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Ancelotti talks Asensio, Modric, Benzema, Vinicius, Rodrygo ahead of RB Leipzig vs Real Madrid



Photo by JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Coming off a strong display against Sevilla, Real Madrid will take on RB Leipzig in the penultimate round of the UEFA Champions League group stage.

Los Blancos have already secured qualification to the knockouts and only require one point on Tuesday to guarantee themselves a first place in the standings.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti will be without several key players on the night including the likes of Karim Benzema and Luka Modric. Nevertheless, not a lot rides on the result and the Italian can afford to rotate his squad and prioritise the league given their comfortable position.

Here are the key points from his press conference ahead of the UCL clash.

On wanting to seal the top spot in Group F:  “Yes, that is the goal, we want to leave everything closed.”

On the impending FIFA World Cup: “It’s a very intense period of the season, with too many games, in my opinion. We’re holding up well, although we have some casualties. The World Cup comes at the right time.”

On not risking players ahead of the World Cup: “I don’t think the players think about the World Cup, although they want to get to the tournament in good shape.

“You get to the World Cup well if you have continuity. There are small inconveniences and we don’t want to risk. I prefer to lose Modric or Benzema for a match and not for a month. he four, also Ceballos, will return on Sunday.”

On Marco Asensio’s contract renewal: “Asensio and the club know what I think. Many players are ending their contracts and in this break, we can talk about it. Now it makes no sense to talk about this issue.”

On what he demands of Asensio: “I ask him to be professional, serious and endure the difficult moments. This is what Asensio and all those who play less are doing. Some of those who play less are going to play tomorrow and give their contribution to the team.”

On whether players fear getting injured ahead of World Cup: “Injuries exist in the world of football. If you don’t want to get injured, stay on the couch. You can get injured in training, in contact with a teammate…

“For now, everyone wants to train. If someone tells me that he is afraid, then he can stay at home on the sofa, watching a series or a movie.”

On Rodrygo’s versatility and movement: “We don’t want a static striker, we want a mobile one, Karim is the master and Rodrygo is learning from the best. If you want to lead the attacking line of Madrid, that’s how you play.”

On whether he will rest Vinicius Jr: ” “No, Vini is going to play. He is not tired.”

On whether the league games are more important at this point: “At this club, all games are important. There is little time left for the World Cup and we have to try to win to be first in the Champions League and be in a good position in La Liga.”

On if he has bets with other players like with Federico Valverde: “The bet with Federico was a joke that I wanted to have with him. The bet I have is collective and is to be protagonists this year.”

On winning at RB Leipzig while in charge of Bayern Munich: “I remember well, it was the last game of the season. Alaba scored a great goal and we talked about this game. Leipzig are very confident now, they are well organized and I think it will be a very good game.”

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti talks Mendy, Vinicius, Gavi, Tobias, Brazil job ahead of Real Madrid vs Valladolid



Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will be gunning to bounce back to winning ways when they lock horns with Real Valladolid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday afternoon.

Los Blancos were on the receiving end of a 2-1 defeat at the hands of arch-rivals Barcelona the last time they were in action. The result meant that Carlo Ancelotti’s side have now fallen 12 points behind the Catalans in the La Liga title race.

The gap could widen to 15 points given that Barcelona are playing bottom-placed Elche later tonight. So, it becomes imperative for Real Madrid to make sure that there are no more slip-ups if they are to have any hope of pulling off a comeback in the title race.

Ahead of the game at the Bernabeu on Sunday, manager Ancelotti addressed the media, and discussed Ferland Mendy’s fitness situation as well his future amid links to the Brazil national team, among various other things.

On the state of the squad: “We are fine. The internationals are in good shape. We were unlucky to have Mendy injured but we are ready.”

On the speculations about his future and links to replacements: “I’m not surprised that there are these rumours. It doesn’t affect me, it doesn’t worry me. I’m just focused on fulfilling my duties with this club and with this team.

“I’m still here until Real Madrid allow me to stay here. I’m very well and I feel the affection of the president, the fans and the players. We have two months ahead of us and then hopefully we can continue.”

On others’ opinions on the job he is doing: “Everyone can say what they want. I know I have a contract and I want to fulfil it. I don’t know what might happen in the future.”

On the Brazil national team rumours: “The reality is that the Brazilian national team wants me and I love it and I’m very excited about it, but then I have to respect the contract I have and I want to fulfil it.”

On whether he will retire after the Real Madrid job: “No. I’m not thinking about it now.”

On the contract renewals: “The atmosphere at the moment is very calm and very focused on what we have to do. What is being talked about in the press is an outside issue. We hear it but it’s not an issue that worries us. The players know very well what they have to do.”

On whether Vinicius would be treated differently if he played for another club: “If my grandfather had wheels, he would be a cart. There have been problems with Vinicius, Gavi, we must respect the players.”

On Vinicius Tobias: “He is progressing very well and like the rest of the Castilla players we will have to talk about his future when the season is over.”

On injuries: “We have the same problems as in other teams. Mendy has not had a good season. We will replace him well as we did when he was out.”

On Brazil Federation president Ednaldo Rodrigues: “If he wants to talk to me I would love to meet and greet him.”

On Barcelona getting an extra day’s rest ahead of Copa semi-final: “I’m not surprised, it doesn’t bother me. They have an extra day but we have time to recover and there is no problem.”

Source: Real Madrid Twitter

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