Real Madrid shot flies into fan’s apartment in Rayo Vallecano loss
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Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde suffered an embarrassing moment during a defeat to Rayo Vallecano on Monday evening. As if leaving a local derby empty-handed wasn’t bad enough, the Uruguayan launched a wayward attempt into an unsuspecting person’s apartment to spark ironic cheers from the Rayo fans.
The race for top spot in La Liga has been a close one between Los Blancos and Barcelona this season. La Blaugrana leapfrogged their bitter rivals by beating Almeria on Saturday, giving Real plenty of time to stew on their clash with Rayo Vallecano.
Both based in Madrid, fireworks are common when the two sides meet and Monday’s clash proved to be another entertaining affair. Goals from Santi Comesana and Alvaro Garcia were cancelled out by Luka Modric and Eder Militao before half-time, and after the break, Oscar Trejo delivered a killer blow from the spot to give Rayo a 3-2 win.
Madrid’s painful defeat wasn’t for the want of trying as Valverde unleashed an ambitious effort in the game’s dying embers. With Thibaut Courtois up for a last-gasp corner kick, Valverde pounced on a bouncing ball that he launched out of the stadium and into someone’s apartment.
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That sparked a jubilant reaction from those who got a perfect view of the wayward strike, which was uncharacteristic of in-form Valverde. Three points sent Rayo eighth in La Liga while Los Blancos will have to settle for second place, two points behind Barcelona.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side are running out of time to claw back the deficit before domestic action pauses for the World Cup this month. Madrid’s last La Liga match is at home to Cadiz on Thursday, while Barca face a comparatively tougher trip to face Osasuna on Tuesday evening.
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Many were surprised to see Valverde’s effort miss the target by such a huge margin against Rayo, given that he has established himself as one of the world’s finest midfielders this campaign. Having only managed three goals in his previous-best season, the 24-year-old is already up to eight this term with four assists to boot.
Valverde’s Uruguay team-mate, Luis Suarez, is among those to shower him with praise amid what appears to be a coming of age at the Bernabeu. “Fede has similar characteristics to [Steven Gerrard],” said the former Liverpool striker. Ancelotti agreed, stating: “Fede has everything he needs to reach Gerrard’s level and go even further.”
The Real Madrid boss amped up the pressure on Valverde at the start of the season by claiming that he would retire if he didn’t score at least 10 goals. “The bet is a nice kind of pressure, I’m focused on it now,” said the midfielder.
“I don’t want to be the cause of the coach retiring.” Valverde is expected to turn out at the World Cup later this month with Uruguay in Group H alongside South Korea, Portugal and Ghana.
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