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Real Madrid Midfielder Rejected a Move to Saudi Arabia to Stay in Spain
- Saudi Arabia targeted numerous midfielders from top European clubs in the summer
- Some, like Ruben Neves and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, moved over while others declined
- One of the midfielders that rejected a transfer to Saudi Arabia was from Real Madrid
Saudi Arabia signed some of the biggest names in football in the summer and although many players agreed to join league clubs, some declined.
Neymar Junior, Sadio Mane, and Karim Benzema were some of the players who followed Cristiano Ronaldo to the SPL.
Conversely, several established players - including a Real Madrid midfielder - opted to stay in Spain.
According to Spanish publication Marca, Federico Valverde had offers from Saudi Arabia but he wanted to stay at Real Madrid. Bayern Munich also wanted to sign Valverde, but the Uruguayan rejected the move.
Valverde's loyalty was rewarded with a new deal with the Spanish giants until 2029. The 25-year-old has become a key player for Los Blancos and the club seems to view him as a cornerstone of a new era.
With Luka Modric and Toni Kroos heading towards retirement, Valverde is seen as a replacement alongside Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni.
He has started 18 of the 20 games he has played this season, per Transfermarkt. So far, he has played over 200 games for Real Madrid and has expressed his desire to become captain.
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Valverde on how to stop Messi
Valverde has come up against Barcelona great, Lionel Messi plenty of times while wearing a Real Madrid or a Uruguay jersey.
The midfielder admitted that stopping the Argentina magician is seemingly impossible, as Sports Brief previously reported.
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"I could never stop him. We had many El Clasicos, and Casemiro was always a good weapon against Messi. Although not always."
Valverde names his toughest opponent
Sports Brief also previously reported on Valverde naming the toughest opponent he has ever faced - and his choice is not so surprising.
When asked about the player who posed the most significant challenge to him, he responded with a former Barcelona captain - Messi.
Valverde's position on the pitch requires him to stop the opponent's best player and said the Argentine was difficult for him to contain.