RB Leipzig coach Marco Rose will only believe that Jude Bellingham won’t be fit to player for Real Madrid in their Champions League last 16 match on Tuesday if he doesn’t show up.
Bellingham sprained his right ankle during Real’s 4-0 La Liga victory over Girona on Saturday. And while the club only said that “his recovery will be monitored” it is believed he will miss the first leg date in Germany.
But Rose, who formerly coached the England midfielder at Borussia Dortmund, is not convinced.
“I won’t believe he’s out until he’s not in the stadium tomorrow. I know Jude, he’ll do everything he can to play the Champions League game. And if he’s still looking for a doctor here to get fit,” Rose told reporters on Monday.
Real have won Europe’s elite event a record 14 times and are the favourites in the tie against Leipzig.
The two side met once before, in last season’s group stage, with Real winning 2-0 at home and Leipzig the reverse fixture 3-2 when Real where already qualified for the knock-outs.
But goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi said that “if you’ve done it once, then you know you can do it again. We want to play with the same emotion and intensity again and get a good result.”
Rose said: “We know about their qualities. But we’re not that bad either and have great footballers in our ranks. We will invest everything and look for our chances to put ourselves in a good starting position.”
Midfielder Amadou Haidara is a doubt but Dani Olmo is set to play after missing both games in 2022, and so is Xavi Simons who like Olmo went through the academy of Real’s arch rivals Barcelona.
Both are in fine form and Rose said “I expect them to make a difference.”
Leipzig coach Marco Rose speaks during a press conference for the team ahead of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg soccer match against Real Madrid. Jan Woitas/dpa