Real Madrid will be aiming to get back to winning ways when they lock horns with Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Champions League at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.
Real Madrid dropped their first points of the 2022/23 season across all competitions this past weekend when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Osasina. And the reigning champions of Spain and Europe will be intent on producing a strong reaction after the disappointing result.
The game against Shakhtar Donetsk will give them the opportunity to just that and manager Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the press on the eve of the game, outlining his team’s objectives as well as providing team news update.
On the Shakhtar game: “We all know that it is a very important game to get the group back on track. We are well prepared for this and the fact that we did not play a good game on Sunday counts. We want to show another attitude, another image.”
On team news: “Courtois won’t play tomorrow. Luka Modric and Lucas Vazquez will return. The one who won’t be there will be Ceballos, who has had a problem with his hamstring”.
On whether Modric will start: “I’m not sure if he will start tomorrow.”
On Eden Hazard: “It is clear that each player knows his situation. If a player asks me for an explanation, I give it to him, but Eden has not spoken to me. He knows the situation, that the competition is very tough, as it happens to him to other players.
On Karim Benzema being criticised: “When he’s not at his best, people may have different opinions. But that’s normal and doesn’t affect us.”
On which among UCL and La Liga is difficult to win: “I always wanted to win the Champions League. La Liga is very important, but the Champions League is the most important in football and winning it means a lot.
“They are two different competitions, of course. Because one has 38 games and much less. Small details influence the Champions League and that’s not luck or bad luck. To talk about luck is to hide many things. I
“It’s as if I were to say that we were unlucky against Osasuna because we missed a penalty, it would be to hide that we were wrong in recovery or that Osasuna played very well. Small details are also a collective mentality”.
“And I add that Madrid is the one that takes the most care of these details in its history”
On Courtois’ condition: “He’s much better. We have doubts against Getafe, but it could be that next week he’ll be against Shakhtar and against Barça, obviously.”
On Xavi and Messi’s statement about best teams not always winning UCL: “I can’t comment on this. Everyone has their opinion.
“For me, playing football is many things, not just having a good time with the ball. You are not successful if you only do well one thing, especially in the Champions League. It’s easier to say that the Champions are won by the best.”
On whether Camavinga is better coming on as a sub: “I agree. When the game starts he has a more positional problem. It’s a matter of time, experience… It’s the aspect that will improve because he is a player with quality extraordinary. He is 19 years old, everything that happens to him is normal.”
On Shakhtar Donetsk: “They are a team that have had a lot of problems training, travelling… They have started well in the Champions League group, their style is similar to last year. They’re very vertical, with fast forwards and strong counterattacks. We have a lot of respect for them.”
Real Madrid may look to sell 24-year-old star if top target arrives in the summer – report
Real Madrid are leaving no stone unturned in their bid to assemble an even stronger squad for the upcoming campaign.
Kylian Mbappe and Alphonso Davies are the club’s top targets in that regard, for the two new signings will be regular starters and bonafide difference makers on the field for Los Blancos.
The latter, in particular, arrives to reinforce a position where none of Carlo Ancelotti’s current options are convincing. Fran Garcia and Ferland Mendy have both had their hiccups at the left-back position for Real Madrid, leaving the position open for Davies to take over.
A potential departure
As revealed by MARCA, Davies’ arrival next season will jeopardise Garcia’s importance in the team for the Canadian will be the manager’s first choice by a mile.
Moreover, Ancelotti is said to be in favour of renewing Mendy, implying that Garcia will practically be his third choice.
Come summer, Garcia could thus be sold if the club receive an offer that they can make money off. Considering that they shelled out €5 million last summer for his incorporation, any offer north of that mark could do the job.
In 18 appearances and 11 starts in La Liga this season, the 24-year-old has provided four assists for Los Blancos. Interestingly, he has started just one of Real Madrid’s last six games across all competitions.
As revealed earlier this week, Real Madrid have reached a verbal agreement with Alphonso Davies. An agreement with Bayern Munich over a transfer fee could be a difficult proposition, however.
As such, it is unclear if Los Blancos will make the move for Davies this summer at a subsidised fee or wait until next year when the player will be a free agent.
Garcia’s future, needless to say, depends on their plan of action on the Davies front.