Real Madrid will be aiming to get back to winning ways in La Liga when they take on Athletic Club at San Mames on Sunday night.
Los Blancos lost their last league game against Villarreal, following which they also fell to Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup finals after seeing off Valencia in the semi-finals.
They come into Sunday’s game on the back of a comeback 3-2 win over Villarreal in the Copa del Rey Round of 16 and will be aiming to build on that victory.
Having already fallen three points behind leaders and arch-rivals Barcelona, the current champions cannot afford any more slip-ups in the Spanish league.
Ahead of this tricky encounter against Ernesto Valverde’s men in the Basque country, manager Carlo Ancelotti addressed the press and spoke about various topics from injuries to transfer rumours.
On the reaction during the Villarreal clash: “The reaction in Villarreal was very good. We played effective football, but we made mistakes too. We looked at videos to avoid those mistakes and not repeat them. Tomorrow’s game is very difficult, intensity and ideas will be important, and not to give away what we’ve been giving away.”
On Luka Modric and toni Kroos: “For me, they are all untouchable. Modric and Kroos have made club history. But that doesn’t mean they have to play every game.”
On Nacho, Dani Ceballos and Marco Asensio’s situation: “Nacho, Ceballos and Asensio can start the game or be decisive in the game. Their contracts are up and they show that they have motivation and desire, and concentration. The fact that their contract is up doesn’t affect them in any way.”
On Eduardo Camavinga’s links to Arsenal: “Camavinga is untouchable, like Modric and Kroos.”
On Aurelien Tchouameni attending an NBA game while injured: “Tchouameni has made his apology public. He made a mistake and the matter is over with.”
On the team’s defensive errors: “We have some errors in positioning and reading, sometimes we don’t press and we have time for it, sometimes the line is not together. Sometimes we go out to press when we shouldn’t go out.
“Our area is a friend, it’s not an enemy, that’s what I tell the players. We have to control our area well. Anything that can get behind the line can be a danger, so controlling it well is fundamental. Before pressing, we have to control the back line well.”
On drawing Atletico Madrid in Copa del Rey: “The draw is like that, Atlético are a great rival, we have to respect them a lot. It will be entertaining because it’s a derby. All derbies are great.”
On Ernesto Valverde: “Valverde is a good friend of mine, we have a good relationship and he is a great coach. His teams always have a very clear idea, they are organised. I have a lot of respect for him.”
On Sergio Arribas: “Arribas lacks nothing. He has to progress like all young people. We evaluate everything. If the opportunity comes, he can play.”
On the injuries in the squad: “The team, little by little, with the games, is improving its physical condition, it is making progress. Carvajal, Alaba and Tchouameni can return next week.”
Source: Real Madrid Twitter
€85 million-rated Serie A winger ‘dreams’ of playing for Real Madrid, claims father
Napoli winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia dreams of playing for Spanish giants Real Madrid, the winger’s father has revealed following the UEFA Champions League clash between the two teams last night.
Kvaratskhelia, 22, exploded upon arriving at Napoli last year, leading them to the Serie A title on the back of his explosive performances.
The Georgian winger has been impressing in the ongoing campaign as well, although he failed to score or assist in either of Napoli’s meetings with Real Madrid in the Champions League group stages.
Kvaratskhelia has previously spoken about how he has always been a lifelong supporter of Real Madrid and grew up idolising some of the club’s legends like Cristiano Ronaldo and Guti, among others.
Now, the 22-year-old winger’s father has revealed that his son has always dreamt of and continues to dream of playing for Real Madrid.
As quoted by Fabrizio Romano, Kvaratskhelia’s father said: “Khvicha always dreamed and still dreams of playing for Real Madrid. I am sure about it.”
Talking about the fact that the winger got to play against Real Madrid, Kvaratskhelia’s father added: “For Khvicha, playing vs Real Madrid was special. In my family, everyone is a Real Madrid supporter, except me.”
Real Madrid are in the market for attacking reinforcements, but they are looking for a centre-forward next summer and have Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland as their main targets.
As for Kvaratskhelia, whose market value stands at €85 million, it seems quite apparent that he harbours dreams of playing for Real Madrid. But it remains to be seen if there is some interest from Los Blancos in signing the winger.