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Ancelotti: “If it wasn’t for Sergio Ramos’ goal in Lisbon, I probably wouldn’t be here today”

They will be reunited when Real Madrid take on Sevilla

Real Madrid CF v CA Osasuna - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media in Valdebebas ahead of the team’s return to action after the international break, with Los Blancos travelling to Andalusia to take on Sevilla on Saturday. All eyes will be on the reunion between Carlo Ancelotti and Sergio Ramos, and the coach did not hold back in reflecting on their connection as he said: “I’d love to see him and say hello. Of all the players I’ve had, I have a special affection for him. The fact that I’m here today is thanks in part to Sergio Ramos, if it wasn’t for his goal in the final, I probably wouldn’t be here. For everything he’s done at this club, we all have a special affection for him and me in particular. It will be a great game for him and I’m sure he’ll play very well. If he scores or not, he can do what he likes.”

Ancelotti on Rodrygo’s comments on playing as a nine

During the international break, Rodrygo Goes spoke publicly about how he dislikes playing as a number nine for Real Madrid, which Ancelotti was asked about. He reacted strongly with a clear, cutting answer: “I think it’s important to know where a player wants to play because I’ve never put a player in a position he doesn’t like. Sometimes, but sometimes players have to sacrifice themselves, like Camavinga, Tchouameni, Rodrygo. I think he’s a complete forward who can play as a centre forward, he did it in some games, against Napoli, and it’s about the demands of the team, then the demands of the individual. Obviously, if I put Camavinga at left-back, I tell him and nobody has ever told me they can’t. Once I played Sergio Ramos as a pivot, obviously he didn’t like it, but he did it for the team. There’s a well-defined word which is called altruism.”

Ancelotti on the fitness of his players

The coach had trained with his squad on Friday morning and gave a fitness update by saying: “The team is good, those who have come back have done so in good shape. The last ones to come back from South America have recovered well and trained well today. Everyone is available, including Alaba who has recovered. Ceballos had a slight issue on Thursday and won’t be available this week. It’s going to be an important week, we think we’re in a good place to take on this week.”

Ancelotti on internationals coming from South America

Asked specifically about those coming from South America, with the complications of jetlag and travelling long distances, Ancelotti insisted: “From what I’ve seen today they all seem to have recovered well and look fresh, obviously we have to look at it but after training I think they are ready to start and to finish the game.”

Ancelotti on international teams using his players

Ancelotti was also asked about whether he thought international coaches were perhaps a little selfish in their use of players, citing Antonio Rüdiger as an example after he played in two friendlies in the US with Germany. The coach explained: “We’re all a bit selfish. Everyone has their role and, I’ve said it many times, I don’t like to talk about what others do. If the German national team think Rüdiger has to play, he has to, he’s a bit tired but recovered. The calendar is a bit too tight.”

Ancelotti on his future

One journalist informed Carlo Ancelotti that Saturday will be his 1,300th game as a coach, before also asking about his future. “Thanks for telling me!” he joked, before then addressing the question by saying: “Obviously I’m very happy here, but I’m also a bit selfish yes, I think that it’s necessary to do your job well. You gave me a difficult question, do you want to know if I want to renew or not? I won’t talk about my future, my future is tomorrow and Wednesday.”

Ancelotti on possibly taking the Brazil job

After being recognised in Parma during the break, rumours about a future job with Brazil swirled, but Ancelotti refused to get drawn into the topic by saying: “I stuck with the emotion of being in Parma where everything started, with all these emotions. There’s a lot of rumours and I think soon everything will be clear.”

Ancelotti on a young midfield

Asked about his midfield selections through the season, Ancelotti looked to point to the demands of the schedule and a need for rotation: “I think these youngsters can help us, we have had some weeks to prepare for this game so we don’t need to rotate because players are tired. Then we have games every three days and we need the whole squad motivated to be ready. This midfield hasn’t been repeated but it could be.”

Ancelotti on refereeing controversies

Following an interview with Xavier Estrada Fernández and claims of a secret VAR room, Ancelotti appeared reluctant to comment on the accusations. He said: “I don’t know if there was a room or not, I don’t want to get involved in that. There are much more important topics, I’ll leave the referees to work as well as they can without too much pressure because they already have a lot.”

Ancelotti on Arda Güler

Providing an update on midfielder Arda Güler, Ancelotti revelaed: “He’s training well, he’s missing a bit of conditioning and in 10 days, two weeks, we think he’ll be ready. He can play as an offensive player who can play in many positions, centre forward, playmaker, winger, on his weaker foot, he can play in many places.”

Ancelotti on Güler’s adaptation

Adding to that, the Italian recognised that it has been a difficult start to life in Madrid with injuries preventing the Turkish youngster from making his debut so far. He explained: “Everyone dedicates time to Arda, he’s young and has to adapt. He’s not happy because he wanted to start differently but he has all the time in the world to do things well and he’s almost ready. He’s ready to show his enormous ability.”

Ancelotti on Joan Laporta’s claims about “sociological Madridism”

Asked about claims from Barcelona president Joan Laporta that him being accused of corruption is part of a wider problem, Ancelotti responded: “I say what I said before, talking about racism, we shouldn’t distract from the very serious topic that the courts are investigating and we have to leave them to work and decide what they have to do. All the rest, all the words, is a way of distracting attention which is not good for justice.”

Ancelotti on what worries him about Sevilla

Facing a new coach in Diego Alonso, Ancelotti was keen to highlight the demands of an opponent like Sevilla. He said: “There are many things that worry me. Sevilla is going to be a demanding game, they’ve changed coach and have a quality squad. It will be a difficult game like always. What worries me more is that we’ve forgotten all the good work we did before the break, we played very well, and can now get back to that level.”

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