After playing Valencia to a surprising draw, Real Madrid takes on Levante UD. Cristiano Ronaldo is still suspended, so he’ll have to watch this Sept. 9 game from home. It all kicks off at 7:00 AM ET so don’t miss it!
Cristiano Ronaldo, 32, still has three games left on his suspension, so don’t expect the FIFA Best Player of 2016 FIFA World Player of the Year to give Levante UD a warm reception when the newly promoted club rolls into Stadium Bernabeu. Instead, expect Los Blancos to try and avenge a surprising draw with Levante’s cross-town rivals, Valencia. La Liga is in full effect, and Real is the defending champions. Will the undefeated Les Granotes leave Madrid with their record intact? Or will Real welcome the new kids by handing them an L?
Technically, Levante Unión Deportiva, S.A.D. aren’t new, as Les Granotes (aka “The Frogs) have been around since Sept. 1909. Technically, the club is 108 years old. Happy Birthday! Levante was relegated down to Segunda Division in 2017-17, but they bounced back by winning the title of Spain’s secondary soccer league. Here’s hoping they can find some success in La Liga. They may have a tough challenge ahead of themselves. Though they opened up their return to the top flight with a 1-0 victory over Villarreal, they played Deportivo de la Coruna to a 2-2 draw. They now face the reigning champs, and even without Ronaldo, Real Madrid is a huge threat.
Well, sorta. The reigning Champions League champs seemed slightly toothless when facing Villarreal. Both Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema were whistled by the Madridistas (aka the Real Madrid ultrafans) at Stadium Bernabeu for missing some easy shots during the game. If it wasn’t for Marcos Asensio nailing the brace, the team might have been given an early loss. “The fans here do what they wish,” real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane said, per ESPNFC. “The important thing for us is that Karim gets chances. He did not score them today, but that’s not important. This is football. Sometimes the ball does not go in. But we do not have to give an opinion on what the fans think.”
Zinedine also said that Gareth was “an important player in this squad. “Gareth is Gareth. We will keep working, and keep counting on Gareth, like all the others. That’s all.” Can the Welshman step up and win back over his fans?
Who do you want to win this match, HollywoodLifer? Do you think Real Madrid will get their mojo back? Or do you think Levante will hop away with a win?