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Ancelotti: “I told Vinícius to take a maximum of two touches to score goals”

Also spoke about Alaba, Benzema and more.

Deportivo Alaves v Real Madrid - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media after a near-perfect start to his second stint in charge of Real Madrid, with his side having thrashed Alavés 4-1. All of the goals came in the second half and Ancelotti wasn’t pleased with the first half showing, even if the Italian was content overall.

He started his post-match press conference by stating: “The first half was quite slow, with and without the ball. We could have played better. But, the second half was better, with more intensity and quality. The first goal opened the game up and we had more space for our quality up top. We want to play with intensity, with or without the ball. I don’t think we had the courage to press high up when we could have. We have quick defenders in Éder Militão, Nacho, David Alaba and Lucas Vázquez. So, we could have pressed more.”

Sticking with the defence, he answered questions on Alaba and the left-back position, as well as talking about goalscorer Nacho. On the back line, he said: “It could be Alaba, Marcelo, Mendy, Miguel Gutiérrez or even Nacho at left-back. In the future it’ll change. It’s not definitive, as Alaba can also play very well as a centre-back. Nacho, meanwhile, was great. For me, there are two types of defenders, the optimistic defender and the pessimistic defender. Nacho is a pessimistic defender because he always thinks something bad can happen, so stays focused throughout the 90 minutes.”

Moving on to the attack, Ancelotti compared 2021 Benzema to 2015 Benzema, telling the media: “He has finishing, reading of the game, movement, help across positions... To just call him a forward is too little, because he’s a complete player. He has great personality too. Compared to the Karim from five or six years ago, he’s much more complete and has much more personality.”

Finally, Ancelotti spoke about Vinícius and revealed that he has been discussing finishing with the Brazilian. He said: “Vinícius is very good in one-on-one situations. As for scoring goals, I’ve told him that it’s rare to score after taking five or six touches. To score, you need one touch or maybe two maximum. You have to be in the area. He did very well at the cross where he scored. He’s very young and he’ll improve.”