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Ancelotti: “No, we haven’t discussed the Vinícius controversy in the dressing room”

The coach was asked several questions about the Brazilian ahead of the derby. 

Real Madrid v RB Leipzig: Group F - UEFA Champions League Photo by Berengui/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti had his pre-match press conference on Saturday ahead of the Madrid Derby and, as was to be expected, there were several questions about Vinícius and the debate that has taken place in the past few days about his dancing and the racist criticism of those celebrations.

The coach, though, made clear in his various answers to questions on this issue that this has not been a big discussion point inside the dressing room. On this issue, he said: “Firstly, I think it’s important to highlight that I don’t usually see this kind of racism in Spain. The club made a statement and Vinícius made a statement and I agree with those. He is doing well and working as hard as ever with the rest of the team. This issue isn’t something we’ve discussed in our dressing room. We’ve been talking about football there. We haven’t discussed it because I think he already discussed it well in his statement. I haven’t given him any advice on this issue, since I’m not his father or brother. I’m not worried about how it might affect the game. I don’t think it’s affecting him, as I’ve seen him with his usual joy. We’re playing a football game and it’s an away game, which we’re used to. Of course, Atlético’s fans will support their team. We’re just thinking about how to defeat them, nothing more.”

Ancelotti on Real Madrid’s injuries

Moving on to discuss the actual game, the coach provided an injury update, saying: “Benzema has started working on his own, but he can’t play in this game. He’ll make the most of the international break to return strong. Militão is ready to play and he could start or come on. That’s one of the doubts for me. I know what our plan is, but I won’t reveal it here.”

Ancelotti on the challenge of facing Atlético

Even if Atlético’s start to the season has been disappointing, the coach still believes the Madrid Derby will be a very difficult challenge. He said: “It’s a tough opponent and a special match, since it’s a derby, but we go into it in good form. We’ll try to give our all in this special match. These matches are always competitive. I think it’ll be a good game of football because of the quality of the teams and the individuals.”

Ancelotti on the Griezmann situation

Diego Simeone has been instructed not to use Antoine Griezmann from the start for most matches and Ancelotti was asked for his thoughts on this. He replied: “For me, it’s a bit strange. I don’t want to say too much about it because I don’t know all the details. Simeone has spoken about it well. He knows what he’s doing because Atlético have been able to compete for titles in Spain and Europe thanks to him. The connection he has with the players is great, that’s a big part of their success. His players always give everything, for their club but also for him.”

Ancelotti on Asensio’s Spain call-up

Even if he hasn’t been used too much by Real Madrid this season, Marco Asensio is in the most recent Spain squad. On this, Ancelotti said: “We’re really happy that he has been called up by Spain. He has the quality to be picked and Luis Enrique has seen that.”

Ancelotti on Rodrygo’s step forward

Rodrygo is playing more this season and the coach said of the Brazilian that: “I think Rodrygo is having more minutes and he’s making the most of them, growing in confidence. It’s important for the players to make the most of their opportunities.”

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