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Ancelotti: “I read that I have something against Brahim, but that’s not true”

The coach also discussed the Braga game and the January market.

Ahead of Real Madrid v Braga - UEFA Champions League Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu via Getty Images

Ahead of the Real Madrid vs Braga game in the fourth matchday of the Champions League group stage, Carlo Ancelotti previewed the match as so: “Being able to qualify after four games would be good at this stage of the season. It’ll be a tough game against a team who knows us well, since we just played. They’ll want to take something from the Bernabéu. They caused us problems towards the end of the first meeting, when we thought the game was won. We’ll have to be good in defence against Braga.”

Ancelotti on the Champions League favourites

He also discussed the favourites for the competition as a whole, stating: “There aren’t usually many surprises in this competition. I think the main contenders from previous years are playing at a high level and will challenge again, apart from Liverpool since they’re not in it this year. But, I’ve seen many games and Bayern, PSG and Manchester City will be there, along with the Spanish teams, as it seems Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid will go through. I think there will be more Spanish teams there compared to previous years.”

Ancelotti on the lack of goals

Discussing the team’s lack of scoring, Ancelotti pointed out: “We have to be patient, as there are times when a forward scores every they touch and times when they’re less effective. Rodrygo shoots more than any player in LaLiga, so he is moving well and coming close, even if the shot isn’t always going in. We’ve improved a lot in defence so aren’t conceding as many, and that means you don’t have to score as many.”

Ancelotti on Bellingham’s shoulder

On Jude Bellingham and whether he’ll play against Braga, Ancelotti said: “I don’t know if he’ll play, but the fact he trained today is a good sign. He was comfortable in the training, but he didn’t complete it all just to avoid hurting the shoulder more. I’ll evaluate it with him tomorrow.”

Ancelotti on Puyol’s Vinícius comments

After Carles Puyol said he’d like to speak to Vinícius about his attitude, Ancelotti was asked for a response and said: “If Puyol wants to speak with him, let him speak. We think Vinícius keeps making a difference. Does he have to improve his attitude in some circumstances? Maybe. But, we think he has already improved a lot. We’re very happy with him, with how he’s playing football. It’s true that in the last couple of games he has been a bit disconnected in some moments. But, to keep saying it’s his attitude, it’s not true. His attitude has improved a lot compared to other years.”

Ancelotti on the January transfer market

Real Madrid’s rumoured interest in Gonçalo Inácio was brought up, but Ancelotti shut down the idea of making a winter signing. He said: “We don’t have any plans for the winter market. We should keep in mind that Courtois and Militão will come back. I don’t know when, but they’ll be back before the end of the season. In summer, I hope we’ll do something.”

Ancelotti on Brahim’s lack of minutes

Discussing Brahim Díaz, he said: “He hasn’t had many minutes, but I know he can contribute. The competition is very high. I like him as a player, while he is also serious and professional. He’ll have a role, maybe tomorrow or in future games. I read I have something against him, but that’s not true. I even have a special affection for him because he has played for AC Milan!”

Ancelotti on Endrick’s Brazil call-up

Finally, Ancelotti has a brief comment on Endrick’s call-up for the Brazilian national team. The coach said: “I think he deserves it because he is doing very well in Brazil. He still has a lot of competition ahead of him.”

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