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Ancelotti: “Fede Valverde can get to Steven Gerrard’s level and beyond”

The coach also previewed the Osasuna game.

Real Madrid v Eintracht Frankfurt - UEFA Super Cup Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Club football is back and Carlo Ancelotti had his first press conference in two weeks’ on Saturday. When asked if he’s already thinking about El Clásico on October 16th, the coach dismissed that suggestion and spoke about Sunday’s clash with Osasuna, saying: “The Clásico is still very far away, two weeks’ away. First of all, we have the game against Osasuna. We’re thinking about that and we’ve prepared very well for it. We have to win this game then the next one and then the next one. The Clásico is far away. The players are in good form, even those who were away with their national teams.”

Ancelotti on Real Madrid’s injuries

Lucas Vázquez and Luka Modrić won’t be available against Osasuna, but Karim Benzema does return. Providing an injury update, the Italian said: “It’s not a major problem with Modrić, but even for him to play on Wednesday could be tough. If he can’t make that, he’ll play next weekend. With Lucas, it’s similar to the situation with Modrić, as he could be back on Wednesday, but, if not, then next weekend. With Benzema, I think we’ll see the same Karim as always, a spectacular player. Maybe not having a complete pre-season affected him a little, but he’ll be fine. He hasn’t scored recently because, well, he couldn’t play. He’ll start tomorrow.”

Ancelotti on clubs’ dialogue with national teams

There have been reports over the past week of certain clubs urging national team coaches to rest some of their players. Asked if he has made such requests, Ancelotti denied it, stating: “Whenever I’ve spoken to national team coaches it’s when they’ve called me to ask about the form of our players. I’m obviously not going to call national team coaches during an international break.”

Ancelotti on the fixture congestion

Real Madrid will play almost non-stop between now and the World Cup. Asked about the busy schedule, the coach said: “We’re now going to play every three days. There are a lot of games in a row. There are too many games. Maybe the institutions need to work together more.”

Ancelotti on Luis Suárez’s Fede Valverde comments

Luis Suárez has compared Fede Valverde to Steven Gerrard in an interview and Ancelotti was asked if he agrees. He does and even went a step further, stating: “I agree, yes. He has a lot of characteristics in common with Gerrard. I think he can reach Gerrard’s level and beyond.”

Ancelotti on whether Rodrygo would make the Gala XI

Rodrygo didn’t start the last Champions League final and Ancelotti was asked if the Brazilian would start the match if there was another Champions League final tomorrow. It was a one-word response from the coach as he said: “Yes.”

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