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Ancelotti: “It’s going to be very hard to decide the starting line-up for El Clásico”

This is what the coach had to say after the 6-0 win.

Real Madrid V Real Valladolid - La Liga Santander Photo By Oscar J. Barroso/Europa Press via Getty Images

Following Real Madrid big 6-0 win over Real Valladolid, Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media and praised his team’s performance while also pointing out that they didn’t start the game so well. He analysed the afternoon’s work as so: “The final stretch of the season started today, that’s what I told the players. We’ve started this stretch of the season well, even though we didn’t start this game well. Valladolid had early chances. But, we leave this game with a good feeling because we were as clinical as we usually are, after a few games of not taking our chances.”

Ancelotti on playing four forwards

Discussing his decision to play four forwards – Benzema Vinícius, Rodrygo and Asensio – from the start, the coach explained: “We started 4-4-2 with Rodrygo and Benzema up front, but then changed Rodrygo’s position, which changed the game because Asensio was freer and it made Rodrygo more efficient. Sometimes Rodrygo is more efficient centrally or sometimes more wide, depending on the opponent. It was better to have Rodrygo out wide than in the centre today. With four forwards, it can be hard to have balance in the team. But, the forwards combined really well together and the goals made this a simple game for us. They did all they were supposed to do with the ball, although they can improve without the ball. There was a lot of fluidity and that’s what we had worked on.”

Ancelotti on Benzema’s hat-trick

On the man of the match Benzema, Ancelotti said: “Obviously Karim had a great game, scoring three in seven minutes. The work he did during the international break has helped him a lot.”

Ancelotti on Rüdiger’s injury

Antonio Rüdiger had to pull out of the squad because of a knee issue and the coach was asked for an update. He said: “We don’t know yet. He’ll have a test tomorrow on that knee, but I don’t think it’s a serious problem. He was able to walk fine today without any pain.”

Ancelotti on his Clásico line-up

Looking ahead to Wednesday’s Clásico second leg, Ancelotti was asked about his starting XI and responded: “It’ll be very hard to decide the line-up for Wednesday. It’s not a normal tie because we have a disadvantage on aggregate. It could be 90 minutes or 120 minutes. Rodrygo is an option to start or to come off the bench. We’re 100 percent ready for this game and all we’ll be thinking about now is winning on Wednesday.”

Ancelotti on his future

Once again, the Italian was asked about his future and if he had received many calls or WhatsApp messages following his comments about the Brazilian national team job in the pre-match press conference. To that, he replied: “No, I didn’t receive any calls or WhatsApps. Not many people have my number! Who knows what’ll happen in the future. I am calm and feel secure. My contract is until 2024 and I plan to see that out. I already spoke about this yesterday. I don’t want to talk about my future every three days in every press conference. You journalists would get tired too, no?”

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