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Ancelotti talks Benzema, Courtois, Mbappe, Vinicius, Man City, ahead of Elche vs Real Madrid

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Real Madrid will look to stretch their lead at the top of the La Liga table to six points when they take on Elche away from home on Wednesday night.

Los Blancos reclaimed the top spot in the standings when they beat Barcelona 3-1 at the Bernabeu on Sunday afternoon. They now have a three-point advantage over their arch-rivals and can widen the gap to six, considering Barça will be playing only on Thursday.

Ahead of the game, Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media during which he talked about the La Liga title race as well as Karim Benzema’s Ballon d’Or triumph, among other topics.

On preparations against Elche: “The preparation for the match, especially on a mental level, we have to push it a little more. It is normal to have a maximum concentration in high-level matches and it is a little more difficult to have it after a match that has cost you physically and mentally.

“We take that into account, knowing that we play for the same three points tomorrow that we won on Sunday.”

On Thibaut Courtois: “Tomorrow he will not be available. He is training normally and doing a good job. I think he will reappear on Saturday.”

On the Ballon d’Or gala: “We are very proud of what Benzema and Courtois have achieved. Modric and Vinicius have stayed close as well. I also want to congratulate Gavi, Alexia Putellas, Lewandowski, and Mané… And Manchester City. They had a fantastic season. We have a lot of respect for them.”

On whether he expected such a successful year: “No, I didn’t think so. What we have achieved so far has been very good. As I said, the fact of working at this club means that it can happen to you.

“There is everything you need to be successful: history, tradition, competition, the quality of the players, the atmosphere… But at the beginning of last season, I had many more doubts than now.”

On Iker Bravo: “He’s doing well with Castilla. We needed him today for training but tomorrow he won’t travel with us, he’ll stay with Castilla.”

On the Kylian Mbappe links: “I don’t know what the future is. I don’t know what can happen. The future of this club and this team is already written; I already said it last year. We have young players like Vinicius, Rodrygo, Camavinga, Tchouaméni, Valverde, Militao…

“They have already written the future of this team. The players change, surely next year’s squad will not be the same as this one, but these players have already designed the future of Real Madrid.”

On Vinicius finishing eighth in Ballon d’Or rankings: “I think so, that it is fair because this allows him to try to improve what he did last year, in which it was almost all new for everyone to see him with that continuity and quality. It will motivate him to do better.”

On Karim Benzema’s Ballon d’Or triumph: “We are very happy. We feel a bit of it. He has said that he is very proud of this award, he has also thanked all his teammates because that is what it is, an individual award thanks to the help of a team.

“We all congratulated him. It’s done, we have to think about the next one, and he can start tomorrow.”

On the changes in Benzema’s game: “Surely he has much more responsibility and feels much more like a leader in this team than he did eight years ago. He hasn’t changed much technically, his quality is the same. What has changed is his responsibility and his attitude towards the team, being much more of a leader.”

On Manchester City being voted the best team ahead of Real Madrid: “I don’t know the criteria. I think they don’t talk about teams because the best was Real Madrid, who won the Champions League. At the club level, I don’t know the criteria.

“It was very difficult for us to beat them in the semifinals. It was for a few details, and they won the Premier League. We have the utmost respect for this award, but we received the highest in May.”

On the keys to his success at Real Madrid: “The personal relationship is very important. With the professional aspect, in my opinion, you can get 100% from a footballer, with the personal you can get a little more.”

On being called a ‘Cholista’ (playing like Atletico):  “It’s a compliment. I saw Atlético against Athletic and it was a very entertaining game. After the game, I heard Simeone say that he was moved, and I agree. If they say that Real Madrid is Cholista, it’s a compliment.”

On Courtois’ Ballon d’Or ranking: “The striker who scores goals always stands out. That a goalkeeper has reached the seventh position is a good thing. I was never close to winning an individual title.

“It surprises me that some of our players like Kroos, Valverde, Militao or Alaba are not among the 30 finalists. Someone might think I have a conflict of interest. It’s true, I do.”

Source: SPORT

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti-favourite defender will leave Real Madrid if club signs 23-year-old ace

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

With Kylian Mbappe’s signing now a completed objective, Real Madrid turn to what was always considered the second most critical operation of this summer – Alphonso Davies.

The Canadian full-back has been on Los Blancos’ radar for a while now, but with his contract with Bayern Munich running until 2025, his signing is seen to be a tad bit more complicated.

The Bavarians’ firm stance that they wish to persist with the speedster, needless to say, has only made the objective more complicated for Los Blancos.

No room for three

Despite Bayern Munich’s repeated advances towards Davies in recent weeks, Real Madrid are firm that they will attempt to sign the player this summer.

In light of the Canadian full-back’s possible arrival, Cadena SER reveals that Ferland Mendy will almost certainly leave Real Madrid if Davies’ signing is pulled off.

Carlo Ancelotti is clear that he has no room for three left-backs in his squad. One of Fran Garcia and Mendy must thus leave the Spanish capital in such a scenario and the Frenchman is better placed on that front.

Ferland Mendy (L) could leave Real Madrid if Davies arrives.. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Mendy’s current deal in Madrid runs out next year and the player has been informed that a decision over his future at the club will be taken shortly.

On track with Davies

The Spanish outlet also reveal that the Canadian speedster rejected an offer from Bayern Munich in recent hours and that his departure from the Bavarian capital is not ruled out.

Bayern Munich demand a sum of €50 million for the dynamic full-back. Real Madrid, however, have set a spending limit of €30 million for the youngster and will not exceed that sum in any scenario.

Vincent Kompany’s men thus have a critical decision to make, for allowing Davies to run down the final year on his deal may well back-fire as did the case of Kylian Mbappe with PSG.

Real Madrid, as it stands, appear to be in the driver’s seat.

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