Goalgist 10

Real Madrid’s last game before the Champions League final against Liverpool ended in a goalless draw against Real Betis on Friday as Marcelo bid farewell to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Carlo Ancelotti picked a strong side for Madrid’s last La Liga game of the season but with the title long sewn-up and the final in Paris just around the corner, neither team were keen to over-exert.

Instead, the contest was notable for the tribute paid to Marcelo and Gareth Bale, who is set to leave Real Madrid, was not involved in the game.

Both players are expected to leave when their contracts expire this summer but only Marcelo was involved here, with Bale absent again from the squad.

Marcelo came on in the second half to a standing ovation and was given the captain’s armband by Karim Benzema, who played the whole 90 minutes. Marcelo accepted applause from his teammates after the final whistle and left, waving to the stands as he went.

Bale, meanwhile, has been struggling with a back problem in recent weeks, the lack of any goodbye just the latest anti-climax at the end of his Madrid career, after four years of relative drift and irrelevance

The draw means meant nothing to Ancelotti’s team who have already confirmed their status as champions but finish the season on 86 points, 13 ahead of Barcelona, who could reduce the gap when they play at home to Villarreal on Sunday.

Real Betis sit fifth, three points clear of Real Sociedad, with Europa Leauge qualification already secured.

By Amara

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