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Ancelotti: “When Vinícius plays like this, he is the best in the world”

The coach spoke after the game against Girona

Real Madrid CF v Girona FC - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images

Following a convincing thrashing of Girona, Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti praised his team for the 4-0 win. In particular, he singled out Vinícius Júnior, saying, “he is top class. When he plays like this and with this attitude he is the best in the world, in my personal opinion.”

Ancelotti on who would be the next best in the world

“Bellingham and the third Rodrygo. Fourth, Kroos, then Valverde, Camavinga. Being on the Real Madrid bench today was very comfortable.”

Ancelotti on where Mbappé fits

“He plays for another team.”

Ancelotti on how he feels after the victory

“I’m very happy. We played a game at a very high level. Very humble at the back. We had a very high defensive commitment. It allowed us to defend well, win balls back and take advantage of the quality we have in front of us.”

Ancelotti on a statement win

“It’s a big blow to LALIGA. Girona had never lost away from home. We are well positioned. We have done very well. It will give us energy for the Champions League.”

Ancelotti on the title race

“We have the advantage. A game and a draw ahead. It’s a small one.”

Ancelotti on Bellingham’s injury

“He has a sprained ankle. We will assess it tomorrow.”

Ancelotti on who could replace Bellingham against Leipzig

“When he hasn’t been there, Brahim, Joselu... they’ve all done well. It’s the strength of this team. The difficulty increases the commitment.”

Ancelotti on Bellingham-Zidane comparisons

“He reminds me of Zidane in quality, although Zidane had a higher level of quality, Bellingham completes it with his finishing. His movement in the first goal is one few can do.”

Ancelotti on a name for his attacking trident

“I don’t know, I don’t have much imagination. I hope you come up with one.”

Ancelotti on the defensive plan

“I think we managed the game well. In defence, with a fairly low block to avoid problems at the back given the emergency we had. And then, taking advantage of good ball possession in the opposition half, verticality to make transitions... I think it was a well played game.”

Ancelotti on his central defenders

“They were good. The two centre-backs played very well, helped by the full-backs. The defensive work of the three midfielders was important. And the front three also worked very hard. The defensive commitment was key to keep a clean sheet in this game.”

Ancelotti on Kroos’ role

“Not only that he played almost like a defender, the reason is that against Atlético we didn’t have centre-backs of any height. But now we do with Tchouameni. He didn’t need a pivot in aerial support. Camavinga was better as an interior midfielder in this game.”

Ancelotti on Carvajal on the left side of central defence

“I asked him which side of centre-back he preferred and he said he didn’t care. Tchouameni said he preferred the left. He looked like he had played his 400 games at centre-back. You can’t teach him anything, he has everything. We had our youth centre-backs injured. Marvel, Carrillo... I called Jacobo, but he’s a youth player. Before that I have to look at my team, and there were players to play as central defenders. Tchouameni and Carvajal.”

Ancelotti on his team’s humility

“I meant that it’s not hard to run without the ball. Sometimes it costs you to sacrifice more. The sacrifice was total.”

Ancelotti on Rüdiger’s injury

“It’s the knock from Getafe. The bruise has been difficult to remove. Yesterday he tried but in normal running, in changes of direction it bothers him. We preferred not to risk it. Nacho will be back on Tuesday.”

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