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Ancelotti: “Players who have played less have an opportunity to show how good they are”

The coach spoke ahead of the game against Cádiz

Real Madrid Training Session Photo by Antonio Villalba/Real Madrid via Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti led Real Madrid’s final training session before travelling to take on Cádiz as Los Blancos return to LaLiga action on Sunday against the Andalusian side. Following the session, he spoke to the press at Valdebebas, where he was asked about the number of injuries which have impacted his team during the international break. He responded: “The truth is that we’ve had injuries which have hurt us. We have always been competitive despite the absence of Militão, Courtois, Vinícius, Bellingham, so we’re going to play with all our confidence and hope that they are back soon. I think the team is good and convinced that we can cope with these problems, because our squad gives me a lot of confidence and those who have played less now have an opportunity to show how good they are.”

Ancelotti on the fixture list

“The calendar can’t be sustained. Those who prepare it have to take a look at it. Now we have this problem, it will be worse because we’ll have a World Cup with more games and a Champions League with more games. They have to agree between LaLiga, UEFA, and so on. The solution is very simple, reduce the number of games. There’s nothing the players or coaches can do. We have more games in the Spanish Super Cup, more games in the Champions League, more games in the World Cup.”

Ancelotti on how to reduce the number of games

“Anything is good for me if it reduces the number of games. I think reducing the number of games reduces the number of injuries and improves the level of quality. I’ve seen games end 8-0, 14-0 in this international break, I don’t think that makes much sense.”

Ancelotti on whether players would take a pay cut to play less games

“I think so. It’s not a problem about wages. If you improve the quality on show, I don’t think it’s an issue with wages. I don’t think players or coaches have any issues with wages.”

Ancelotti on his future

“In the worst case, you’ll find out in six months, and that’s nothing in comparison to a whole life. I don’t think about my future.”

Ancelotti on links to the Brazil national team

“I’m very proud that one of the biggest national teams in the world like Brazil can talk about me, but what’s clear is that I have a contract until June 30, and until then I won’t talk about my future.”

Ancelotti on his future, again

“I’ll repeat it, soon everything will be clear. In the worst case, in six months. Of course, I would wait for Real Madrid to the final day.”

Ancelotti on Xabi Alonso’s praise for him

“I’d like to thank Xabi, I had a very good time with him, he had a quality as a pivot which was impressive. He’s having an excellent career and he has the quality, football knowledge and personality that a coach needs to be successful. I like him as a coach, I like how his team plays. He’s one of my favourite coaches, like Thiago Motta at Bologna who I also coached. I’m watching them and obviously Xabi has the profile to be a Real Madrid coach. He knows the club and is loved here because of his fantastic time as a player so I think he could be a future Real Madrid coach.”

Ancelotti on David Alaba as an option in midfield

“No. We have resources. Ceballos is coming back and he’s good, he hasn’t played much but in the midfield we have many resources and we’ve seen that since pre-season. Bellingham is coming back and he can play as an interior midfielder. Maybe we are missing some options up-front, but we have players and Gonzalo is with us who is progressing very well, and Nico Paz behind him. We have a lot of injuries but I’m very confident with my squad. Vinícius hasn’t played for a month and we’ve had good results. Bellingham didn’t play, it seemed that we were dependent on him, and we scored five goals against Valencia. When a player is injured, on a personal level, you see them sad, but it can happen.”

Ancelotti on Fede Valverde

“Federico is an option as a pivot, like Kroos could be, if we play with a double pivot as we have lately. We have many options, Ceballos, Modrić too.“

Ancelotti on Rodrygo Goes’ fitness

“Rodrygo is good, he’s only trained today but the small knock he had on his knee has gone and tomorrow he can play.”

Ancelotti on Álvaro Rodríguez

“When he was in our squad, he did very well and was very good. Then his form went down a little with Castilla, and now he’s back in the good form that he had last season. He’s playing less because he has the same profile as Joselu, so I prefer to call on Gonzalo because he can play as a centre-forward or as a winger.”

Ancelotti on Nacho and his capataincy

“The role of a captain doesn’t have to play every game. He has to be a leader, how Nacho is, how Marcelo was, how Sergio Ramos was, who lead by example and with seriousness. Nacho is a perfect example of a captain, even if he doesn’t play every game. He’s happy with his role and obviously, everyone wants to play more, but he’s happy.”

Ancelotti on claims he asked for respect from referees

“Someone has made a mistake. I asked for respect for the coaches who don’t get paid when they are fired. If I get fired and they don’t pay me, that’s fine. But if you fire a coach who is planning on that contract for two or three years and don’t pay them, that is not okay. In many cases, they fire you and don’t pay you and you have to go to court to ask for what is written in your contract. That isn’t about respect between coaches and referees, but respect towards coaches.”

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