clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ancelotti: “I’m happy because I have players who could have left but didn’t”

The coach previewed the Real Betis game and analysed the transfer market.

Real Madrid Training Session In Madrid Photo By Oscar J. Barroso/Europa Press via Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti covered a number of topics in his Friday press conference, from the end of the transfer window to the Premier League’s spending to Tchouaméni’s adaptation and more. He started off, though, by previewing Real Madrid vs Real Betis, as Los Blancos prepare to play their first home game on Saturday afternoon. ´

On this weekend’s game, the Italian said: “We have a difficult first home game, against a good team that competes well. I don’t think our plan changes when we’re away from home or at home. Maybe we push a little more when we’re at home and try to be a little more aggressive. Tomorrow’s match will be difficult in any case because Real Betis are very good and have also won all their games so far. This is where the season really starts because we’re going to play every three days. I think we’re more of a favourite this season because of what we did last season. But, every year is difficult. I think LaLiga will be more competitive this season than last year. Then, you can never know with the Champions League.”

Ancelotti on Real Madrid’s transfer market

Analysing the transfer window as a whole, which was a quiet one for Real Madrid, Ancelotti reflected: “With Rüdiger and Tchouaméni, it was already done in terms of arrivals. Our doubts were only about exits, with Casemiro or Marco Asensio. One left and one didn’t. But, now I’m happy because I have players who could have left but didn’t leave. These players have always been good when they’ve played. I think everyone here is motivated. A major part of our success last year was the players who didn’t always start.”

Ancelotti on Dani Ceballos

Dani Ceballos was one of those players who stayed and now he faces the club he was linked with. On the Spaniard, the coach said: “He knows his role here very well, that he has a big role. That’s why he decided to stay. I think he feels appreciated it, as he knows we like him.”

Ancelotti on expiring contracts

There are several players with contracts that expire in 2023, but the Italian isn’t worried. He said of this: “It’s not a problem that some players only have one year left on their contract. There are some, like Modrić, Kroos, Benzema or Nacho, who want to stay and will be able to stay. That’s the objective for the club and the players, so it won’t be a problem. Clubs are more aware of their finances these days and more reluctant to invest so much and so far into the future, so you get more players who reach the end of their contracts.”

Ancelotti on the spending of the Premier League

Asked about the Premier League’s spending and how other leagues can catch up, Ancelotti focused on the atmosphere of English football vs Spanish football and how this is an important part of the product. He stated: “I think every league tries to improve the quality of the play, improve the atmosphere, improve the stadiums, avoid violence. I think the English league has gotten ahead in this sense, with the sale of TV rights. Why? Because they’ve made good atmosphere in the English league, they don’t have as much violence in the English league, they have good stadiums in the English league. The Spanish and Italian leagues need to improve in this aspect, above all.”

Ancelotti on selecting his midfield

Ancelotti is excited about the possibilities he has in midfield this season, with the six midfielders he has in the squad. Discussing these options, he said: “We have such a strong midfield as we have every kind of midfielder possible, with youngsters and energy and quality and intelligence and good position. The problem is picking the three to start each match. It’ll depend on the match. If we have a game where we’re in control, Kroos can play there because he is so clean with the passes and controls the tempo. If there’s a game where we need more energy, then Tchouaméni or Camavinga can do better. What’s good is you can also change the dynamic of a game in this way, with in-game substitutions.”

Ancelotti on Tchouaméni’s first few weeks

Discussing Tchouaméni in a little more depth, the coach explained that he isn’t surprised with how well the Frenchman has settled in already. He said: “I’m not surprised. When you spend that much money on a player, you’ve done your homework. Tchouaméni has shown his qualities already and is focused on the work he has to do. He’s still very young and needs to progress. We’re working more on the defensive aspect. I think he defends very well, but we need him to get used to the characteristics of the others players and that will need time. Playing with Modrić and Kroos is different to playing with Valverde and Camavinga, so it’ll take time to work out where he should position himself.”

Ancelotti on Hazard’s role this season

The coach has previously stated that Eden Hazard will have more minutes this season, but the Belgian hasn’t been used much in the first three games. Yet, the Italian pointed out that the season is just getting started, replying: “I think he’ll have a more important role this year than last year. We can’t evaluate it after just three matches. We should do that at the end of the season.”

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

A daily roundup of Real Madrid news from Managing Madrid