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Ancelotti: “We’re not an intense team, but we have quality, experience and commitment”

The coach spoke after the 2-0 win over Inter.

Real Madrid v FC Internazionale: Group D - UEFA Champions League Photo by Berengui/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Real Madrid have won their Champions League group and Carlo Ancelotti is happy to have qualified in first place. He is happy in general with how the team has improved defensively and discussed their defensive approach in his post-match press conference, saying: “We’re doing well. I like how we’re doing defensively, as everyone is doing well individually. We’re showing commitment that maybe we weren’t showing at the start of the season, when we were conceding more goals. Sometimes we don’t press too much high up the pitch and we instead play a low block, but we’re comfortable with that. We have midfielders who maybe can’t defend when the game is open. Perhaps it’s not so aesthetically pleasing, but we’re doing well. There might be teams who are more intense than us, but each team has their strengths. We’re not an intense team, especially defensively, but we have a lot of quality, experience and commitment.”

Asked what he picked Rodrygo for this game over Marco Asensio, the Italian replied: “Some matches I like a more open player on the wing, which is Rodrygo does, while there are matches when I might prefer a player like Asensio who can cut inside. It depends on the tactics of each match. Tonight Asensio scored an incredible goal.”

Luka Jović also got a start in the absence of the injured Karim Benzema and Ancelotti gave his verdict on the Serbian, telling the press: “Luka Jović played very well and helped the team not only in attack. He also helped in bringing the ball out by holding it up well. If Karim can’t play the derby, Luka Jović will play. We now have a few days for us all to rest and recover.”

Ancelotti on Modrić and the need for rest

It surprised some that Luka Modrić started this game and wasn’t rested, but Ancelotti insisted that the veteran midfielder is fine. He said: “Modrić will have to rest at some point. That’s normal. Now, he has five days to rest ahead of the next game. He also recovers well when he’s at home, as he has a relaxed life at home. Valverde and Camavinga are also doing well when they have minutes, so whenever Modrić is tired then one of those others can play and they will put in a top-level performance.”

Ancelotti on whether he wants Barcelona to qualify

Barcelona will take on Bayern Munich on Wednesday night and Ancelotti was asked if he wants Barça to progress. To that, he replied: “I don’t care who goes through. I’ll watch the matches tomorrow because I like Champions League football. But, I don’t mind who goes through or who we get in the draw. The objective here is to win the whole thing, not just to get through the last 16. So, we’ll be fine no matter what happens.”