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Ancelotti: “I’d walk to Saudi Arabia for 500 million euros!”

The Real Madrid coach spoke to the press before facing Real Betis

Real Madrid training and press conference Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

With an afternoon training session scheduled for the Real Madrid team on Friday, coach Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the press at Valdebebas before leading his players out onto the field. As he did so, he made everyone laugh by saying, “I’d walk to Saudi Arabia for 500 million euros! Don’t even book me a flight, I’ll walk. I’m joking, everyone makes their own choices,” he explained. “The world is changing, and it will change more. Jon Rahm is very good, I’m no golf expert, but he seems to be the best to me.”

Ancelotti on if he has received an offer from Saudi Arabia

“No, they haven’t called me. I have other objectives and other ideas. I’ve never thought about money because I grew up in a family where money was not the most important thing. For me, I have to find myself in a good environment. Right now, that is here.”

Ancelotti on preferring questions about his future or Kylian Mbappé

“You’ve got it wrong on both sides. I’ll let you have another question. I won’t talk about either of those.”

Ancelotti on Kepa’s return and handling Andriy Lunin

“Kepa is back, he’s trained well and is good. It’s good that we have two goalkeepers we can trust, and tomorrow I’ll choose one of the two of them. There’s competition in goal because Lunin has done very well when he’s played, but it’s a decision I’ll take tomorrow and ahead of the next few games.”

Ancelotti on why Kepa isn’t guaranteed to start

“Lunin’s games have been good. He deserves me to take him into account, that he can play like Kepa. Nothing has changed with Kepa, we still trust him just as we did. Lunin has shown character and personality. The good thing is that we have both, and one could play and the other could. One could play tomorrow but another another time, there could be rotation.”

Ancelotti on facing Isco on Saturday

“I’ve seen Isco, he’s back at his best level. I’m very happy to see it. I think he has brought a lot to football. He’s had a tough time but now he’s past that. Tomorrow, obviously, we have to control him because he’s doing very well.”

Ancelotti on a full week of training

“We’ve had time to prepare the game in the best possible way, to recover. After the Granada game, we had two days off and have been able to prepare with good physical and tactical training. I think that’s what a team needs. Sometimes a week without games allows the team to breathe and can play at a higher level.”

Ancelotti on Bellingham’s fitness

“Bellingham is working on his own because he still has to recover from the ankle injury he had against Napoli. He’s recovered well. The shoulder is something he has to look after to strengthen it on his own. He hasn’t had any problem to play, and every day that goes by, he is improving in that sense.”

Ancelotti on if Bellingham needs surgery

“Not right now. The shoulder is very particular. If it happens again or keeps happening, maybe, but we will see.”

Ancelotti on when injured players will return

“Courtois and Militão are recovering well. Tchouameni and Arda are close to being back to fitness and training with us. Campinga and Vinícius will be next year, but when we are back after the winter break, I think they’ll be with us.”

Ancelotti on Arda Güler

“Güler is in the final phase of recovery. Next week he’ll start working at full intensity. He’ll be ready, maybe for the last few games of the year, otherwise next year. He’s looking good. I talk to him every day, like all the injured players, but it takes a lot of time because there are so many injured players.”

Ancelotti on Real Betis

“It will be a difficult game because Betis are doing very well. Especially at home, they are solid and well organised. We have to try to do our best and try to win, to continue our good form that we’ve had lately. The game will be difficult, but we’re confident of doing a good job.”

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