Champions League: Real Madrid’s players touch down in London ahead of Chelsea clash

Suited and booted! Real Madrid’s players touch down in London ahead of crunch Champions League quarter-final first leg against Chelsea… but they arrive in the capital WITHOUT boss Carlo Ancelotti as he waits to test negative for Covid

  • Real Madrid’s squad arrived in London on Tuesday afternoon all suited up
  • They face Chelsea on Wednesday in a Champions League quarter-final first-leg
  • Gareth Bale and Co arrived without boss Carlo Ancelotti, who has not traveled
  • Real Madrid still hope Ancelotti can test negative for Covid and fly on gameday

Real Madrid’s players arrived dressed to impress as they touched down in London ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final first-leg at Chelsea.

Gareth Bale and Co emerged from their team jet in black suits with a black tie.

But they made the short trip from Madrid to London without boss Carlo Ancelotti, with the Italian still needing to test negative for Covid before travelling.

Real Madrid’s stars arrived in London suited up as they prepare to face Chelsea on Wednesday

Benzema gave a peace sign as he got off the team plane

Courtois spent many years in London playing for Chelsea

Karim Benzema (left) was in playful mood while Thibaut Courtois was happy to be in London

Star striker Karim Benzema, who showed with his choice of scarf that he was not at all prepared for the London chill, was in cheerful mood as he held up two fingers in a peace sign at the club’s photographer after landing.

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois wore a big smile as he landed in familiar territory having spent years as Chelsea’s No 1 before joining Real Madrid.

The 29-year-old joined Chelsea in 2011 and spent seven years at the club, though the first three seasons were spent out on loan at Atletico Madrid.

Carlo Ancelotti did not travel with his squad on Tuesday for their Champions League clash at Chelsea, as he seeks to provide a negative test for Covid-19

Carlo Ancelotti did not travel with his squad on Tuesday for their Champions League clash at Chelsea, as he seeks to provide a negative test for Covid-19

David Alaba had razor-sharp focus as he landed ahead of the crucial quarter-final first-leg tie

David Alaba had razor-sharp focus as he landed ahead of the crucial quarter-final first-leg tie

He replaced Petr Cech as the club’s No 1 goalkeeper from the 2014-15 season and went on to make 154 appearances for the club – winning two Premier League titles.

Courtois is hoping he gets a good reception from Chelsea’s supporters but knows he must be prepared for a round of boos given the ignominy that surrounded his exit.

‘I hope that they (Chelsea fans) don’t boo me but you never know,’ Courtois told Real Madrid’s official website.

‘I’m prepared for whatever comes and we’ll have to see how it goes.

‘I hope it’s a happy return to Stamford Bridge. We’re now rivals. They’ll want to win and the same goes for me too and so I’m not expecting any applause from the fans.’

Real Madrid go into the game on the back of a 2-1 away win against Celta Vigo, which keeps them 12 points clear of Barcelona at the top of LaLiga.

Courtois played at Stamford Bridge last season though the game was behind closed doors

Courtois played at Stamford Bridge last season though the game was behind closed doors

Beaten last season by Chelsea in the Champions League – en route to the Blues winning it – there is an element of revenge among supporters.

‘They are the current Champions League champions, so it couldn’t be more difficult,’ German midfielder Toni Kroos said on his podcast last week.

‘There could hardly be a bigger hurdle, but we have to concentrate on ourselves, and if we play well, it’s possible to do a lot of things.

‘We have to try to be very good because that’s what we will have to be to reach the semi-finals. Probably nobody wanted PSG in the last 16, and probably nobody wanted Chelsea in the quarter-finals. But that’s the way things are, and we have to accept them.’

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