Real Madrid will play their first home game of the 2023/24 season on Saturday when they take on Getafe.
Los Blancos have won three games in three so far and are comfortably seated atop the La Liga standings, despite being hit with injuries to key players at the start of the campaign.
With the international break looming, Carlo Ancelotti & co. will be eager to go into it with their 100% record intact as they get set to face Jose Bordalas’ Getafe tomorrow.
Ahead of the match, manager Ancelotti appeared in front of the press and spoke about several matters, including Vinicius Jr’s absence as well as the UEFA Champions League group stage draw that took place on Thursday.
On being back playing at the Santiago Bernabeu for the first time this season, Ancelotti said: “It’s very special. We’re excited to be back, now that we have a new stand. We’re looking forward to seeing the fans.”
Amidst speculations that he is discontent with the lack of a new striker arriving, Ancelotti reiterated his satisfaction with the squad, saying:
“Very happy. When we started the season everything was sorted out. The squad is complete. It has everything. It’s competitive. We may have problems, but there are resources.”
Jude Bellingham has been the star of the show for Real Madrid so far this season, and the 20-year-old will be making his Santiago Bernabeu debut tomorrow against Getafe.
On that subject, Ancelotti said: “He’s a great player. He’s looking forward to it and I guess the fans are too. He has a very strong personality and I have no doubt that his debut will be a good one.”
There has been a lot of speculation about Ancelotti changing formations against Getafe to cope with the absence of Vinicius Jr. When asked if there will be any tweaks, the manager replied:
“What we are going to try to do is adapt the system, but not change it. Obviously, the loss of Vinicius will be sensitive, but we have resources.”
Further reinforcing his faith in the squad at his disposal, Ancelotti added: “Yes, the team is very competitive and we are going for everything.”
The draw for the Champions League group stages took place on Thursday, with Real Madrid being placed in Group C along with Napoli, Union Berlin, and SC Braga.
Reacting to it, Ancelotti said: “I know Napoli’s coach, they are very tough. Union Berlin have fewer individuals, but they are a team. That’s right, a team. And Braga… We have to respect them, they play well. In the Champions League, every game can be a trap.”
When asked about how he planned on replacing Vinicius, the manager replied: “Joselu, Brahim? Even some interior midfield players, because we don’t need to play with three forwards.
“We don’t have anyone like Vinicius, that’s how it is. If Joselu plays we will use more crosses and Brahim, football between the lines. We’ll have to adapt, but not change the system.”
Providing a fitness update on the injured duo of Ferland Mendy and Dani Ceballos, who did not train with the team today, Ancelotti stated: “They will be ready after the break, against Real Sociedad.”
The Real Madrid coach also had some words of praise for Rodrygo, as he praised the 22-year-old as a complete forward, saying:
“He has an unusual quality: being able to do a lot of things. Playing on the left he can be more effective, but between the lines and as a striker he has done very well. Rodrygo is a very complete player.”
When asked about the rumours of Kylian Mbappe, Ancelotti was curt in his response, as he said: “I don’t see what the point of that is. I’m not talking about Mbappé, because he’s a PSG player and we respect everyone who’s out there.”
Rodrygo’s penalty miss in the last game against Celta Vigo sparked some anger from Ancelotti, who revealed that he wanted Luka Modric to take that penalty.
Now, being asked about the pecking order for spot-kicks, Ancelotti said: “It depends on the match. Joselu takes them very well, Modric too, and Vinicius. That would be the order.”
Confirming that youngster Gonzalo Garcia will be a part of the squad for tomorrow’s game, Ancelotti said:
“He is doing very well. Tomorrow he will be in the squad, like Nico Paz. The youth team, in general, is producing a lot of talent: Vinicius Tobias, Mario Martín… we are very happy with what is coming.”
Real Madrid very happy with future star Endrick, eagerly awaiting his arrival in 2024 – Romano
Real Madrid’s attacking unit has been crippled by the loss of Karim Benzema earlier in the summer, which was followed by the loss of Vinicius Jr due to injury.
Although Vinicius has returned, there is much left to be desired from the Madrid frontline as we progress through to the season.
Real Madrid, though, are waiting on the arrival of Endrick. The young Brazilian is set to join the Real Madrid squad in the summer of 2024 when he turns 18.
Real Madrid impressed by Endrick
Endrick has already started his preparation for his pending move to Santiago Bernabeu, having performed exceptionally well in his native Brazil this year.
The youngster is constantly working on his game, in order to further improve himself as an attacker. It has left Real Madrid quite happy and eager for his arrival, reports Fabrizio Romano.
The journalist claims that Real Madrid have been keeping close tabs on everything Endrick has been doing, on and off the pitch, at Palmeiras.
And they have received very good reports on the 17-year-old, with the club impressed by how he is putting efforts to improve himself both performance-wise and in other facets.
Despite there being some question marks over his performances, the teenage forward is starting to showcase his potential, having scored five goals in five starts for Palmeiras.
Endrick also learning new languages
Endrick is not only just working on his performance. In fact, the Brazilian is also learning other languages in order to quickly settle into life in Spain.
The youngster can speak Portuguese, but he may have to master Spanish during his time at Santiago Bernabeu.
As mentioned earlier, Endrick can already speak Portuguese, which should go a long way in helping him team up with fellow Brazilians Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo.
Even Eder Militao can speak Portuguese, which should make it easier for Endrick to adapt to life in Spain, at least for the next year or so.