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Thursday 30. May 2024 - 09:52

Real Madrid leave star at home to reduce risk for Champions League final

Real Madrid goalkeeper Andriy Lunin will fly out to London for the Champions League final without his team-mates after catching flu, with Carlo Ancelotti not taking any risks.

Real Madrid will fly to London without their goalkeeper Andriy Lunin for the Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.

Real will take on Dortmund at Wembley this weekend for the chance to win a 15th Champions League title. Carlo Ancelotti’s side will compete in their sixth showpiece European final in the last 10 years and are favourites to get the job done.

However, their preparations for the game have been complicated by Lunin picking up a nasty bout of flu. The 25-year-old Ukraine international has established himself as Real’s first-choice goalkeeper this season, despite the club also being able to call upon Thibaut Courtois and Kepa Arrizabalaga.

He has held onto his place since Courtois returned from injury thanks to impressive performances, including saving two penalties in the semi-final win over Manchester City. But his place in the starting line-up on Saturday has been put in jeopardy by illness – and Real don’t want him to spread it to his team-mates.

Lunin has been training alone at home and won’t be joining his team-mates on the flight to London on Thursday. Instead Marca reports that he will fly out on Friday or Saturday, once his flu has completely cleared.

The goalkeeper’s solo training has been documented by his wife Anastasiia Tomazova, who posted a clip on Instagram of Lunin running outside on a mini football pitch along with the caption: "When the fever isn't an obstacle to training. I'm so proud of you."

Ancelotti spoke about the decision he faces in choosing between Lunin and Courtois for the Champions League final in his pre-match press conference. He joked: "I love this kind of external debate, particularly on weeks like this when I don't have much to do. So if I told you who's starting, then I'd miss out on listening to the next few days of fun debate because that would be it over already!

"It's no big deal: one of them plays and the other's on the bench. Look ... it's actually a tough decision because Lunin deserves to play for lots of reasons as does Courtois, because he's the best in the world."

Provided by: Frank Henriksen
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