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"Iker Was Decisive": Carlo Ancelotti & The Players After The Match.

The press is heaping adulation on the club captain for an outstanding performance to rescue the draw for his team, and his coach agrees.

San Iker
San Iker
Claudio Villa

Carlo Ancelotti is very pleased with San Iker. "He was decisive, and it's not easy not to be able to play every game and then come in and perform like that. It shows his professionalism." The keeper has made the banner headlines in Marca and As and is the main focus of post-match reports all over the world.

The coach expressed satisfaction with the second half, noting that the team held possession better than in the first and was "not merely counter-attacking."

Ancelotti also took Karim Benzema (who had a miss off a great chance in the second half) under his protection, noting that his job in closing down Andrea Pirlo was very hard work. He also shielded Raphael Varane from criticism: "He's only 20 and will be world class. To expect perfect performances is unreasonable." Was Cristiano Ronaldo whistled? Who cares. "He seems unaffected."

The man of the hour - Iker Casillas - was interviewed after the match too. Modestly expressing the hope that Real Madrid would seal qualification in the next match, and possibly even make it out of the group as leaders (an almost dead certainty at this point), he expressed satisfaction in general. Looking ahead to the league, he said he fully expected the team could cut the lead Atletico Madrid and Barcelona have gained over the past few weeks and really start a title challenge.

Casillas on Gigi Buffon: "He congratulated me after the game...we've played each other a lot."

Cristiano Ronaldo was also interviewed. He's satisfied with his 8 goals. He expects to score more. He enjoys, in particular, playing with Gareth Bale. Like his coach, he thought the second half was a massive improvement on the first. "In the first half we were defensive, the coach told us to attack for the second and use the flanks."

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