Stadium to face Real Madrid on June 1, Terzic is determined that his side maintain their intensity levels, even if he rotates his squad.

"Through this rotation we not only keep the team physically and emotionally fresh but we also give chances to other players," Terzic told reporters on Friday.

"Our season just got a bit longer and we want to keep the rhythm up. It is about what we have built up in the past weeks and us wanting to still achieve something big, and that cannot happen with us shifting down a gear.

"We want to make these weeks the best weeks of the season."

Mainz denied Dortmund the Bundesliga title last season, snatching a 2-2 draw against BVB on the final day as Bayern Munich swooped in to retain their crown. 

They are now battling against relegation, but Terzic is not thinking of Saturday's game as a chance for payback.

"They did spoil our summer last year, but they did it fair and square. They had a say last season and did it well," he said. "Now we have the chance to have an influence." 

Mainz are in 16th place, currently occupying the relegation play-off spot, five points ahead of 17th-placed Cologne.

More importantly for Terzic, the game marks the start of a three-week build-up towards the Champions League final.

"We celebrated our qualification for the final on the night and now we have to deal with the situation pragmatically," he said.

"Now a new preparation starts for the Champions League final with these remaining two Bundesliga matches."

John McGinn is quickly turning his focus to the "astronomical achievement" of Champions League qualification after Aston Villa suffered heartbreak in the semi-finals of the Europa Conference League.

Villa were among the favourites to lift Europe's third-tier trophy but a 2-0 defeat at Olympiacos on Thursday consigned Unai Emery's men to a 6-2 aggregate loss over the two-leg tie.

It means Villa end what has largely been viewed as an excellent season without a trophy but they can still finish on a high by securing a top-four finish in the Premier League.

They lead fifth-place Tottenham by seven points with two games left in their domestic season, albeit Spurs do have a game in hand.

McGinn apologised to the travelling support in Piraeus but, speaking to TNT Sports after the game, said there is still an opportunity to finish the season on a high.

"We went into this competition as favourites and we handled that pressure throughout the competition, I think it’s been a huge learning curve for us," he said.

"It's not been a smooth journey, we got to the semi-finals down to the bare bones a bit.

"However, those of us who were out there over the two legs, we lost to who were the better team and I think the scoreline proves it."

"Our instant feeling is absolutely gutted. We all wanted to be back here for the final.

"Olympiacos gave it absolutely everything, played out of their skin in both legs, and overall the scoreline proves they were the better team.

"We'll reflect, there's a lot of things we could have done better, but over the season, of course, we can be proud of the journey.

"Obviously, we need to apologise to the supporters who have travelled here, they've travelled the whole campaign with us.

"We wanted to deliver a trophy to them, we all wanted it as players. We’'e all bitterly disappointed, but we need a big push in the last two games to try and get over the line for the Champions League, which would be an astronomical achievement.

"But here, the overriding feeling is disappointment, frustration and an opportunity missed. Congratulations to Olympiacos and we wish them all the best in the final."

Aurelien Tchouameni is an injury doubt for Real Madrid’s Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund next month.

Madrid came from behind to beat Bayern Munich 2-1 in their semi-final second leg on Wednesday, but the Frenchman was forced off in the 70th minute.

Tchouameni has sustained a stress injury to his left foot, which will reportedly rule him out for three to four weeks.

He will miss Madrid’s final three games of the LaLiga season against Alaves, Villarreal and Real Betis, and is now a major doubt to play in the Champions League final on June 1.

Madrid have lost just two games in all competitions this campaign, and Tchouameni did not start either of them. 

Thomas Tuchel and Bayern Munich were left fuming after Matthijs de Ligt's contentious late strike was disallowed in their semi-final defeat to Real Madrid.

Bayern crashed out 4-3 on aggregate at Santiago Bernabeu after a dramatic double from substitute Joselu saw the hosts snatch victory to advance to the final on June 1.

Tuchel's side thought they had forced extra-time when De Ligt had the ball in the net, but the referee had already blown his whistle after the linesman raised his flag, so VAR could not intervene.

The replays showed that the original decision was closer than first thought, and the head coach bemoaned the lack of consistency after Madrid's second goal was awarded following a VAR review.

"I think it's pretty clear and there is no doubt that is against the rules of modern football," he said. "A disaster. An absolute disaster.

"With Real's second goal, they let the play continue. The clear rule is that the scene must continue. The first mistake was made by the linesman, the second by the referee."

Bayern had taken the lead through Alphonso Davies at the midway point in the second half, before Joselu's late intervention denied them a crack at a seventh title against compatriots Borussia Dortmund at Wembley.

De Ligt said the linesman had apologised to him after the game.

"[It is] very difficult. Of course, as sportspeople, we accept it," Tuchel said. "But it is a semi-final, it's not for two such mistakes.

"Everyone has to be at their limit. The referees have to be there as well. That is what we expect, so the apology does not really help."

Carlo Ancelotti saluted Joselu after the striker climbed off the bench and scored twice against Bayern Munich to send Real Madrid through to their 18th Champions League final.

Following Alphonso Davies' earlier strike at Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid trailed Bayern 1-0 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate when Joselu replaced Federico Valverde with nine minutes of their pulsating semi-final tie remaining.

The 33-year-old, who is on loan from second-tier Espanyol, turned the tie on its head with two dramatic late goals.

First, he pounced on a rare mistake by Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer to stab in an 88th-minute equaliser, before volleying home Antonio Rudiger's cross in the first minute of stoppage time.

This was Joselu's eighth substitute appearance in this season's Champions League and Ancelotti praised the professionalism of his striker, who has now netted 17 times across all competitions, despite spending much of the campaign on the bench.

"He's a player who's contributed a lot this season, even if he hasn't played many minutes," the Italian said. 

"But he's the perfect reflection of what this squad is: players who contribute a lot without losing confidence [if they're not playing] and the idea that they can offer the team something."

Ancelotti, whose side will play Borussia Dortmund in his sixth Champions League final as a manager on June 1, also hailed the character demonstrated by his players during another "magical" Madrid performance.

"It's happened so many times now, it's something inexplicable," he added. "It's happened again [thanks to] fans that push [us], a fantastic atmosphere and players who never stop believing that they can do it. It's something magical, there's no explanation for it."

 

Real Madrid striker Joselu was in dreamland after he came on in the dying moments of their Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich on Wednesday and turned the game on its head with two goals to snatch a stunning victory.

Joselu, whose journeyman career has included spells at clubs such as Hoffenheim, Eintracht Frankfurt, Hannover 96, Stoke City and Newcastle United, only touched the ball a few times in their 2-1 second-leg win, but it was a night he is likely to remember for a long time.

He pounced on a rare mistake by Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer, stabbing the ball into the net to equalise for Madrid in the 88th minute, and just under three minutes later, he volleyed them into the lead from a cross by Antonio Rudiger.

"I don't know anything about being a hero, but I'm very happy... You can imagine," he said. "It was incredible, something spectacular. This team never gives up, it's in its blood to fight to the end and that's what we've done.

"You always dream of this kind of performance, but not even my most beautiful dreams are as big as what happened today."

On loan from second-division side Espanyol, Joselu's journey to becoming the semi-final hero has been long and winding in a career involving a dozen clubs across Europe.

He began his career at Celta Vigo before being bought in 2009 by Madrid, where he excelled in their B team but rarely made it to the first team.

He was sold to Bundesliga side Hoffenheim in 2012 and then loaned to Eintracht Frankfurt before joining Hannover 96 in 2014.

In 2015, he moved to Premier League side Stoke City, playing 27 times and scoring four goals, before spending two seasons at Newcastle United. He returned to Spain with Alaves, where he scored 36 times in three seasons.

He signed as a free agent with Espanyol in the summer of 2022, and a year later was loaned to Madrid and has scored nine goals in 32 appearances this season in LaLiga.

Joselu, born in Stuttgart, Germany, made his debut for Spain aged 33, coming off the bench against Norway to score twice in two minutes in March 2023.

"I don’t think Joselu will be sleeping much tonight, he’ll be useless in training tomorrow!" team-mate Jude Bellingham said. "He deserves it all, he’s been an amazing member of the squad all season, and it’s his night."

Thomas Tuchel reflects on "tough to accept" defeat after Real Madrid came from behind to win 2-1 and knock Bayern Munich out of the Champions League on Wednesday.

After a 2-2 draw in the first leg of the semi-final at the Allianz Arena, Bayern took the lead in the 68th minute through Alphonso Davies.

However, Joselu came off the bench to score twice in three minutes to send the LaLiga champions to the Champions League final with a 4-3 aggregate win over Bayern.

"It hurts. It’ll take a while to recover, but on the one hand, it’s a loss where we left it all out on the pitch,” Tuchel told DAZN after the game.

"Of course, it’s tough to accept. It’s part of reality. No regrets. But on the other, there were too many injuries, a few too many substitutions, too many cramps.

"We started with a front four and by the end they were all off the pitch. And then Manu, who had been exceptional in saving us all night, made a mistake he wouldn’t make in another 100 years."

In stoppage time, Matthijs de Ligt had the ball in the back of the net, but the referee had already blown his whistle after the linesman raised his flag, so VAR could not intervene.

The replays showed that the original decision was closer than first thought, and Tuchel was frustrated with how the situation was handled.

Speaking to TNT Sports, Tuchel said: "We are almost through, it's almost there and there was a very unusual mistake from our best player for the equaliser, then we conceded the second one in stoppage time.

"Then we scored one and there was a disastrous decision from the linesman and the referee. It feels like a betrayal in the end. There was a huge fight, we left everything on the pitch, and we were almost there. Now we say congratulations to Real Madrid.

"The linesman says sorry, but that does not help. To raise the flag in a moment like this... The referee sees we get the second ball, and we get the shot - it's a very, very bad decision. It's against the rules. It's a disaster. It's hard to swallow, but that's the way it is."

Manuel Neuer made five saves in the game and looked equal to Madrid’s threat until he spilled the ball in the build-up to Joselu’s first goal.

"Anyone who’s ever played football knows how I’m feeling right now," he told DAZN.

"That we’ve been knocked out in the closing stages, having led 1-0 until the 88th minute, it’s extremely bitter.

"We’d taken one step to London; we saw ourselves in the final, and now I’m lost for words."

Joselu was the hero for Real Madrid as he scored twice off the bench to send them through to the Champions League final.

The Spaniard’s late brace secured Madrid’s comeback after Alphonso Davies had given the German side the lead, securing a 2-1 victory on the night, and a 4-3 win on aggregate to set up a meeting with Borussia Dortmund on June 1. 

With only 10 minutes plus stoppage time to make an impact, Joselu made his time on the pitch count.

He scored with both his shots, becoming the oldest substitute to score a brace in a knockout game in the Champions League.

The forward is Madrid’s highest scorer in the competition this season with five goals, netting three of those after coming off the bench.  

It is also the second time he has scored a double against a German team in the Champions League this campaign, getting his other against Union Berlin in the group stages.

Bayern were left to rue a late lapse in concentration that saw them concede twice in the space of two minutes and 44 seconds.

After Davies, who has been heavily linked with Los Blancos, became the first Canadian player to score in the knockout stages of the Champions League, with what was his maiden goal in the competition, it was a mistake that led to Madrid's equaliser.

It is the first time since April 2021 against Paris Saint-Germain that Manuel Neuer made an error leading to an opposition goal in the competition.

Bayern have now lost 11 Champions League matches against Madrid, the most one side has lost against another in the competition’s history.

It was always going to be a tough game for Thomas Tuchel’s side even after taking the lead – Madrid have won four matches despite conceding first in the Champions League this season, the most by a side in a single campaign since they won the trophy in 2016-17 (five).

Los Blancos have reached an 18th final in the European Cup/Champions League, but this is the first time they will play the showcase game at Wembley or in England altogether.

Meanwhile, Carlo Ancelotti has reached his sixth Champions League final, two more than any other coach in the history of the competition. 

Real Madrid can "never be settled" as they hunt down a record-extending 15th European title, so says Jude Bellingham.

LaLiga champions Madrid claimed their place in the Champions League final thanks to Joselu's late double against Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

Joselu came on from the bench to score twice in the space of three minutes to seal a 2-1 victory on the night and a 4-3 win on aggregate.

Alphonso Davies' stunner had put Bayern on the brink, but Madrid will now face Borussia Dortmund – Bellingham's former club – at Wembley on June 1.

"They talk about how they won the 14th, how they want the 15th. You can never be settled," Bellingham told TNT Sports.

"The players feel like family, the fans feel like family. 

"When I was seven years old in Birmingham, I was dreaming of nights like this."

Madrid have won four matches despite conceding the first goal in the Champions League this season, the most by a side in a single campaign since Los Blancos themselves in 2016-17 (five), when they went on to lift the trophy. 

"There have been a lot of times we have looked dead and buried, but we have that mentality of never say die," Bellingham added.

"There is a reason we turn around so many games, it's because of these lot [the fans]. They give you an energy you can't get from anything else."

Joselu scored twice late on as Real Madrid came from behind to beat Bayern Munich 2-1 and progress to the Champions League final.

Having drawn the first leg 2-2 in Munich, Bayern looked set to go through and tee up an all-German final at Wembley when Alphonso Davies sent a rocket into the top-right corner of Andriy Lunin's goal in the 68th minute of Wednesday's clash at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Yet 14-time European champions Madrid came back from the brink thanks to substitute Joselu, whose double sealed a 4-3 aggregate win.

The former Stoke City striker capitalised on a calamitous mistake from Manuel Neuer in the 88th minute before he shinned a second into the Bayern goal from Antonio Rudiger's cross.

That second goal was initially disallowed for offside, but it was awarded after a VAR check.

With Harry Kane having been taken off, Bayern struggled to mount a comeback, though Matthijs de Ligt did see a goal ruled out for offside, with the visitors left furious at that decision.

Thomas Tuchel's team, though, will ultimately end the season without silverware, while their Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund will face LaLiga champions Madrid on June 1.

Data Debrief: Joselu to the rescue for comeback kings Madrid

Joselu became the oldest substitute player to score a brace in a knockout game in the Champions League at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Madrid have won four matches despite conceding the first goal in the Champions League this season, the most by a side in a single campaign since Madrid in 2016-17 (five) when they went on to lift the trophy.

Vinicius Junior has come on leaps and bounds and is proving himself as one of the best players in the world, according to Real Madrid team-mate Dani Carvajal.

The pair are gearing up for Madrid's mouth-watering Champions League semi-final second leg against fellow European heavyweights Bayern Munich, with the tie finely poised at 2-2.

Vinicius scored both goals for Carlo Ancelotti's side in last week's first leg, taking him to 31 goal involvements (16 goals, 15 assists) in the Champions League since the start of the 2021-22 season, more than any other player during that time.

And Carvajal says the strides made by the 23-year-old are evident.

"He's improved in every aspect - his finishing, physically, his maturity when playing, knowing when it's right to attack the space or to ask for the ball to be played to his feet," the full-back told reporters during the pre-match press conference.

"He's one of the best players in the world, and he's proving that. We know that he puts in a lot of work away from [the training ground], having his training sessions, physio and coaching.

"All of this is helping him to be one of the best in the world. Hopefully, he can help us on the pitch [in the second leg] and see us through."

The most successful side in the competition's history, Madrid are aiming to remain on course for a 15th European crown, while Ancelotti targets a record-extending sixth appearance in the final as a manager.

"There's not much more to say when the time comes to play the second leg of a semi-final in your home stadium," Carvajal added. "The motivation of the match itself ensures that your attention level is at its highest.

"We know that we're up against a side with a history in this competition [six titles], so we have to attempt to beat them and reach the final."

Page 1 of 45
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.