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Ancelotti: “Militão and Benzema flew out because they have a chance of playing in the final”

The coach’s pre-Club World Cup final press conference.

Real Madrid Training Session and Press Conference Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Ahead of Real Madrid’s Club World Cup final against Al Hilal, Carlo Ancelotti soke to the media and previewed the game against the Saudi Arabian team. He said: “This is an important title for us because it’s hard to get to this final. Real Madrid respect all finals and I want my players to enjoy the match, because whoever wins tomorrow is champion of the world. We’re facing a good team with good individual quality, with many players who were in Saudi Arabia’s World Cup squad and some who have experience playing in Europe. They beat Flamengo, so we must respect them. Football is changing, becoming more global, with an Asian team in this final and an African team reaching the World Cup semis in Qatar. We feel good and, despite the defeats to Barcelona and Mallorca, we still feel confident”

Ancelotti on Militão and Benzema

Discussing Militão and Benzema, who missed the semi-final but who have since flown out to Morocco, the coach insisted that they have made the trip because they might play, not just to be there for the celebrations. He stated: “They have come out because they have a chance of playing in the final. Today’s training session will be key in determining if they play or not.”

Ancelotti on the state of the midfield

Running through the various members of Real Madrid’s midfield, the coach provided an update, stating: “Dani Ceballos is doing really well and we’re enjoying watching him play, while Kroos is doing well too. Tchouaméni is only just back from injury, but that’s good news. Now that we’re into February, we’re seeing Fede Valverde and Modrić progress physically as well, which is important.”

Ancelotti on whether Real Madrid will sign a new striker

Even if it’s good news that Benzema is back, Real Madrid did drop more LaLiga points during his absence. With the Frenchman not getting any younger, Ancelotti was asked if the club need to sign a new centre-forward, to which he replied: “We’ll speak about that further down the line. You do consider a player’s age, but also what they bring to the team. Benzema is our No.9. He was doing well at the start of the season and will do next season.”

Ancelotti on Rodrygo’s form

Rodrygo has been filling in at No.9 over the past few weeks and Ancelotti spoke about what the Brazilian needs to do now that Benzema is back. He said: “He just needs to keep doing what he’s doing and I hope he keeps scoring important goals. I won’t bet how many he can score, because I still have that bet about Valverde’s tally pending!”

Ancelotti on the Brazil rumours

With talk of the Italian taking the Brazil national team job emerging once again, he addressed those by saying: “I have a contract here until 2024. I don’t know and haven’t heard what they’re saying.”

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