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Ancelotti talks Ceballos, Asensio, Modric, Vinicius, Nacho after Athletic Club 0-2 Real Madrid



Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Real Madrid travelled to and conquered San Mames in grandstand fashion as they put two goals past Athletic Club. The game was not without controversy, but in the end, only three points separate them from La Liga leaders Barcelona.

Karim Benzema opened the scoring for the visitors in the first period through a well-worked finish before the lead was doubled in the final minute of the game by Toni Kroos. Los Blancos seem to be back on track after a slight detour from form in recent weeks, and the midweek game against Atletico Madrid could confirm the same.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media after his team’s win over Ernesto Valverde’s side and addressed topics including the midfield, defence, and Vinicius Jr. Here are the snippets from his post-match press conference.

On his midfield selections: “I didn’t want to take any risks with Kroos as it’s important to keep a lot of players motivated at this stage of the season. Ceballos and Asensio both deserved to play after their performances against Villarreal and Kroos needed the rest after playing a lot of games.”

On Luka Modric: “Luka could also have played because he’s trained very well, but I preferred to rest him too. We competed well and defended very strongly.”

On the defensive improvement: “Our analysis was right following our failure to defend well in the last few games. We struggled at times today in Bilbao because the opposition are a very good team. We had a solid unit and the team was committed as a group in a way that wasn’t there in the last few games.”

On repeated fouls on Vinicius Jr: “Vinicius is a top player and a very sensitive person. He’s been focused on the game. The opponents and sometimes the referee put Vinicius under pressure with the kicks he receives.

“He was on the receiving end of a lot of kicks again today. He will get better in this aspect, but he’s still very young and at the moment they’re putting him under pressure.”

On how to improve the Brazilian’s situation: “Vinicius enjoys playing football, but he can sometimes lose his focus a little bit. I really care about him and we want him to be respected a little bit more by everyone. I’ve told him to talk to me and stay calm. He played and got on with his game as he always does.”

On Nacho: “Nacho can play at right-back, centre-back or left-back. He always performs, he leads by example and he’s a player every manager would want in their team. The players who’ve had less playing time are contributing a lot at the moment.

“I mean Nacho, Ceballos, Asensio and Camavinga. This gives us confidence going forward because it’s non-stop and the games come thick and fast.”

On playing at San Mames: “It’s tough to get points here. Last year we did well, but we were beaten in the cup. The atmosphere here’s terrific, but it’s very difficult. We managed the game well, we had to dig deep and battle.”

On the team’s strategy ahead: “I don’t know what is plan A or B. Our only plan is to play every three days and try to win the games.”

Source: Real Madrid official website

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid are considering terminating the contract of €115 million flop – report



Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Eden Hazard is one of the Real Madrid players who have vowed to stay at Santiago Bernabeu until the end of his contract. His current deal at the club expires in 2024.

Even though the Real Madrid star has been courted by several MLS and even the Saudi Arabian clubs, the forward has shown no desire to leave Bernabeu just yet. He wants to stay at the club even though Los Blancos are ready to sanction his sale this summer.

In the midst of this drama, a fresh report from Alfredo Matilla suggests Real Madrid are now considering terminating the contract of Eden Hazard.

This comes shortly after a report which claimed that a Real Madrid player who is not out of contract this summer, may shockingly leave the club this summer. Ferland Mendy was a potential candidate, but it appears Hazard has not been ruled out either.

The Belgian international has offered very little since joining from Chelsea in 2019 for a record-breaking €115 million fee. His spell at the Bernabeu has been marred by injuries, while the player has also struggled to impress when given the opportunities.

Inside the Real Madrid dressing room, there is both grief and resentment towards Belgian, who has remained steadfast in his decision to stay at the club. He has a good standing in the team due to his professionalism, but the Real Madrid bosses are determined to get rid of him this summer.

Hazard, after all, is the highest-paid player in the squad and his departure could open up a chunk of the space in the salary mass. But it must be noted that Real Madrid would have to spend a fortune to terminate Hazard’s contract.

Hence, it will be interesting to see whether or not Los Blancos end up splashing the cash in order to get Hazard out of their books this coming summer.

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