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Ancelotti: “You can’t replace Benzema, but we’ll adapt if he misses games”

The coach previewed the UEFA Super Cup against Eintracht Frankfurt

Real Madrid CF Training Session And Press Conference - UEFA Super Cup Final 2022 Photo by Oliver Hardt - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media on Tuesday evening, ahead of Real Madrid’s first official game of the new season, the UEFA Super Cup against Eintracht Frankfurt in Helsinki. The coach started off his press conference by warning everyone not to be fooled by the Europa League winners’ 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich over the weekend.

He stated: “We won’t be tricked by that result. We can’t forget their good Europa League campaign. They are a dynamic team that play with intensity. To win, we’ll have to fight and play well. We have what it takes to do that, as we’ve been training well and we remain confident after winning the Champions League. We want to carry this positive feeling into this season.”

Ancelotti on his UEFA Super Cup starting line-up

After previously stating that his line-up in Helsinki will be the same as the one which started the Champions League final, he explained why he will be loyal to those players but also joked that opposition coach Oliver Glasner should second guess himself a little. Ancelotti said: “For us to be here, it’s because of the work of those who won the Champions League. We didn’t just win it with 11 players, but I’m going to put the same team that won the Champions League. Or… maybe a doubt or two. The two beside me are definitely playing!”

Ancelotti on challenging for six trophies

Real Madrid are playing for six trophies this season and Ancelotti knows that there will be difficult moments. He said: “We’re going to fight for every competition, although winning all six will be difficult. That’s really difficult. But, it’s a very good squad and I am confident about it. I think it’s a better squad than last year. So, we’re going to compete in every tournament. That’s what we can control. Winning is always special. If we win I feel happy. If we don’t I feel sad.”

Ancelotti on the improvements in the squad

Pressed on his comment about this being a better squad than that of 2021/22, he explained why he believes so much in Antonio Rüdiger and Aurélien Tchouaméni, saying: “I think we’ve signed two players who improve the squad physically and technically. I think the rest of the squad, we all know each other even better now. The connection between the veterans and youngsters was key last year and that should be even stronger now.”

Ancelotti on replacing Benzema

There is no clear backup option for Benzema and Ancelotti almost seemed to suggest that it’s pointless to try. He claimed: “If you lose the best striker in the world for a few matches then that’s hard, as there’s no player who can replace him. If he gets ill, we’ll adapt. But, we do have many forwards, a long list. Karim, Mariano, Hazard, Rodrygo, Asensio… Did I miss anyone?”

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