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Ancelotti talks Benzema, Messi, Rodrygo, Camavinga, Asensio ahead of Girona vs Real Madrid

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Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images

Real Madrid will be aiming to extend their winning run to five matches across all competitions when they lock horns with Girona in La Liga away at Estadi Montilivi on Tuesday.

Los Blancos are enjoying a strong run of form, having picked up four consecutive 2-0 wins against Chelsea (twice), Cadiz, and Celta Vigo, over the past couple of weeks.

While the La Liga title seems out of their hands, Carlo Ancelotti & co. will be hoping to continue building on their winning momentum ahead of important matches against CA Osasuna (Copa del Rey final) and Manchester City (UCL semi-final) next month.

On the eve of the match, manager Ancelotti addressed the media, providing an update on the fitness situation of his players and talking about the title race, among other things.

On the availability of Karim Benzema, Eduardo Camavinga and Rodrygo: “Benzema and Camavinga are slightly injured, Rodrygo will be available tomorrow.”

On facing Girona: “Girona play very well. We’re going with injuries, but Rodrygo will be there. If we were playing City tomorrow, those who are injured still wouldn’t be available. Alaba is doing well for the Cup final.”

On his comments on the Santiago Bernabeu pitch: “It’s not a complaint, it’s evidence.”

On the 11-point gap between Barcelona and Real Madrid: “It’s not the real gap between the two teams. We’re going to work to cut it.”

On Eder Militao: “He has improved his concentration, he is more cautious.”

On Lionel Messi possibly returning to Barcelona: “He can do whatever he wants, Barcelona too. It’s not an issue for me. I like Messi.”

On rotations: “They understand it very well, everyone. And that allows you to manage them better. Leaving Lucas out wasn’t easy. But everyone’s enthusiasm allows for these things.”

On Benzema: “If he recovers from the knock he will play on Saturday. He’s too important for us.”

On the Real Madrid academy: “The youth academy is working very well. Arbeloa and Raúl are doing very well. The youngsters are progressing very fast. The 2003 and 2004 generation are very good and will soon be in the first team.”

On Rodrygo: “He has had a small knee problem which he is managing well. Today it was an intestinal problem. If he is fine tomorrow, he will play. He’s not a typical striker. He’s doing very well and hopefully, he can progress, because I can see he has room for improvement.”

On winning the double: “Winning the Double in one season is not so easy. Teams that can see La Liga as a little more complicated put all their minds and heads into European competition. This can sometimes happen. This is why I think winning La Liga and the Champions League is quite complicated.”

On Camavinga’s development: “He is taking advantage of the time he has played as a full-back to improve his game. He is very young and has to mature his experience and tactical knowledge. Technically he has nothing to learn and physically he has the engine of a Ferrari.”

On practicing set pieces: “We’ve seen in the last few games that Kepa stayed at the start of the game on the penalty spot and we thought that with a long throw from Valverde, we could score. We try to work a lot on set pieces, less on the defensive side because we defend in a zone.

“At this stage of the season, we can work it much more than the tactical aspect because it means less fatigue for the players. We have a lot of resources because Kroos, Asensio, and Modric are very good at shooting and we have players like Rudiger, Militao, and Tchouameni.”

On whether Eden Hazard has spoken to him about his game-time: “We haven’t spoken much. I don’t ask players to come and talk. If they need to talk, I’m always ready.”

On if he would sign Marco Asensio if he was managing a different club: “I like him a lot as a player. Many coaches and clubs like him because of the characteristics he has. I hope he can stay here with us.”

On whether he plans to rotate Thibaut Courtois: “In these games, maybe. We are thinking about it. But if Courtois is well and has no problems or discomfort, he can continue. Lunin did well in the games he played and I don’t rule out him playing in other games until the end of the season.”

Source: Real Madrid Twitter

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Real Madrid News

Official: Real Madrid duo start for Spain against Luka Modric’s Croatia

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Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Spain will begin their UEFA Euro 2024 journey in a little over an hour with a clash against Croatia at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.

Ahead of the match, Luis de la Fuente has announced the starting lineup that will be taking the field for La Roja and two Real Madrid stars feature in the team.

Indeed, Los Blancos’ captain Nacho Fernandez gets the nod as one of the centre-backs amid some injury concerns for Spain.

Meanwhile, Dani Carvajal holds on to his usual place as the right-back for La Roja against Croatia.

There is no place in the starting lineup for Real Madrid forward Joselu, though, with De la Fuente preferring Alvaro Morata as his No. 9 instead.

While Croatia are yet to announce their starting lineup, it is all but certain that Real Madrid midfielder and legend Luka Modric will be in the team and will be captaining them against two of his club teammates today.

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