Barcelona, Clubs, Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos, Spanish Primera División, Story

Steve McManaman gives his verdict on Julen Lopetegui’s remaining time at Real Madrid and breaks down who the next manager could be.
Following Real Madrid’s disastrous display against Viktoria Plzen, the FC boys don’t give them any chance against Barcelona in El Clásico this weekend.
Barcelona defender Jordi Alba says he hopes Julen Lopetegui remains Real Madrid manager despite a string of poor results.

Real Madrid left-back Marcelo has said manager Julen Lopetegui was “trying everything possible” to get the team playing better ahead of the Clasico at the Camp Nou.

Madrid recently went on a run of four defeats and a draw in five games, while also going over eight hours without scoring a goal, a historically bad run which has brought Blancos coach Lopetegui close to the sack.

Tuesday’s 2-1 Champions League group victory over Viktoria Plzen did not end a feeling of crisis around the Bernabeu, but Marcelo has come out in support of his manager.

“We will try and turn this situation around, we are not so bad, but we want to be better,” Marcelo told La Liga’s website. “Lopetegui is trying everything possible to put Madrid at the top, where it should be.”

Marcelo has been criticised recently for lax defending through Madrid’s poor run of results, and the Brazilian admitted that he and his colleagues at the back would have to be fully focused in Sunday’s game at the Camp Nou, even with Blaugrana talisman Lionel Messi missing with a broken bone in his arm.

“In this game whoever makes fewer mistakes will win,” Marcelo said. “We must be alert, we know Barcelona’s quality and the important players they have up front. [But] we will play our own game, we know the potential we have ourselves.”

Meanwhile, defender Sergio Ramos backed his teammates to come out fighting in Sunday’s Clasico and said these are the moments when players can show their character.

“When faced with adversity is when we show our true worth,” Ramos said. “After this bad run, we are on the right path to come out of this — working hard, and being united, is the key to success.”

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