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Ancelotti: “Alaba will play vs Liverpool, you need quality and experience in a final”

The coach already knows his starting XI for the Champions League final.

Real Madrid V Real Betis Balompie - La Liga Santander Photo By Oscar J. Barroso/Europa Press via Getty Images

Real Madrid’s 0-0 draw with Real Betis won’t live long in the memory and Carlo Ancelotti was hardly asked about the game itself during the post-match press conference on Friday night. Instead, the focus was on the Champions League final and he was asked about the line-up, and whether we should expect Rodrygo and David Alaba to start.

The coach replied: “I already know the line-up, it’s clear to me. Alaba will make it. The reason he didn’t play today was that there was no need to take any risks. In a final, you need quality and experience and not just the fittest players. As for Rodrygo, it’s true he has done well when coming on as a substitute, but I think he has also had good contributions as a starter.”

Ancelotti was then asked about Real Madrid’s LaLiga Santander campaign as a whole, having taken 86 points from their 38 games. He replied: “We deserve a good grade because we started well and finished it even better, playing consistently. Some individuals stood out like Courtois, Vinícius and Benzema, but the group as a whole was good and even those who didn’t play didn’t cause any problems.”

Ancelotti on Marcelo and Isco’s Real Madrid legacies

Two of the most memorable aspects of this game came with the farewells to Marcelo and Isco and Ancelotti was asked about both. Starting with the Brazilian, he made sure to point out that there is another game to go, saying: “Marcelo hasn’t bid farewell yet and he is still our captain for the final in Paris. If he leaves after the final, he’ll do so having been one of the best full-backs ever.”

As for Isco, who debuted under Ancelotti in a game against Real Betis, the coach said: “We spoke ahead of the match about the fact he had debuted under me against Real Betis, even scoring a headed goal that day. He has had a fantastic career here and been key to some big successes. Maybe he could have done more here, but I think he has been an important piece this whole time, playing lots of finals and showing his quality. I wish him the best.”

Ancelotti on Bale’s absence

Gareth Bale didn’t get to enjoy any minutes in front of the Real Madrid fans, but this was purely a physical issue. Ancelotti explained: “He wanted to have a farewell, but he couldn’t make the bench because he wasn’t fit enough. I think he will be fit for the final, though.”

Ancelotti on Davide’s absence

Another person who was missing from Friday night’s proceedings was Davide Ancelotti, who was actually in Bale’s homeland. His father explained: “He is doing his UEFA coaching course so had to be in Wales for a couple of days, but he’ll be back here on Sunday.”

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