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Ancelotti: “Real Madrid has the three keys to success: motivation, team spirit and good football”

The coach spoke ahead of the Copa del Rey tie against Atlético Madrid

Real Madrid Training Session Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Before another Madrid derby against Atlético Madrid, this time in the Copa del Rey at the Estadio Cívitas Metropolitano, Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the press on Wednesday. He addressed the team’s good form and moment, saying, “we’re happy at this club, with this dressing room. Success is from the team who have strong team spirit and are motivated. We can’t forget that the team is playing good football. They’re a solid team with a clear idea. That’s what allows you to be success with those three elements, motivation, team spirit and good football. It’s not me who says it, but Sacchi, who I spoke to on the phone yesterday.”

Ancelotti on the team’s moment and form

“The team is good, we’ve had a busy period with the Super Cup but tomorrow is another game, a very difficult one. Atlético have shown in the Super Cup that they can take us to extra-time so, of course, I’m going to play the best team possible taking into account the travel, the tiredness, and hope to win.”

Ancelotti on Atleti not giving a guard of honour

“I want to respect the decision of every club. If they do it, that’s perfect for me. If they don’t, that’s perfect for me too. I respect their decision. Every team takes their own decision, I won’t get involved. Real Madrid has their way of doing things and other teams have theirs.”

Ancelotti on Rodrygo Goes

“Rodrygo is in good form and has been decisive in the last two games. He’s in a good moment and is back at his best level.”

Ancelotti on fitness

“The key to this is hard to say. We’ve had a lot of injuries and we’ve coped. I think the squad is very well balanced and there’s a lot of competition with intensity in training which allows us to have a good physical condition.”

Ancelotti on Brahim Díaz

“He’s come back from two years in Milan with more tactical knowledge and more legs, more strength. He’s at his best in reduced spaces and helps us defensively. In any position, he does important defensive work, on the left or as a centre forward. He’s a complete player who is helping us a lot.”

Ancelotti on the extra-time record against Atleti

“I don’t think so. Every game is different. Tomorrow is a knock-out game, not a league game. We have to keep that in mind as it changes the game. It’s not only 90 minutes, it could be extra-time or penalties. What has happened in the past doesn’t count.”

Ancelotti on Fede Valverde’s best role

“It’s not so clear for me, because I have asked him where he wants to play and he doesn’t mind. He just wants to play and is becoming an indispensable player for us.”

Ancelotti on handling the intensity of Atlético

“We haven’t worked on that at all. We’re playing against a strong rival. I think it will be a more complicated game than in the Super Cup. There’s another title at stake and two teams who can win the Copa del Rey will be fighting for it. It’s a direct elimination tie. We’re focused on that and doing all we can to win.”

Ancelotti on Vinícius Júnior

“He’s back at his best level after the injury. He’s playing in a different way, a bit more central, which makes him more dangerous than playing outside. It makes him more unpredictable and he’s combining well with Rodrygo.”

Ancelotti on what would knock him off cloud nine

“It’s not so complicated to imagine. We just need to win the derby tomorrow.”

Ancelotti on Xavi

“I haven’t gone up against anybody. I respect everyone, it’s a very complicated job and when things don’t go well for a team, the coach is responsible. He has everything he needs to do his job well.”

Ancelotti on Dani Carvajal

“Carvajal is a maestro in his position. Everyone says that since 2013. Thanks to his character and way of being, he’s a very good defender when he’s good physically.”

Ancelotti on Ferland Mendy’s future

“What I see is what a player does in training and on the field. He’s doing very well, but I don’t know how many years he has on his contract, that’s not my problem. He is adding value to the team.”

Ancelotti on possible danger

“We have to get ahead with good form, and danger will come when you are naïve and you have to be ready and prepared. This is a moment of good form, but it could end, it will end one day because we can’t win almost every game always. We have to be ready to get out of the difficult moment quickly when it comes.”

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