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Ancelotti talks Benzema, Vinicius, Asensio, Tchouameni, World Cup ahead of Real Madrid vs Cadiz

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Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

After a run of just one win in their last four matches, Real Madrid will be aiming to turn things around when they take on Cadiz at the Santiago Bernabeu on Thursday night.

Los Blancos are coming into the game on the back of a 3-2 defeat to Rayo Vallecano. On top of that, with Barcelona winning against Osasuna last night, the reigning champions are now five points behind their arch-rivals in the La Liga standings.

While they will go into the World Cup break trailing the Catalans, Real Madrid will hope to reduce the gap to two points by picking up a victory versus Cadiz tomorrow.

On the eve of the game, manager Carlo Ancelotti addressed the media during which he addressed the situation surrounding Karim Benzema and talked about Vinicius Jr being targeted by opposition players.

On the season so far: “This first part of the season has been very good. We won the UEFA Super Cup and qualified as first in the Champions League. Of course, we could do better in La Liga.”

“We are gonna play the last game of the year tomorrow. It’s a weird season. We want to end this year well. It’s been an unbelievable year.”

On Karim Benzema’s absence: “Benzema has not been able to help the team in these games. He tried his best to recover, but he couldn’t. It’s nothing major.”

On Vinicius Jr being targeted: “People say Vinicius is the one who provokes the rivals but the reality is he is the player who receives the most fouls. We have to protect our players. Fair-play is the most important part of football.”

“Provoking is not fair play. One enters the field to play football, not to provoke with words or with one’s legs. Vinicius also has to improve in this aspect. But he’s still young.”

On the recent form: “We are angry after our last games. The two losses have annoyed us. We will show who we are tomorrow. Our intensity has decreased because we have played many games and this is noticeable against teams like Rayo that do not play in European competitions.”

On whether Benzema is missing matches to remain fit for World Cup: “I have nothing to say. The first who’s annoyed by this situation is Benzema because he’s going to Qatar with very few minutes in his legs.”

“Benzema will go to Qatar with discomfort in his legs. He has not recovered 100%, so he is not in the squad lately. Whether he goes to Qatar or not is up to him and it is his own decision.”

On rotations: “It’s an important aspect, but removing Rodrygo or Valverde when they’re scoring goals seems a bit strange to me. You have to look at the dynamics of the players. Even so, I think I’ve rotated a lot.”

On Marco Asensio: “He has been our best player in the last games. He has helped us a lot. He has a very strong personality. He shows that on the pitch.”

On whether he will not use players departing for World Cup tomorrow: “No, not at all. My players are professionals and will play. My players have never thought about the World Cup, and neither told me not to play them. They have always trained very hard.”

On the nature of Benzema’s injuries: “Benzema got a serious injury against Celtic but the others weren’t serious problems. His World Cup has never been in danger.”

On Aurelien Tchouameni: “The injury slowed him down a bit, like all youngsters he has to improve his positioning. With Kroos he is one player and without him, he is another. Kroos’s presence helps him in this regard.”

On the FIFA World Cup: “This World Cup will be very exciting. There are no clear favourites and the players will not be tired as they would be in summer tournaments.”

Source: Real Madrid official Twitter

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Real Madrid News

National embarrassment: Real Madrid star faces backlash over poor NT display

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Photo by Rich Storry/Getty Images

Vinicius Jr., the star forward for Real Madrid and a strong contender for the Ballon d’Or, has faced heavy criticism for his recent performances with the Brazil national team. 

Despite his impressive displays at Real Madrid, Vinicius has recently struggled to live up to expectations in Brazil’s preparatory matches for the Copa America.

Brazilian fans and analysts had high hopes for Vinicius, expecting him to take on a leadership role in the national team’s attack, especially after the season he had with Madrid. 

Unfortunately, he has not managed to replicate his club form in these recent games. This situation mirrors what happened when he first joined Real Madrid, where his inconsistent performances initially raised doubts about his abilities.

Ballon d’Or in doubt?

In the lead-up to the Copa America, Brazil played two friendly matches. They narrowly defeated Mexico 3-2 and drew 1-1 with the United States. 

During these games, players like Endrick and Rodrygo stepped up, scoring crucial goals. However, Vinicius failed to make a significant impact, which has led to widespread disappointment among fans and media in Brazil.

Vinicius Jr. has scored just three goals for Brazil.(Photo by Rich Storry/Getty Images)

For what it is worth, Vinicius’ last goal for Brazil dates back to June 17, 2023, when he scored against Guinea in a 4-1 win in a friendly match. In competitive matches, his last international goal dates back to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

This underwhelming performance has resulted in sharp criticism towards the forward, who is considered one of the top candidates for the Ballon d’Or. 

Interestingly, his chances of winning this prestigious award heavily depend on his showing in the upcoming Copa America, which begins this week. 

Public opinion and the press in Brazil suggest that unless he drastically improves and leads his team to victory, his hopes for the award are slim.

Deserved criticism

Critics argue that Vinicius’s level of play with the national team is far below what he delivers at Real Madrid. 

They point out his poor goal-scoring record for Brazil, having only netted three times in 30 appearances, which is seen as unacceptable for a player of his calibre. 

Analysts are particularly disappointed by his inability to finish chances, dribble effectively, make successful passes, and escape defenders to create scoring opportunities.

Vinicius is also criticized for making poor decisions on the field. Commentators have noted that he doesn’t have the same impact with the national team as he does with Real Madrid. 

This echoes the concerns from his early days at the Spanish club, where he was praised for his persistence but criticized for his poor decision-making and lack of precision.

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