Real Madrid stole a point from the jaws of defeat in what was a highly-entertaining 1-1 draw against cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid. Former Los Blancos star Marcos Llorente set up Luis Suarez for the opener in the first half, which was canceled by a late Karim Benzema goal with just over a minute of regulation time left. The result still sees them trail the Rojiblancos by five points, but a loss could have been much more catastrophic.
Ahead of their upcoming game against Elche, here is a look at the latest Real Madrid news.
Zinedine Zidane vows to 'fight till the end'
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has sent out a rallying cry saying that his side will fight till the very last game to retain their LaLiga title. The Blancos are currently a game, and five points behind Diego Simeone's Atleti, and the draw at the Wanda Metropolitano keeps their title hopes alive.
When asked whether his side are still in contention for the league title after this result, the Frenchman expressed;
"The objective is this, to continue. We know there is a lot left [but] we are going to fight until the end. Everything can always change. We are doing things well, we can improve. It is what we are going to do. I am very proud of all my players. We are in the same boat, and we are going to fight to the end."
Real Madrid are still alive in this year's edition of the UEFA Champions League as they're set to face off in the second leg of their tie against Atalanta Bergamo.
Thibaut Courtois laments lack of recognition after Real Madrid heroics
Blancos keeper Thibaut Courtois believes that he has not received the recognition he deserves for his brilliant displays in a Real Madrid shirt. The Belgian found it difficult to adapt to life in the capital upon his return from England but came back strong and established himself as one of the best keepers in the world. Courtois was pivotal in Real Madrid's LaLiga Santander win last year and has already amassed eleven clean sheets this term.
The former Chelsea goalkeeper explained;
"I had three fantastic years at Atletico, I received a lot of praise from Belgium. I became the Sportsman of the Year, and I thought I was doing well. Today, I have the feeling that everything I do on the field has become normalized. For example, my big save in the game against Valladolid, I felt like it didn’t exist afterwards. It seems like I have been playing at a high level with my club, the biggest club in the world, and it means nothing,"
Courtois also questioned why he wasn't even nominated for the Best Belgian in a Foreign Country award, which was recently awarded to Romelu Lukaku. He continued;
"I can understand that Romelu Lukaku wins the award for Best Belgian in a Foreign Country. I would say he deserves it. That I was not even noimnated for the award, nor the Sportsman of the Year award, and other football players were, I find ridiculous. I think and feel more appreciated in Spain or even outside of Spain then in Belgium."
The Real Madrid believes he deserves a lot more after what he's achieved for the record European champions and claimed to have 'survived a tsunami of criticism' to come back strong.
Raphael Varane handed contract ultimatum at Real Madrid
Superstar defender Raphael Varane has been handed an ultimatum by his club to renew his contract before the end of the campaign, as per reports. The Frenchman has been one of the most important players in Real Madrid's recent success and is one of the club's captains. His current deal expires in the summer of 2022, and with just a year left on his contract from the summer, the Blancos want him to commit his future.
The report claims that Real Madrid have no intention of allowing Varane to enter the final 12 months of his contract as they would want to avoid a situation similar to that of Sergio Ramos, where he could leave on a free next summer. With rumours suggesting that Manchester United could make a move for him come summer, Varane has a decision to make — either extend his stay before the end of the season or be sold come summer.