clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ancelotti: “If we can’t have Benzema-dependence, I hope we have Vinícius- or Rodrygo-dependence”

The coach spoke about trying to replace Benzema.

Celtic FC v Real Madrid: Group F - UEFA Champions League Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Real Madrid will be without Karim Benzema for at least the next couple of matches and Carlo Ancelotti shared his thoughts on playing without the No.9. The coach said at his Saturday press conference: “Benzema won’t play on tomorrow [against Real Mallorca], on Wednesday [against RB Leipzig] and we’ll see for the Madrid derby next Sunday. Obviously, if he doesn’t play the derby then he won’t go away with France.”

Asked if he has considered shifting away from the 4-3-3 in the absence of the Frenchman, the coach replied: “The system will be the same. That was the case for the rest of the Celtic game. We played well against Celtic without him and I hope we can do likewise tomorrow. Hazard did well when he came on against Celtic and I’m going to play him tomorrow and I hope he can have another good game. Maybe Hazard won’t score as many goals as Benzema, but that’s not what I ask of him. We have resources to overcome this, as we also have Mariano. If we can’t have Karim-dependence, I hope we can have Vinícius-dependence or Rodrygo-dependence. Being dependent on a player must mean they’re scoring and that can be positive.”

Ancelotti on Real Mallorca

Speaking about Sunday’s opponents, Ancelotti told the media: “Mallorca have done well and defended well in the past few games. They’ve only conceded three goals and they were all penalties, so we’ll need to prepare this game well. I think they’ll focus on defending and try just to play on the counter attack.”

Ancelotti on whether or not to use data

Staying on the topic of injuries, Ancelotti was asked whether he and his staff use stats and data to make their decisions and he explained that he still prefers to trust his instinct, saying: “We have physical and technical data and I have to keep that in mind, but this can only confirm what I see with my eyes. If my eyes see a player is tired and the data says the same then he’ll rest. If my eyes see a player is fine on the pitch but the data says he’s tired, he can still play.”

Ancelotti on Vinícius’ dancing celebrations

Vinícius’ celebrations in front of opposition fans have been the subject of a debate in Spain this week and the coach was asked about this and if he thinks these celebrations are a problem, but he defended his player, stating: “He dances very well, so I don’t think anyone should be annoyed! We want him to keep playing as he is with his good attitude. Maybe he’ll score more or maybe he’ll score less than last year, but he remains decisive.”

Ancelotti on possession football

Although Real Madrid scored a goal against Celtic that contained 33 passes in the move, Ancelotti spoke about how this is a rarity in modern football. He said: “We scored a goal after 33 passes on Tuesday, as we were trying to control the game with possession in that moment and that finished with the goal. To score a goal after 10 passes is now very rare, according to the stats. The stats seem to suggest that it’s easier nowadays to score with fewer than 10 passes. I think football is changing and becoming more vertical. I think that’s the case in every country, with possession football being less fashionable than it was a few years ago.”

Ancelotti on Courtois’ knee issue

The coach was asked about Thibaut Courtois’ minor knee issue and why he didn’t train on Saturday morning, although Ancelotti corrected this by stating that the goalkeeper had in fact been part of practice. He replied: “Courtois had a small knee issue, but he trained today normally. Did you not see him? Were you having a coffee? He wasn’t in the rondo, but he was training after not doing so in the past couple of days.”

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Managing Madrid Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Real Madrid news from Managing Madrid