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Ancelotti: “Some say we should give up on LaLiga, but there are two reasons to keep going”

The coach’s press conference ahead of the Villarreal game.


Carlo Ancelotti held his latest press conference on Friday, looking back at the 4-0 Clásico win and looking ahead to Saturday night’s Villarreal LaLiga game at the Bernabéu. Providing an update on the squad, the coach stated: “There’s a bit of fatigue after Wednesday night, but nobody has an injury except Mendy. We’ll evaluate each player’s fatigue and put out a strong team.”

Ancelotti on Real Madrid’s 2022/23 season overall

Asked to analyse the season so far in general terms, the coach stated: “We’re into a fourth final of this season, so we’re happy. Overall, we’re satisfied with the season so far. It’s true that we’re far behind in LaLiga, but we’ve actually only got four points fewer than we had at this stage last season. The difference is that Barcelona have many more points. Some people say we should give up on LaLiga, but we’re also still thinking about LaLiga. One reason is that league matches can help us remain in good form and have a good atmosphere, while we’ll also keep fighting for it as long as we’re not out of it mathematically. I don’t think there’s a big difference between this season and last season, at this point. The players are motivated and we’ll aim to finish the season well, which means winning at least another trophy.”

Ancelotti on where the 4-0 ranks in his career

One question asked the Italian to place the 4-0 Clásico win in his overall career achievements. The question started by pointing out that he must have coached around 1,100 to 1,200 games in his career, to which Ancelotti replied “it’s exactly 1,272”. Elaborating, he said: “I don’t always know the exact number. But, I looked at it the other day, out of curiosity. I was wondering how close I was to 1,300, because we’ll need to have a celebration for that one. Wednesday’s was an important match, because it meant passage to the final. Where would I rank it? Football-wise, it’s high. Maybe a top 10 moment. But, keep in mind there were many finals in my career and, even if they didn’t always have the best football, I still have fond memories of them. After 1,272 matches, I don’t think I have to demonstrate anything to anyone anymore. I must have given 2,500 press conferences in my career, so please leave me in peace [regarding my future].”

Ancelotti on the futures of Kroos, Modrić and Benzema

Discussing the veteran trio of Kroos, Modrić and Benzema, the coach said: “I think they’ll stay. They’re talking about renewals and I think they’ll find solutions. It is moving forward. They’re speaking. They’re older players, so they could have periods of better form and worse form. But, these three players have a unique way of managing matches. That’s priceless. It comes with experience. Age takes away but it gives you more too. We also have to think about the future. We have Camavinga, Tchouaméni, Valverde, Ceballos. They’ll define an era in Real Madrid’s midfield, but of course it’ll be different from Modrić, Kroos and Casemiro.”

Ancelotti on Vinícius

After a great Vinícius performance on Wednesday, the coach discussed the Brazilian, stating: “Vinícius is doing some really important things football-wise and I hope he can keep this up. He has been training and improving a lot, while he also has more confidence. We have been preparing specific training drills for him to improve his final shot.”

Ancelotti on Alaba’s 2022/23

Now that David Alaba is back, the coach spoke about the Austrian and his complicated second season at the club. He said: “Alaba has had physical problems this season, with a couple of injuries. So, he hasn’t had the consistency of last season for that reason. But, he’s back now and I think he’s doing well. The two clean sheets in a row are in part down to his return.”

Ancelotti on his day off

The coach gave everyone a day off following the Clásico and he was asked what he did with his free time. He replied: “I have to tell you everything now, do I? I went with my wife to Casa de Campo on the bicycles.”

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