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Ancelotti raises his voice and defends Vinícius: “He’s not to blame, he’s the victim”

The coach expressed his anger at the Vinícius situation.

FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2022 - Rabat Photo by David Ramos - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Speaking at the pre-match press conference ahead of Real Madrid’s Club World Cup semi-final against Al Ahly, Carlo Ancelotti was angrier than he ever has been about the Vinícius situation. Asked what he thinks about the claims that the Brazilian is partly responsible for what is happening to him and asked if he thinks his teammates should defend him more, the Italian expressed frustration and even raised his voice, responding: “I would ask: Is Vinícius the problem? Are his teammates the problem for not defending him? What does he have to defend himself or be defended from? It is suggested that Vinícius is the problem, but the problem is what happens around Vinícius. Full stop. It’s a problem of Spanish football. I, as part of Spanish football, think we need to solve this. It’s said that Vinícius is to blame, but he’s the victim of something I don’t understand.”

Ancelotti on facing Al Ahly

Discussing the upcoming semi-final and the opponents, he said: “Al Ahly have a great history, they’re among the most important clubs in world football as they’ve won so many titles. They have talented and quick players up front. They’ll be just as motivated to win this title as we are. We respect them a lot, especially given their reputation and place in African football.”

Ancelotti on the injuries

Discussing the state of the squad and providing an update on Thibaut Courtois, Éder Militão and Karim Benzema, who haven’t flown out for the semi-final, the coach said: “I think the team is getting better, even despite this last defeat. I think we’re in good condition to fight for this title. We have injuries, but we’re not the only team with injuries. [Courtois, Militão and Benzema] are all on the squad list, which means we think they could be ready for Saturday. We preferred to leave them in Madrid to continue recovering, but they could come out on Thursday for Saturday’s game, if they’re doing well enough.”

Ancelotti on the importance of the Club World Cup

Explaining how important this trophy is to Real Madrid, he said: “A Club World Cup is a very important event, because it means you’ve done well to quality. We’re excited to play in Morocco, where we have many fans. We’ll look to cap off the fantastic season we had last year, and we’ll look to secure a boost for the rest of this season. The stadium and infrastructure here is good and we’re happy to be here. We hope we can then go back to Madrid with the trophy.”

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