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Ancelotti talks Benzema, Courtois, Vinicius, Valverde after Real Madrid win FIFA Club World Cup



Photo by FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images

A second trophy of the season was written in the stars for Real Madrid as they got the better of Al-Hilal in an eight-goal thriller on Sunday night. In retrospect, Los Blancos would not have wished to cut it as close, yet, all that matters is the silverware won. 

Vinicius Jr, Karim Benzema and Federico Valverde were all on the scoresheet in Morocco as the men in white put five past Abdullah Al-Mayouf. The win serves as the right propellant ahead of a key UEFA Champions League clash later this month and a difficult half of the season in La Liga.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media after his team lifted the trophy and jubilantly spoke about the performance of several individual players. Here are the snippets from his press conference.

On winning the Club World Cup: “We had a good tournament and we’ve shown improvement over the last few games. We have a lot of quality up front and we need to improve on some mistakes at the back.”

On the injury situation: “Karim has returned and Militão and Courtois will be back soon. This title gives us a boost for the rest of the season. We have the desire and the will to do our best in all competitions and every minute of every game.”

On the stadium and atmosphere: “The atmosphere was fantastic. The city, the hotel and the training camp have been terrific as well. We have been very comfortable and Morocco seems to bring me good luck, so I hope to come back. We’ve had a good time and we’re going home with the title and the happiness of all the Real Madrid fans here in Morocco.”

On Vinicius winning the golden ball: “Vini Jr. just keeps on growing. He started at the beginning of last year and is a symptom of the team’s progression. Little by little, we have won the Champions League and the World Cup title.

“He’s doing very well and we’re delighted with him. He keeps improving and now he makes a difference in every game and is proving to be much more effective and gets on the scoresheet in almost every game.”

On pushing themselves forward: “Vini Jr. was upset by the defeat in Mallorca, but he prepared well for this tournament, which luckily we managed to win. Now we feel this trophy will give us a new impetus and we’re raring to go.”

On Vinicius’s status in coming games: “He’ll have a rest for a couple of days because he can’t play on Wednesday against Elche because he’s suspended. The rest will be good for him, but he’s not showing any signs of fatigue.”

On his special stints at Milan and Madrid: “They’re two football clubs and two families that are managed excellently by Berlusconi and Florentino Perez. They’re the biggest fans of their clubs and Real Madrid’s legacy derives from its history and tradition. We’re overjoyed to be part of this history.”

On Fede Valverde hitting the 10-goal target set by him: “I’m pleased because I don’t have to tear up my membership card. He’s had a tough time and he’s getting back. He contributes a lot in different aspects. He’s scored two goals and gives us so much energy on the pitch. With his energy and Vini Jr. on the other wing, we’re going to pose a real threat up front.”

On Tchouameni’s substitution: “It’s just a knock. Nothing more.”

On football improving in other continents: “I love football. It’s a joy to see that it’s improving all over the world. There’s not as much difference between a European team and an African or Asian team anymore. The other continents are developing very quickly.”

Source: Real Madrid official website

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid superstar reveals how advice from Brazil legend helped him improve



Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Even with all the excitement around Kylian Mbappe, it is Vinicius Junior, who continues to be Real Madrid’s biggest star.

In the past few years, the Brazilian has witnessed substantial growth, notably establishing himself as one of the best players in world football.

Vinicius’ rapid rise to prominence has been backed by numbers as well, with the forward racking up 82 goals and 75 assists in 262 competitive matches for Real Madrid.

Vinicius on receiving advice from Ronaldo

In a recent media interaction, Vinicius Junior, when talking about his success at Real Madrid, revealed that the forward constantly receives advice from his compatriot and former Real Madrid legend Ronaldo.

Vinicius particularly pointed out Ronaldo’s advice in 1v1 situations and how it has helped him improve in such scenarios.

“Ronaldo always calls me and gives me advice, he teaches me so many things. Since he told me that his favourite thing is a 1v1 vs a GK, I thought about it a lot and started working on it really hard,” Vinicius said (h/t Madrid Zone).

Ronaldo regularly speaks with Vinicius. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

“Now, every time I’m in a 1v1 with a GK, I’m the calmest guy in the world. Ever since that conversation with Ronaldo, I stopped being afraid of making mistakes in a 1v1,” the forward added.

Vinicius has indeed witnessed an improvement in his 1v1 play in recent years, which has been reflected in his higher goalscoring numbers.

This season, the forward has netted 23 goals in all competitions while racking up 11 assists. His goalscoring prowess, coupled with his ability in 1v1 situations could prove to be critical as Real Madrid take on Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League final next month.

The Brazilian international, though, will be up against a challenging defensive duo of Mats Hummels and Nico Schlotterbeck, who have been able to keep the opposition attacks quiet this season.

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