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Ancelotti: “Vinícius is the most decisive player in world football right now”

The coach shared all his emotions from what was a historic night for Real Madrid. 

CA Osasuna v Real Madrid CF - LaLiga Santander Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Real Madrid’s 5-2 comeback win at Anfield was one for the history books, yet Carlo Ancelotti remained confident throughout, even when down 2-0. As he explained in his post-match press conference: “We suffered a lot at the start and we obviously didn’t want to start the match the way the did. When we were 2-0 down, I thought back to the Manchester City semi-final. But, we did better this time because we pulled it back even quicker. As happens with this team, we kept a cool head and our quality allowed us to get back into the game. The veterans helped us a lot to stay cool. Our forward line’s efficiency allowed us to get back in the game. Rodrygo, Vinícius and Benzema were very smart. When we got through Liverpool’s press, we caused them problems. Then, we also got better defensively. In the first half, they caused problems to us on our left, but we got better as the game progressed.”

Ancelotti on Nacho’s impact on the game

Asked if the improvement on the left side was a result of Nacho coming in for the injured David Alaba, Ancelotti replied: “The problem we had on our left was because I told Modrić to press Fabinho more, plus Vinícius was quite open. In the second half, we put Valverde there and that helped. But, it’s true that Nacho did well in every sense, as he always does. It doesn’t matter if he plays right-back, left-back or centre-back. He has a footballing intelligence like few others.”

Ancelotti on wanting an open game

The coach had said in the pre-match press conference that he wasn’t sure how attack-minded he wanted to be. After the game, he spoke about this and discussed his decision to go ultra offensive, playing both Rodrygo and Valverde. He said: “I had been thinking a lot about the line-up. I knew this was different to the final, because it’s a two-legged tie, so I knew scoring here would be important. That’s why I opted for a dangerous forward line. We wanted this to be an open game. The strategy compared to last year’s final was different. In the final we played a low block, but tonight we played different. We have taken the advantage in this first leg, but we’ll need to manage the second 90 minutes well in Madrid. I know Liverpool are dangerous, as they showed in the opening minutes here.”

Ancelotti on Vinícius’ contribution

Discussing the contribution of Vinícius, who scored the two equalising goals, Ancelotti said: “In my personal opinion, Vinícius is the most decisive player in world football right now. There’s no player with his continued insistence with dribbling, assists and goals, nobody who is more decisive right now. I hope he keeps it up.”

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