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Ancelotti: “Rodrygo would be perfect for playing the No.10 in a 4-2-3-1”

The coach’s press conference ahead of Real Sociedad.

Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid - Spanish Copa del Rey Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media ahead of Real Madrid’s Matchday 19 clash against Real Sociedad and started off his press conference by stating: “Real Sociedad are a team playing really well. They have a clear identity and it’s going to be tough for us. We’ll need to have a better first half, compared to the Atlético Madrid game. Dani Carvajal, David Alaba and Aurélien Tchouaméni should all be back on Thursday vs Valencia, but not this one.”

Ancelotti on Real Madrid’s lack of a footballing identity

When it was put to Ancelotti that Real Madrid don’t have a clear footballing identity of their own, he responded: “They also said that that we won the Champions league last season without playing good football. Sometimes we play well and sometimes less so. Real Madrid doesn’t have a clear footballing identity for the simple reason that the club doesn’t want to have one. We want to have a team that can do many things. People say that not having a clear identity means we don’t have good football, but we do have that.”

Ancelotti on using a 4-2-3-1

After the Copa del Rey derby win, Ancelotti stated that he would consider a double pivot of Camavinga and Tchouaméni for the future. Pressed on this and asked if a 4-2-3-1 would work, he replied: “It’s a system that I like, especially for defensive reasons. You have a No.10 with this and this depends. Sometimes Modrić or Asensio have played there and sometimes Rodrygo has played there during matches. I think Rodrygo would be the perfect player to fit in there behind a striker. We’re thinking about it. Although, it’s also true that we’ve already played this system in some moments.”

Ancelotti on Militão’s performances

Éder Militão has been in good form of late and Ancelotti expressed his opinion of the Brazilian’s recent performances, stating: “He’s doing very well, even if he can still improve. He’s already one of the best centre-backs in the world when he is focused. He is good defending one-on-ones, he is good in the air, he is fast. He’s clearly one of the best.”

Ancelotti on Vinícius

Providing an update on Vinícius after what has been a tough week for the Brazilian because of the pre-derby effigy, the coach said: “He prepared for the derby the same as he does any game. He always wants to play. I think he’s doing fine. He worked hard in the game and ran a lot. Although he made many mistakes in the game, he ended up scoring.”

Ancelotti on Atlético Madrid’s statement

After Atlético Madrid released a statement, in which their CEO Miguel Ángel Gil Marín claimed the system of Spanish football helps Real Madrid, this was brought up in the press conference and Ancelotti was asked for his thoughts on it and on the state of refereeing in Spain. He responded: “I haven’t read it, but I’ve heard a bit about it. I respect all opinions, but I’d rather not talk about it. The only system I’m thinking about is which system to play tomorrow. It’s very difficult to be a referee right now. VAR has helped in some ways, because offside is now quite clear, but the subjective decisions can still create controversy. Compared to the 1980s or 1990s, corruption isn’t there like it was. What happens is that referees do make mistakes sometimes. But, in general, the level of refereeing has improved a lot.”

Ancelotti on Everton’s interest in his son Davide

Davide Ancelotti has been linked with the vacant Everton job and the assistant’s father was asked about this and if this is a possibility. The Italian replied: “Davide wants to be a head coach so that’ll happen one day, but not right now. We’re both happy here, but whenever he wants to leave then he can do so without any problems. It’s right that he pursues his own career one day. But, we want to finish the job here first, because we’ve not finished it yet.”

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