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

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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

Lucas Vazquez talks following MVP performance vs Barcelona – ‘Speaks about our work’

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Photo via Getty Images

Of all players people would have expected to turn up for El Clasico today from Real Madrid, it was the backup right-back Lucaz Vazquez who delivered an absolute masterclass of a performance in their 3-2 win.

The Spaniard played Barcelona out of the park starting as the right-back, and ran circles around Joao Cancelo.

He won the penalty for the first goal, scored the equaliser in the 73rd minute, and then assisted Jude Bellingham’s winner in the 91st minute.

“Great night, like many others at the Santiago Bernabeu. We are very grateful to the fans, they created a spectacular atmosphere. We are where want to be, six points away from winning the league,” Vazquez said, as quoted by MARCA.

Coming off an exhausting 120 minutes vs Manchester City in the Champions League, not many would have expected the shift Madrid put in tonight, especially after trailing on two occasions.

“The team, despite the great effort in Manchester, showed their face again. We once again played a great game, and we did everything in our power to achieve this win that gives us the advantage in the league,” Vazquez commented on it.

Now 11 points clear off Barcelona, Madrid can almost sniff La Liga out, and according to Vazquez, it reflects their work well.

“I think this difference speaks well about our work. We had a very good season in La Liga, and we are on the right track.”

As for his own performance, the Spaniard was modest, and said, “I am very happy to be able to help the team. A lot of things went well today, and that is important for everyone”

He was asked two very important things, as well, including his possible inclusion in the 2024 European Championship, to which he replied, “I would love for Luis de la Fuente to call me up for the Euros.”

And more importantly, he also spoke about the controversial penalty incident, but claimed that it was 100% a penalty. “I cut back and his leg caught me. It was a penalty.”

Real Madrid have five days off now before they travel to the Basque county to take on Real Sociedad in the league before travelling to the Allianz Arena to face Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-finals.

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