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Ancelotti responds to Xavi: “The pitch is fine, I won’t say what I really want to say”

All the quotes from the pre-Clásico press conference.


Ahead of the Spanish Super Cup final against Barcelona, Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the press and discussed the importance Real Madrid are placing on this mid-season trophy. He said: “We’re not thinking about a sextuple right now, we’re just looking to fight in every competition and every match. We’re going step by step. Every title is important at this club, plus trophies give you confidence to keep going. We’ll fight to win this one, just as we work hard every day to be able to reach finals. We feel comfortable ahead of this final, because we have players who are used to this type of pressure.”

Ancelotti on the squad’s injuries

Providing an injury update, he said: “Apart from the two who stayed in Madrid [David Alaba and Aurélien Tchouaméni] and Lucas Vázquez, everyone else has recovered well. Eduardo Camavinga is fine and I think Éder Militão should be able to recover as well.”

Ancelotti on playing with intensity

Ancelotti was asked about the tactics involved in the most recent Clásicos and if Real Madrid’s superior intensity will be enough. To that, he said: “I don’t know if intensity is the best way to beat Barcelona. To defeat them you have to do many things well, not just intensity. You need to be good in defence, attack, counters, managing the ball and playing through the press. We’ll try to do all of that.”

Ancelotti on Real Madrid’s lack of open play goals

It was put to Ancelotti that six of Real Madrid’s last nine goals came from set plays, including penalties. Asked if they’re working more on developing open play chances, he replied that this isn’t the focus, stating: “No, the main thing we’re working on right now is defending better. The block was better against Valencia, although we had a positioning mistake with their goal.”

Ancelotti on Benzema’s form

Asked for his thoughts on how Karim Benzema has been since his return from injury, he said: “Benzema is back and that brings us a lot of confidence for this second half of the season. The team covered for his absence well in the first half of the season, but now he’s ready for the second half of the season. I think he’s very motivated.”

Ancelotti on winter signings

Ancelotti has already said that Real Madrid won’t be making any January signings, but he was asked again and responded: “The schedule is really busy, but we don’t need to sign players in the transfer market.”

Ancelotti on Xavi’s complains about the pitch

Xavi isn’t happy with the King Fahd International Stadium pitch, claiming it is too hard. Ancelotti was asked for his view and replied: “I liked the pitch. This is a subject that has created controversies over the years and I don’t want to say here what I wanted to say. The pitch might be a little hard, but it’s fine and you can play good football here.

Ancelotti on meeting Cristiano Ronaldo

After Cristiano Ronaldo visited Real Madrid training on Friday, Ancelotti explained how that was and stated: “I saw Ronaldo yesterday and he’s happy, really motivated. He likes the place and the country. I think he’s doing well and I think he made the right decision coming here.”

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