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Ancelotti: “The next 7 days will be important, but not decisive, for the title”

The coach spoke ahead of playing Atlético Madrid

Real Madrid Training Day In Valdebebas Photo By Oscar J. Barroso/Europa Press via Getty Images

Ahead of a third Madrid derby in a month on Sunday night, Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti spoke about Atlético Madrid and how important the next week could be. Asked if it could decide the destiny of the league title, he responded, “it will be important, but not decisive. To win before the Champions League will be key and what’s coming is very, very important. We arrived in the best possible way and we have to take advantage of the home factor.”

Ancelotti on Joan Laporta’s claims of an “adulterated league”

“I am a professional and, as such, I don’t want to go down to this level. Out of respect for Spanish football. So don’t ask any more questions about this. I don’t want to go down to this level.

Ancelotti on Antonio Rüdiger’s fitness

“He has improved a lot and we expect the same today. We will evaluate it tomorrow and make a decision. It’s a knock on a muscle that is not so important, but we have to evaluate it. He will be in the squad. And tomorrow I will decide if he plays or not.”

Ancelotti on central defence options with Ferland Mendy and Dani Carvajal

“Yes, the third option would be Camavinga, who has never done it, but because of his characteristics he can do it. He is quick and forceful. Those would be the three options. But, really, all three give me confidence. In my opinion, the pivot is the most simple job in football, because you have to use your head more than your energy. All three could do it well.”

Ancelotti on not signing a defender

“After Alaba’s injury, we thought that Tchouameni could cover the position in emergencies. Tomorrow is an absolute emergency, but only for one game. And that’s if Rüdiger doesn’t play. But this situation won’t last forever, because Militão is starting to look very good and could be ready for April.... or the end of March.”

Ancelotti on the derby

“It’s another important match, the third time we’ve played each other in a short space of time. They have always been competitive, evenly matched, spectacular. Tomorrow it will be the same. The match has an importance... it’s good to be back at the Bernabéu. It will help us tomorrow.”

Ancelotti on how a Madrid derby compared to a Clásico

“They are intense matches, with a lot of tension... but it’s the same. Both Atlético and Barcelona have everything, quality and organisation. The level is very, very high.”

Ancelotti on facing Simeone for a record 24th time

“He is one of the most difficult, because he manages the team very well. He’s one of the opponents I respect the most because of his ability to read the games. He is one of the most difficult, yes.”

Ancelotti on his criteria to choose a goalkeeper

“Many things, many things. Competition is increasing, but also the uncertainty between them. I see both of them motivated, bearing in mind that nobody is flawless. Tomorrow, another election. You say that nobody has played more than three games in a row.”

Ancelotti on whether he’s shared his criteria with his goalkeepers

“No, they are both fit and I think this situation keeps them motivated. Who plays tomorrow will not be decisive for the future.”

Ancelotti on the importance of Toni Kroos

“He is very important, obviously, but that doesn’t mean that the rest are not. Modrić had a spectacular game in Getafe and Kroos wasn’t there. That shows the strength of this squad. We have a lot of different qualities.”

Ancelotti on the difficulty of leaving out Luka Modrić

“It’s very difficult, because when you have professionals who are serious, motivated and work well, it’s hard. Even more so, to people who have marked and are marking an era here. I’m grateful for what Luka has done when he has been here. It’s complicated and difficult, especially on a personal level, because on a professional level... it affects you a lot.”


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