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Ancelotti: “There is no other Vinícius, but Rodrygo will replace him vs Elche”

All the quotes from the coach’s Tuesday press conference.

Real Madrid v Al Hilal: Final - FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2022 Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Real Madrid are preparing midweek LaLiga action, as they host Elche at the Bernabéu on Wednesday night. Previewing that game, where the squad will present the recently acquired Club World Cup trophy to the crowd, Carlo Ancelotti said: “We feel good and we’re excited to share the trophy with our fanbase. When you win, you want to repeat that feeling. We want to keep winning, so that we can feel it again and so that others don’t get to experience your winning feeling. We’re going to fight in every LaLiga match as if it were the last, starting tomorrow.”

Ancelotti on the injury situation

In his pre-match press conference, the coach also provided an injury update, revealing: “Courtois returned to training today, but he won’t be ready for this game. We’re also without Toni Kroos for this game as he has an issue. But, we’ve got Militão and Lucas Vázquez back.

Ancelotti on playing without Vinícius

Vinícius won’t feature in this game as he is suspended, so the coach was asked how he plans to replace the Brazilian. He said: “There is no other Vinícius. Someone else will play in that position, and that’ll be Rodrygo.”

Ancelotti on Vinícius’ FIFPRO World 11 omission

Another question about Vinícius was brought up, after his fellow professionals left him off the shortlist for the 2022 FIFPRO World 11. Ancelotti explained that he felt the players who cast the votes must have made an error, stating: “I haven’t seen that list, but it’s strange if Vinícius isn’t on it. That must mean they’ve made a mistake.”

Ancelotti on Camavinga at left-back

Now that players in the defence have recovered, it is expected that Eduardo Camavinga will be freed from left-back duties and the Italian confirmed this, stating: “He has shown that in emergency situations he can play there. But, one of the reasons he had to play there was that Alaba was out, yet he’s back now. If there’s no emergency, Camavinga will play in midfield. And by emergency, I mean that there’s Mendy, no Alaba, and all the other circumstances of these last few weeks.”

Ancelotti on Vlahović

Asked about the possibility of Real Madrid signing Dušan Vlahović, Ancelotti dismissed that notion. He said: “That’s an opinion to say we need a No.9. We have a No.9, who is Karim. He’s not young, but we have him for next season at least. I don’t know if he has renewed, though. As a club legend, I believe he has to stay. That said, it’s not the time to talk about next season.”

Ancelotti on Kroos’ contract talks

Another player with an expiring contract is Toni Kroos and the coach hinted that he too will stay. As he put it: “The feeling I have is that he might renew, but he hasn’t told me. I can’t speak for him.”

Ancelotti on Tchouaméni’s form

Aurélien Tchouaméni has been criticised for a few of his recent performances, but Ancelotti defended the player and said: “I think he was very good in the first half of the season, surprising everyone. He hasn’t got back to that level since the World Cup, where he was great. I think the World Cup has had an impact on him. Little by little, he’ll get back to his best.”

Ancelotti on Barcelona’s style

Asked about Barcelona and if their manner of grinding out 1-0 results reminds him of Diego Simeone’s Atlético Madrid, Ancelotti said: “Barcelona are doing very well. They’re very solid, as they’re changed their way of playing a little. They play more centrally and less with wingers. I don’t think you can compare them to other teams, though.”

Ancelotti on jokes with the Brazilians

The coach has already stated that he shouldn’t be linked with the Brazil job while he has a contract at Real Madrid, but did reveal that he has been teased by some of the Brazilians in his squad about this. He said: “They’ve joked about it and laughed about it, rather than ask me seriously. We have a good relationship. The truth, though, is I have a contract here until 2024.”

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