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Ancelotti talks Bellingham, Kepa, Lunin, Nico Paz, Modric, Kroos ahead of Union Berlin vs Real Madrid

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Photo by ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images

After a dreary 1-1 draw to Real Betis, Real Madrid will be looking to fix up and regain their rhythm against Union Berlin on Tuesday in what will be the club’s final Champions League group stage match.

Speaking at the pre-match conference, Carlo Ancelotti answered the media’s queries.

When asked to comment on the subject of rotations, the Italian said, “I’m not thinking too much about this.”

“The players who are tired will rest, if they’re not, they will play,” he added.

Having already confirmed their spot in the Champions League Round of 16, the Merengues will be looking to emulate their past glories and attempt to go all the way in this esteemed competition.

“We have the quality to fight and win the Champions League,” Ancelotti remarked.

The competition between Andriy Lunin and Kepa Arrizabalaga has been garnering a fair deal of attention, with Lunin’s recent performances earning him plaudits.

When asked who would be entrusted with the duty to guard the sticks against Union Berlin, Ancelotti answered, “Kepa will play.”

“It is unfair to leave anyone on the bench. Kepa will start tomorrow. Lunin? I can’t start everyone.” he added.

The 64-year-old was also asked if Nico Paz could earn a start after he most recently scored a long-range wonder strike against Napoli in the Champions League.

Ancelotti did not rule out the possibility, claiming, “Yes, he could.”

Ancelotti further expressed his wish to see Real Madrid legends retire at the club they were once revered at.

“Real Madrid legends should retire here,” he said.

“Kroos, Modric, Nacho – they are legends. They have earned the right to decide their own future.” he acknowledged.

Brahim Diaz was also brought up, with his recent form impressing onlookers. Against Real Betis, a terrific pass for Jude Bellingham allowed the Englishman to open the scoring.

Showcasing delight with his performances, Ancelotti mentioned: “I am very happy with him. His time in Milan was very useful for him. His defensive contribution is good, he is amazing for the tactical side and he is stronger physically.”

Ancelotti recently likened Real Madrid rising star Jude Bellingham to legendary Kaka. When asked to elaborate on the comparison, the Italian said:

“Kaka got into the box a lot with the ball. He didn’t have as much quality to get there without the ball, like Bellingham. We play without a fixed nine and in the box there is more space to finish.

“With Kaka the system was different, but in general Kaka was very good on the ball and Bellingham’s movement off the ball is very effective.”

The Real Madrid boss also discussed last night’s La Liga game between Barcelona and Girona, saying: “It was a very entertaining game. The two played face to face, without tactics, Girona were better, they had more success.

“And I have to stop there, I can’t criticise or make speeches about other teams. I liked the match. I was surprised by Girona’s ability to be at this level with so much personality and so much character.”

Source: Mundo Deportivo

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid ace misses training for third consecutive day ahead of UCL final

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Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

As Real Madrid get closer and closer to their final game of the season against Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League, they are now sweating over the availability of one of their players.

It has already been confirmed that both David Alaba and Aurelien Tchouameni will miss the finals in London due to injuries.

Other than that, Carlo Ancelotti is likely to have the entirety of his squad available at his disposal, although there could be some concerns surrounding Andriy Lunin.

Lunin not in training for the third day in running

Indeed, Andriy Lunin has not participated in team training today, making it three days in a row heading into the Champions League final, reports Mundo Deportivo.

The Real Madrid goalkeeper is down with a fever that has kept him out of training for three days in a row now.

However, the report does add that despite not being in training for three days now, the Ukrainian international will fly to London and be on the squad list for the finals.

But with reports already suggesting that Thibaut Courtois will be starting in goal against Dortmund, Lunin’s continued absence from training only further strengthens the Belgian’s chances.

Kepa Arrizabalaga, who was absent from training on Tuesday due to personal reasons, is back working with the rest of the squad today. The Spaniard will have no involvement in Saturday’s final though.

Carlo Ancelotti is likely to go with the exact same starting lineup that he named for the Merengues’ final La Liga match against Real Betis.

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