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Ancelotti: “I’m not planning rotations against Sheriff”

Apart from the returns of Éder Militão and Rodrygo. 

FBL-EUR-C1-REAL MADRID-PRESSER Photo by SERGEI GAPON/AFP via Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti addressed the media ahead of Real Madrid’s rematch against Sheriff Tiraspol, explaining that he and his team want revenge for the 2-1 defeat suffered at the Bernabéu. He stated: “We didn’t have a good experience against this team at the Bernabéu. We’ve looked at the mistakes we made there and we’re working with calm. We need to play well for the whole 90 minutes. We’d like to have some revenge and have a better performance.”

Asked about the experience of travelling to a new place like Transnistria, the Italian said: “It was a four-hour flight, but that’s fairly normal. We haven’t had any problems here. The hotel, the stadium and the pitch are all perfect. You always have to adapt to new kinds of circumstances.”

Discussing his line-up selection, he rejected the idea that this would be a good match in which to make rotations: “Rotations are important to keep the squad fresh and to motivate those who don’t play as much. We haven’t made as many rotations recently. For tomorrow, Rodrygo and Militão could return after not starting the last one. But, I’m not really thinking about rotations for tomorrow.”

Ancelotti on Isco’s warm-up

One of the players who isn’t playing too much is Isco and he reportedly refused to keep warming up on the sidelines against Granada on Sunday. But, Ancelotti poured cold water on this ‘controversy’, saying: “I don’t have to speak with Isco. I have a lot of affection for him. It’s also not a problem when the assistant asks a player to warm up more and he says he’s already warmed up. He went on in the match. So, there’s no controversy here. I don’t have to speak with him because he is professional. He might be upset at not playing much and I’m sorry about that, but I have never disrespected him and he has never disrespected me.”

Ancelotti on who is ‘the sheriff’ of the dressing room

Perhaps the cheesiest question of the season so far saw Ancelotti asked who is ‘the sheriff’ of the dressing room. To that, he responded by discussing the squad as a whole, saying: “It’s a dressing room with a lot of quality, personality and harmony. I think the players are happy with each other. It’s a dressing room that is quite young with enthusiasm and it’s one I like to coach in, since I’ve not had any problem so far.”

Ancelotti on Vinícius

As is the case almost every press conference, the coach was asked about Vinícius. On this occasion, he said: “There aren’t many players who do what he does right now, in one against one. He still has room for improvement because, while one against one is important in football, it’s not the most important thing. But, he is humble enough to improve and learn.”