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Ancelotti: “Giannis Antetokounmpo’s comments about failure were spectacular, I agree 100%”

The coach also previewed the Real Sociedad game.

Real Madrid CF v UD Almeria - LaLiga Santander Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Ahead of the Tuesday night Real Sociedad vs Real Madrid match, Carlo Ancelotti held a press conference on Monday and previewed the game as so: “It’ll be tough because we’re playing a good team and we have some players out, due to injuries and suspensions. Alaba is still out, even though he is returning to the group. Modrić is also still out, but there’s good news as he could be back for Saturday’s final. I’m not going to make lots of rotations other than the forced ones. The kick-off time is 22:00, which makes no sense but which gives us plenty of time to recover for Saturday.”

Ancelotti on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s comments

The coach was asked in this press conference about Giannis Antetokounmpo’s comments following the Milwaukee Bucks NBA playoffs elimination, when the Greek star spoke eloquently about the word “failure” in sports. Asked if he’d seen those quotes and what he thought of them, Ancelotti said: “What he said was spectacular. I have nothing to add. I agree 100 percent with him. You can’t speak about failure in sport or in life. Failure only happens when you don’t try to give your best. But, if you do give your all, it is never a failure, not only in sport. Sometimes it works out well, but sometimes it doesn’t. You lose a lot more than you win in sport. I may have won many titles, but I’d need a whole house and not a cabinet for all the trophies I haven’t won.”

Ancelotti on Kroos as a pivot

Discussing Toni Kroos’ move to the pivot and the fact that the German has previously said he doesn’t like that position so much, Ancelotti said: “Kroos just likes to play football, no matter the position. He can perfectly play as a pivot or elsewhere in the midfield. He has no problem with it. He doesn’t need to be convinced to play there. Having him there helps us a lot with bringing the ball out.”

Ancelotti on Takefusa Kubo

Asked about Takefusa Kubo, who is doing well in Real Sociedad and could yet return to Real Madrid one day, he said: “He has been with this club in the past and now he’s doing really well with Real Sociedad. We’ll speak about his future in the coming months, keeping in mind that there’s a lot of competition in our squad and not many minutes to go around.”

Ancelotti on Nico Paz

Asked about 18-year-old Nico Paz and his progression, Ancelotti said: “He can make it to the first team. He is doing very well with Arbeloa and with Raúl too when he has played with Castilla. If he continues like this, he is on course to make the first team.”

Ancelotti on whether Real Madrid need to sign a No.9

Looking to the future, the coach was asked if he thinks Real Madrid should sign a No.9 this summer. He responded: “The forward line is working very well, last year and this year. Although Benzema has had ups and downs, the likes of Vinícius and Rodrygo are progressing well. Given Benzema’s age, the club’s long-time project will mean signing a No.9 at some point.”

Ancelotti on whether a red card would actually help Vinícius

It was put to Ancelotti that it might actually be good for Vinícius if he is shown a red card on one occasion for protesting, to help him learn to control his frustrations with the officials. But, the coach wasn’t buying that theory. He responded: “No, he doesn’t need a red card. With all the yellows he’s received, I think that’s enough.”

Ancelotti on the final vs Castilla

The 1980 Copa del Rey final, when Castilla went all the way to the final and faced Real Madrid, was brought up in this press conference. Asked how that would look nowadays, Ancelotti didn’t give much of an answer. He simply said: “I know about that final, but now we can’t face them in official competitions. I think these teams do need to be separated.”

Ancelotti on Brazil’s deadline

Asked about the reports that Brazil have set a deadline for Ancelotti to decide if he wants to take that job, he said: “I’ve said that I won’t speak about my future… but I’ll tell you that there’s no deadline. There’s no deadline because I’ve never spoken with them.”

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