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Real Madrid boost: Andriy Lunin joins late but doesn't start final

Real Madrid's Andriy Lunin reunites with teammates for Champions League final but won't start, sparking fan outrage over lineup choice.

Andriy Lunin has rejoined his Real Madrid teammates for the Champions League final, but unfortunately, he will not be starting the match. Madrid is set to face Borussia Dortmund in the highly anticipated showdown at Wembley Stadium, with the game being broadcast live on talkSPORT.

Lunin has been the starting goalkeeper for Madrid in all of their knockout stage matches leading up to the final. However, he fell ill with the flu during the week and was unable to train or travel to London with the rest of the team. Despite his absence, Lunin expressed his regret in an Instagram post, acknowledging the significance of the game and thanking fans for their support.

Carlo Ancelotti confirmed in a press conference that Thibaut Courtois would be starting in goal for the final, despite Courtois being ruled out of Belgium's squad for the upcoming Euro 2024 finals. Just before kick-off, Madrid announced that Lunin had arrived and was included in the matchday squad, but Courtois retained his place in the starting lineup.

The starting XI for Real Madrid includes Courtois, Carvajal, Rudiger, Nacho, Mendy, Valverde, Camavinga, Kroos, Bellingham, Rodrygo, and Vinicius Jr. Fans expressed surprise and sympathy for Lunin on social media, with many questioning the decision to bench him for such a crucial match.

Lunin has been a key player for Madrid throughout the season, particularly in the absence of Courtois due to injury. Despite his impressive performances, including saving two penalties in the quarter-final shootout against Manchester City, Lunin will have to watch from the sidelines as Courtois takes the field against Dortmund.

As Madrid aims for a record 15th Champions League title, the decision to start Courtois over Lunin has sparked debate among fans. While Courtois has a history of clutch performances in finals, including the 2022 win against Liverpool, many believe that Lunin deserved the opportunity to start in such a significant match. Dortmund, on the other hand, are looking to secure their first Champions League title in 27 years, setting the stage for an intense and captivating final showdown.

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