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Ancelotti fully trusts Real Madrid veteran duo ahead of Barcelona clash: “They are the best”



Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

As Real Madrid look to claw their way back into the La Liga title race, they will play leaders and eternal rivals Barcelona in a must-win encounter at Spotify Camp Nou on Sunday night.

Los Blancos are already nine points behind Barça in the table and another defeat to the Catalan giants would pretty much end any hopes of defending the league crown as the gap would be widened to 12 points with less than one-third of the season remaining.

Ahead of this vital encounter, manager Carlo Ancelotti addressed the media and spoke about various topics, including his future as well as the importance of the Clasico encounter, among several other things.

During the presser, Ancelotti also continued to stress how important the veteran midfield duo of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric remain to this Real Madrid side.

Of late, there have been doubts about whether the ageing midfielders can keep on playing together, but the Italian has no doubt about their quality and importance to his team, as he said: “I am surprised when people doubt Modric and Kroos because they are the best.”

On his future and facing Barcelona

Talking about there being any nerves ahead of the game, the manager added: “I think we have to enjoy the moment and enjoy being protagonists in an important match. You can only win if you can bring out the best in all aspects.”

Ancelotti’s future at Real Madrid has also been a major topic of speculation recently, with reports suggesting that the club will axe him if he does not win any major trophies. Addressing those claims, he said:

“My evaluation is something that the club has to do and not me. I have already said that I would like to stay for the rest of my life but I know that this is impossible. Whatever happens, the club will decide at the end of the season.

“My thought is to continue and what the club decides will be what counts. If they want me, I will enjoy it. If not, I will enjoy it for as long as I have left. I will be grateful for life”.

On the situation that Real Madrid find themselves in currently in their season in all competitions, he added: “We have a disadvantage in the league and in the cup. Not in the Champions League. We’re only thinking about reducing the points tomorrow against Barcelona.”

On facing Barcelona and there being some fear heading into such a pivotal clash, the manager added:

“We have to see Barça as a lion, not as a cat. If we see them as a cat, it seems like we are going to a party. And no, we are going to play against a great team and it’s an important game. In these games, there’s always fear, of course, but it’s normal. It’s fear, nerves… For me, the two hours before the game are the worst.”

The Clasico earlier this month in Copa del Rey saw Real Madrid lose 1-0 with Barcelona putting up a solid defensive performance. When asked if he expects tomorrow’s game to pan out in a similar manner, Ancelotti replied:

“It’s very difficult to say what tomorrow’s game will be because each one has its own history. Barcelona defended a lot in the cup game, it’s true, but this one could be different depending on what happens. If we score, if they score.”

“Tomorrow we will play offensively and without risk,” he added when asked if Real Madrid will play on the attack in search of a win.

The battle between Vinicius and Ronald Araujo

Vinicius vs Araujo will be one to watch out for (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images)

Talking about the duel between Vinicius Jr and Ronald Araujo that has dominated the recent El Clasico matches, Ancelotti joked that he would consider deploying the Brazilian on the right flank to avoid the battle, before stating that the forward’s movement will be important.

“Vinicius has always had difficulty with Araujo but he always tries. I’m thinking of putting him on the right,” he joked.

“Obviously I’m not serious about putting Vinicius on the right but mobility is important and not having a reference point and more movement is tougher for the opposition,” the manager went on to add.

He also added that the Merengues have tactical plans to deal with Araujo, saying: “We have the plan. We have made all the evaluations, of course.”

With there being a lot of talk about how Araujo is currently one of the best defenders in the world, Ancelotti went on to state that he thinks Eder Militao is right up there while also stating that Vinicius was one of the best attackers in the game currently.

“I may lose credibility if I say Vinicius and Militão are the best striker and defender in the world respectively but it’s the truth. I am honest. Militão lacks nothing. The only flaw he has is that he is not always 100% focused. Another is that he is not so handsome,” he said.

Ancelotti talked about the competition for places in midfield between Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni, saying: “Camavinga is doing very well as Tchouaméni did well and both have replaced a legend like Casemiro very well. With the two of them, Real Madrid can have a very good future.”

On the team’s form heading into the game, the Real Madrid boss said: “From January 22 until now, the team has done very well. We are in a good moment, we are very motivated and excited.

“The physical data is very good and in the technical and tactical aspect we have improved a lot, we are better in defense. I think we can do very well.”

Ancelotti also discussed the UEFA Champions League quarter-final draw, which saw Real Madrid get Chelsea once again. The first leg will be played at the Bernabeu and the second leg away at Stamford Bridge, with reports suggesting that Real Madrid officials were unhappy about it.

“I don’t know if it will be more difficult than last year. There is no away goal count and that doesn’t change much. I think the Bernabéu will help us in the first leg,” Ancelotti said.

Source: Real Madrid Twitter

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Real Madrid News

Turkish giants to go all-out to sign Real Madrid outcast – report



There is no way back for Eden Hazard at Real Madrid. The Belgian international has not given the management any reason to have faith in his abilities over his past four seasons at the club and is unsurprisingly the most important departure for the Merengues in the summer.

Hazard has one more year on his contract in Madrid. However, it is clear that Carlo Ancelotti does not trust him and that any potential replacement manager in the summer will echo his stance.

According to reports from Mundo Deportivo, Fenerbahce are willing to go all out to sign Hazard this summer. The Turkish side have made the former Chelsea their prime target, yet face a steep task ahead of them.

The 32-year-old is hellbent on seeing out his contract with Los Blancos despite seeing his career sink right before his eyes. It thus becomes complicated for the party to lure away the forward, especially in a competition outside Europe’s top five leagues.

Fenerbahce attempted to sign the winger in the recently concluded winter transfer market. They reached an agreement with Real Madrid but failed to get over the line as they could not convince the player of the move.

The biggest obstacle for the Turkish side will be convincing Hazard to make the move by letting go of his lucrative contract in Madrid. The chances are slim, but not impossible.

Hazard has made just three league appearances and one start for Ancelotti’s side this season in La Liga, a steep fall from last season’s 18 and seven respectively.

His last appearance for the team came back in January when Real Madrid faced Cacereno in the Copa del Rey. In La Liga however, he last played in September 2022 in a 4-1 win over Mallorca.

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