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Valverde hits brace to be named MVP: “It was great to get the win and to share it with the fans”

“I try and enjoy myself with my teammates, who always help me to be my best,” stated the Uruguayan.

Fede Valverde was named player of the match in the clash between Real Madrid and Milan in the Soccer Champions Tour opener. The Uruguayan midfielder played the full 90 minutes and delivered a superb performance at the Rose Bowl Stadium, spearheading the madridista fightback with goals in the 57th and 59th minute. “It was great to get the win and to be able to share it with the fans. It’s the first game of the season, we came into it with a bit of fatigue from pre-season training and now we’ll start getting used to the coach’s system. We’ll feel much better in time.”

“I’ve started the season with motivation sky high, the same hunger and desire as ever to achieve my goals with this club. I try and enjoy myself with the team and my teammates, who always help me to be my best. It’s beautiful to be a part of this.”
The team’s pressure 
“When you score a goal after being 0-2 down, the team up the pressure as you try and find the equaliser. That’s the way it went. I won the ball back and it ended up in the back of the net.”
“I enjoy winning the ball, watching Modrić pick passes like that and then seeing Vinicius finish so brilliantly. This is a great group and if we all pull in the same direction, we’re going to achieve big things and we’re so excited for this season.”

Real Madrid beat AC Milan as Vinicius Junior caps comeback

Real Madrid staged a second-half comeback capped by a winner from Vinicius Junior to beat AC Milan 3-2 in Pasadena, California, on Sunday.

Fikayo Tomori and Luka Romero put Milan 2-0 up at the Rose Bowl, but two quickfire goals from Federico Valverde — followed by Vinicius’ 83rd minute strike — saw Madrid come out on top in the first preseason friendly of their US tour.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti picked summer arrivals Jude BellinghamJoselu and Brahim Diaz in his starting 11, while Fran Garcia came on as one of eight half-time changes, and Arda Guler missed out with muscular discomfort.

Ancelotti introduced both Vinicius and Rodrygo Goes after the break, but it was Valverde who had them level by the 58th minute before Vinicius latched on to a long pass over the Milan back line and shot past Mike Maignan to give Carlo Ancelotti’s side the win.

“I’m already counting, I don’t know how many goals [Ancelotti] is going to want from me [this season],” Valverde said, after the Italian joked that he would “tear up his coaching license” if Valverde didn’t get into double figures last campaign. “I feel good. I’m motivated to keep winning things at this club.”

United States winger Christian Pulisic started for Milan and claimed an assist for Tomori’s opener before being replaced by Rafael Leao in the 70th minute.

The game saw Madrid line up in a new 4-4-2 formation with a midfield diamond, with Bellingham playing behind Diaz and Joselu.

“I liked it,” Ancelotti said in his post-match news conference, when asked about the change of system.

“There are some things we have to change a bit. It was hard for us to play out from the back… Bellingham’s positioning was good, he played a good game. The team has to get used to his quality.”

There was a scary moment at the start of the match when ESPN analyst Shaka Hislop collapsed on the field and needed medical attention, but his on-air partner Dan Thomas told viewers at half-time that Hislop was conscious and talking with medics after receiving treatment at the stadium.

Milan continue their preseason tour in the U.S. with matches against Juventus on Thursday and Barcelona on Aug. 1, before beginning Serie A with a trip to face Bologna on Aug. 21.

Madrid play Manchester United on Wednesday and take on Barcelona in a preseason El Clasico in Arlington, Texas, on July 29, followed by their last match in the U.S. versus Juventus on Aug. 2.

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