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Ancelotti talks Alvaro Rodriguez, Benzema, Kroos, Camavinga after Real Madrid 1-1 Atletico



Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

The third Madrid derby of the season and twentieth meeting between Carlo Ancelotti and Diego Simeone ended in a 1-1 draw on Saturday night with Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid sharing the spoils at the Bernabeu.

Atletico Madrid played a very defensive first half, with the hosts dominating not only the possession but also the chances created. After a goalless first half, the complexion of the game changed at the hour mark when Angel Correa was sent off for the visitors.

Despite being a man down, the Rojiblancos rose to the occasion and took the lead at Santiago Bernabeu. Only an Alvero Rodriguez goal late into the game salvaged a point for Real Madrid.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the press after his team’s game and elaborated on a plethora of topics including the sending-off and the team’s struggles. Here are the snippets from his interview.

On the implications of the result on the title race: “It is not goodbye to LaLiga. It is more complicated than before the match, but we have to fight and fight until the end. Now the cup is the most important thing because it is the next game and we are very close to a title. We are 270 minutes away from winning a title.”

On Atletico Madrid’s goal: “We conceded the goal due to the quality of the other team, something we have to take into account in football. It also happened to them with our goal. These are things that can happen, but their goal came at a time when we could’ve pushed forward and that lowered the team’s morale. It’s quite normal that we are not at our best because it’s the 17th game in 50 days, since 30 December.”

On Alvaro Rodriguez: “He has shown all his quality and it is a special night for him and for us because we are beginning to realise that he will be useful in this part of the season.”

On the youngster’s future: “For next season he will be in the first team squad because he has the quality that few others have. For his age, he is tall, powerful and a formidable header. In this last part of the season we will evaluate if we need him, which I think we do, Castilla or both. We have to handle him well and Raúl and I will discuss what to do.”

On what he asks of Rodriguez: “I ask him for what we needed. Height in the centre because in this type of game and having Karim, who is not a usual centre forward, putting in a player of this quality was good for us. We needed to focus more because he is formidable with his head.”

On the midfield’s performance: “We wanted to control possession. Kroos played really well and the three inside players were in good shape. Ceballos was rested and I tried to introduce some freshness on the pitch. We thought Atlético didn’t press much up top and we were going to be in control.”

On Real Madrid’s overall performance: “In the first half we were in control, but we didn’t create enough chances. In the second half, when I brought more energy onto the pitch, we conceded the goal. Then we got a bit disorganised. We had time to equalise, but not to win the game.”

About Karim Benzema’s poor form: “He lacked a bit of sharpness mentally and he needed to be a bit quicker in the final third of the pitch. After the World Cup, he’s scored a lot of goals and especially big goals.”

On his options at left-back: “Camavinga has so much energy and Nacho has more experience and tactical awareness of the position.”

On Correa’s red card: “I thought it was fair”.

On the upcoming Clasico: “We’ll rest on Sunday. We’re back in training on Monday and we’ll do some tactical work on Tuesday to prepare well for the game and try to be at our best for Thursday.”

Source: Real Madrid Official website

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Real Madrid News

€40 million midfielder prefers a move to Real Madrid over Premier League clubs – report



The race for Jude Bellingham has become tightly contested in recent weeks. Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United and Real Madrid all pursue the Borussia Dortmund star closely and hope to win his signing come June.

Given the heavy competition, it is natural that the clubs have alternative names on their tables. One such name on the radars of the aforementioned clubs is Celta Vigo’s Gabri Veiga.

The La Liga midfielder has offers from the Premier League for the summer. However, SER reports that the player has asked Real Madrid if they will match the offer from England and has displayed his interest in joining the club.

Veiga’s release clause with Celta Vigo is valued at €40 million. If the Merengues can match such a valuation, either through direct means or player exchanges, the young phenom will don white next season.

Real Madrid have followed Veiga’s profile for a while now and have made their interest in his signing known to his environment. Yet, the Spanish outlet also adds that Veiga’s potential arrival in June would not close the doors for Jude Bellingham’s signing.

Rafa Marin of Real Madrid Castilla is a player who interests Celta Vigo, and unsurprisingly is one of the names on Los Blancos’ table to utilise in a swap deal for Veiga. Yet, it is safe to say that talks of a player exchange are in a rudimentary stage.

The 20-year-old Spanish phenom has lit up La Liga this season. In 25 appearances for Celta Vigo this season, he has scored nine goals and provided three assists. He averages close to one key pass per game and has created five big chances in his league campaign.

With Los Blancos unwilling to let go of Bellingham’s pursuit irrespective of Veiga’s signing, the question will boil down to the financial leeway the Merengues have and whether they can afford to shell out €40 million in addition to the Englishman’s fee.

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