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Ancelotti: “Football’s problem is that sometimes VAR decides, not the referee”

The Real Madrid coach spoke after the win over Alavés

Deportivo Alaves v Real Madrid - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by David S.Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Following Real Madrid’s late win over Alavés on Thursday night, coach Carlo Ancelotti faced the press for the last time in 2023 to discuss his team’s performance. One of the talking points was the red card for his captain, Nacho, but Ancelotti appeared to criticise the decision, saying: “It was a foul which the referee saw as a yellow card and the VAR saw as a red card. That’s the problem of football... Sometimes VAR decides, not the referee.”

Ancelotti on the team’s celebrations

“Yes, because the game was complicated. With one man sent off, everyone thought we could slip up, but this team has unknown levels of energy. We defended well and we got the reward.”

Ancelotti on Lucas Vázquez

“That’s two games where we put Lucas in the box, he scored today and he gave the assist against Villarreal, because he’s very alive in the box. We’re very satisfied, because it was a difficult night and shows the team’s enormous commitment.”

Ancelotti on Girona as their closest title rivals

“Drawing against Betis isn’t so simple. I watched the game and they showed all the quality they’ve shown in the first half of the season. they don’t have European competition, and I think they will fight until the end, like Atlético Madrid and Barcelona, and, watch out, I think Athletic Club are doing very well too.”

Ancelotti on Rodrygo’s injury

“Rodrygo is a bit tired, obviously with 10 men for half an hour, it’s an enormous effort. I think that’s why we deserved to win at the end.”

Ancelotti on Bellingham’s third yellow card in as many games

“Today was a foul, not dissent. He doesn’t have to change his attitude because that’s what has helped him score 14 goals. If he’s suspended for a game, someone else will play. He shouldn’t change his attitude because that’s what has made him spectacular.”

Ancelotti on Tchouameni

“He’ll get angry, but he’s a spectacular central defender. He plays very well, gets the ball out from the back like very few players can, he’s tactically aware. He’s very lucky to have chances to play for Real Madrid, as a pivot and as a central defender.

Ancelotti on the Super League

“I think it’s an important decision for all of football, every club. There are clubs who aren’t as convinced, but the fact that there isn’t a monopoly to manage our world, I think it’s positive for clubs, our players, and they can manage the international calendar which is what worries us right now. Time will tell us, but I’m convinced that it will be positive for everyone.”

Ancelotti on the Super League format

“I haven’t had time today to look at the format. I think it’s a good decision for football.”

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