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Athletic Club’s Unai Simon highlights Santiago Bernabeu’s intimidation factor ahead of Real Madrid clash

One of the matches of the weekend in La Liga takes place on Sunday evening, where Real Madrid will host Athletic Club – a match-up that sees 1st take on 4th. Los Blancos have a great recent record against their Basque counterparts, having failed to lose in any of their last 17 league meetings.

It’s been even longer since Athletic won at the Santiago Bernabeu – 2005 was the last name that happened. It’s definitely been a tough place to go for Los Leones, and goalkeeper Unai Simon opened up as to why he feels it’s been so difficult, as per MD.

“It’s always a motivation to go to the Bernabeu and get the three points. It’s a spectacular stadium and being able to win there does serve as motivation for the final. You have to stay calm as if you were playing on another pitch, but it’s the Bernabeu and it imposes a little more than the rest of the stadiums (in La Liga.”

Simon also believes that Real Madrid won’t be hindered too much by Vinicius Junior’s absence this weekend – the Brazilian forward will serve a one-match ban for accumulation of yellow cards.

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“If he doesn’t play, there is Bellingham, Rodrygo, Valverde… Vinicius won’t play this weekend, but another one will play who will be a top player, because at Real Madrid there are only world-class players. We will have to be ready for whatever comes our way. They’ve got a pretty complete team.”

It will definitely be Athletic Club’s most difficult match of the season on Sunday, but they will still believe that a positive result is on the cards. For that to happen, Simon will need to be at his very best.

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Tiara Clephin

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