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Ancelotti: “I understand Xavi’s decision”

The Real Madrid coach spoke before playing Getafe

Real Madrid Training Session Photo by Antonio Villalba/Real Madrid via Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the press ahead of Real Madrid’s clash with Getafe on Thursday night, but one of the major talking points was about the future of FC Barcelona coach Xavi. ““I understand it,” he said in a brief response when asked about the decision of his rival.

Ancelotti on pressure that coaches face

“I just want to say one thing and I don’t want comparisons. We have a fantastic job, with pressure, which is normal. And I respect everyone, their words and thoughts. Whether it’s Xavi or anyone else.”

Ancelotti on Xavi’s decision

“Like I said, I respect his decisions and his thoughts. That’s it, what I don’t want is comparisons.”

Ancelotti on when he’s felt the most pressure as a coach

“At the beginning of my career, in the Italian Second Division. There I had a hard time handling the stress, to the point of telling an assistant that I wasn’t going to make it to 2000. And here we are, in 2024, I’m still going. Little by little you get used to it and you understand that pressure is the fuel to do your job better.”

Ancelotti on Luka Modrić not warming up

“I said what I think, nothing more. A young man like Güler if he warms up and doesn’t play, nothing happens; but Modric, at 39 years old, five Champions League titles and being a legend... I can’t do it. He knows that.”

Ancelotti on Modrić’s future

“He is a legend of this club and in football. He will have to make his decisions for next season.”

Ancelotti on how he uses substitutions

“The rule has changed, because now more can be made, so of course it has changed. But I never think about the changes before the matches, as I said; although I am aware that one can change the dynamics of a whole match. I think that five is a lot, it can change a lot the identity of a team.”

Ancelotti on Arda Güler

“He’s progressing well, he’s getting better physically every day, getting used to the intensity of this football. Now he is doing well and he will have minutes. But, as I said, we have to be patient. I understand that there is a lot of pressure on him, because a whole country, Turkey, wants to see him play for Real Madrid, but the boy is 18 years old. His time will come.”

Ancelotti on Vinícius Júnior

“I don’t talk to him, I see him training and he is as usual. On a football level, he has reached his best level; he is physically well, contributing a lot. He is always very dangerous. Sometimes he tries when he shouldn’t, but that’s his strength, to insist, to try without stopping. He must do it.”

Ancelotti on how to avoid having to come from behind

“To score first... That would be nice! But, as I said, if it’s our turn to come back and we do, it will mean we have strength in depth.”

Ancelotti on who will start in goal

“I can’t say today, I’m sorry.”

Ancelotti on the importance of the Getafe game

“It’s crucial, very tough, but the team is fine and we will play a great game. We are solid, we play good football and we feel strong. It will be demanding, but we have our confidence intact. It is crucial, I repeat.”

Ancelotti on Getafe’s threat

“Because they are very well organised and dangerous. Mayoral has 14 goals, they are direct, forceful, aggressive in the duels. It is a team that I like very much and I want to congratulate my friend Bordalás. Fantastic work.”

Ancelotti on his relationship with José Bordalás

“He lived here when he wasn’t coaching, we spent time together, we talked about football… We share the idea of this sport, he is a friend. And I am very fond of him.”

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