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Ancelotti talks Ceballos, Asensio, Rodrygo, Vinicius after Villarreal 2-3 Real Madrid

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Photo by Yasser Bakhsh/Getty Images

Real Madrid came back from two goals down to defeat Villarreal 3-2 away from home to secure a place in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey.

Coming into the game on the back of the Spanish Super Cup defeat to Barcelona, Carlo Ancelotti’s men looked in shambles in the first half as Etienne Capoue and Samuel Chukwueze gave Villarreal a two-goal lead heading into half-time.

However, Los Blancos were woken up from their slumber after the break as Vinicius Jr. pulled a goal back before Eder Militao leveled things up. Finally, Dani Ceballos scored the winner in the 86th minute to help Real Madrid book a place in the quarter-finals.

Speaking after the match, manager Ancelotti expressed his happiness at the outcome of the game but admitted that his team were well below par in the first half. Below are the snippets from his interaction with the media after the match.

On the first-half performance: “I was really angry at half-time and I decided to take a risk and press high up. We weren’t being forceful enough in our duels and I told them to wake up, there was still time to come back. They definitely woke up. It wasn’t a good first half and we can’t be playing like that.”

On the second half: “In the second period, it was an incredible reaction, as it always is. This club never gives up but we can’t wait until near the end of the game to react.”

On the team’s personality: “We played a very poor first half and quite an unexpected second because it’s difficult to switch the dynamic like that after the first half we saw. The team showed great personality to turn things around. The second half is fantastic for our confidence. We didn’t give up and I’m sure you guys have had to change your articles.”

On Dani Ceballos and Marco Asensio: “They really changed the game. They brought more quality and energy to the pitch. They were absolutely key in turning the score and the tie around.”

On Eduardo Camavinga: “He had more energy and showed more character in the second half. He’s learning that he has to look after himself, it was a complete performance from him.”

On taking off Rodrygo: “He had a slight muscle strain and I decided not to risk him. He didn’t acknowledge me because I think he forgot, I don’t think it’s a big deal.”

On the clash between Vinicius Junior and Pepe Reina: “It was nothing. He was a bit wound up with Vini Jr., that’s all. I have a good relationship with him. What I saw, was that Vini Jr. got kicked a lot, like he does every game.”

Source: Real Madrid official website

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid teenage talent faces uncertain future following increase in competition

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Journalist Jordi Gil has reported through SPORT that Arda Guler’s situation at Real Madrid is becoming increasingly difficult. 

This is because Guler is unhappy with the lack of playing time he experienced last season and is determined not to spend another season on the bench.

During the recently concluded Euro 2024, Guler demonstrated his immense talent to the world. This competition gave him the platform to showcase his abilities, which had largely remained unseen during the season at Real Madrid. 

He only featured in a few games towards the end of the season, which were inconsequential as Real Madrid had already secured the league title.

Guler has injuries to blame

Guler’s troubles began early last season when he suffered an injury during the American tour. This setback, combined with the challenge of adapting to a new language and style of football, made it difficult for him to find his footing. 

Although Carlo Ancelotti tried to support him mentally, he did not provide Guler with enough opportunities to play.

Arda Guler wants to have more game time.(Photo by JORGE GUERRERO/AFP via Getty Images)

The youngest is now determined not to let history repeat itself. He is willing to force a move, possibly through a loan, if he does not get more playing time, even though Real Madrid want him in the first team

This situation could escalate if Guler continues to see himself as the last option in the squad. Milan and Bayer Leverkusen have already expressed interest in him.

Guler is way down the pecking order

Currently, Guler is behind several high-profile players in the pecking order. Stars like Kylian Mbappe, Vinicius Jr, and Rodrygo are ahead of him. 

Additionally, Brahim Diaz has the edge, and in midfield, Guler faces competition from Jude Bellingham. Breaking into the starting lineup seems like an almost impossible task at the moment, even though he proved his worth at the Euros.

Meanwhile, it is said that Florentino Perez has great faith in him. Perez wants to see Guler succeed at Real Madrid, but the challenge now lies with Ancelotti in managing the team. 

Benching established stars to give playing time to a young prospect like Guler could create tension in the dressing room.

Real Madrid have a surplus of attacking options. The arrival of Mbappe has brought renewed hope to Real Madrid fans, but the significant investment in the French star might disrupt the harmony within the squad that Ancelotti has worked hard to maintain. 

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