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Ancelotti apologises to Real Madrid fans after Girona hammering: “We’re hurting too”



Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Real Madrid were left stunned by an inspired Girona performance on Tuesday night as they fell to an embarrassing 4-2 defeat at Estadi Montilivi. Valentin Castellanos was the one true hero for the hosts, scoring all four goals past the European champions.

Despite having 72% of the possession, Los Blancos were grossly outplayed by the Catalans and created far less threat on goal than the hosts did.

No Real Madrid player was ready to face the press after the 4-2 defeat but Carlo Ancelotti could not forgo the customary media interview. He began his presser with a long and detailed account of what went wrong for his men, the insides of the colossal collapse, and the flaws in his team against Girona.

“It was a tough night. Whenever you lose like this, it’s a tough night. We were very poor defensively and that was what decided the game. We did a good job with the ball, especially early on. Then they hit us with two goals on the counter and we tried to get back into the game with individual moments, not as a team.”

“We were individually poor and the defensive side of things, which has been great in recent games, was nowhere to be seen today.”

Real Madrid are amongst the most mentally resilient teams in world football. Over the years, Los Blancos have pulled themselves back from dire situations with ease, never breaking a sweat about adversity. However, Ancelotti revealed that his players were strangely nervous last night and apologised to the fans for the horrendous showing.

“The team were nervous from the off and then we lost control. It looked as though half-time would help us but then we conceded again and it was an uphill battle. The fans are hurting and we apologise. We’re hurting too but we know we will be in good shape for the Copa final and the Champions League semis.”

The Italian tactician was then asked if the result against Girona came as a wake-up call or reality check for his team. His reply was centred around the poor performance in defence and the consequences of a leaky back-line.

“Defeat is never a good thing but I think the defensive commitment of this team is crucial if we’re to have success. If we don’t have that, we will struggle to win games but if we show it, we’ll have success. That’s the key.”

“We have unbelievable quality and that has to be aided by the defensive commitment which we did not show today. We hadn’t conceded a single goal in six of the last seven games and today we let in four. If the players don’t understand that, I’ll have to drum it into them every day.”

There was not much of a silver lining from Tuesday’s performance for Real Madrid, but Vinicius Jr was one of the few who stood out with a goal and an assist. Talking about the Brazilian, Ancelotti said:

“He got a goal and an assist. He was good, as always, but the team lacked connection. He has seen too many yellow cards for a player of his characteristics.”

The final topic the manager addressed was his decision to substitute Eduardo Camavinga on for Nacho Fernandez as early as the 52nd minute and whether he was concerned with the Spanish defender’s performance. However, Ancelotti refused to single out any player and called out for his whole side to wake up and smell the coffee.

“He did his job and I changed him to bring on Camavinga to try to make more inroads up the left wing. I have nothing to criticise him about. He wasn’t at his level, but neither was anyone else. Nobody played at their usual level.”

Source: Real Madrid website

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Real Madrid News

Official: Real Madrid duo start for Spain against Luka Modric’s Croatia



Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Spain will begin their UEFA Euro 2024 journey in a little over an hour with a clash against Croatia at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.

Ahead of the match, Luis de la Fuente has announced the starting lineup that will be taking the field for La Roja and two Real Madrid stars feature in the team.

Indeed, Los Blancos’ captain Nacho Fernandez gets the nod as one of the centre-backs amid some injury concerns for Spain.

Meanwhile, Dani Carvajal holds on to his usual place as the right-back for La Roja against Croatia.

There is no place in the starting lineup for Real Madrid forward Joselu, though, with De la Fuente preferring Alvaro Morata as his No. 9 instead.

Meanwhile, Croatia have also announced their starting lineup, and Real Madrid midfielder and legend Luka Modric starts in midfield and also captains the team against two of his club teammates today.

Former Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic also features for Croatia against Spain.

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