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Ancelotti talks Courtois, Valverde, Kroos, Isco, Sergio Ramos ahead of Real Madrid vs Sevilla

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Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Real Madrid continued their winning form by registering a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Elche this midweek, with Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema among the scorers.

The reigning Spanish champions, though, will brace themselves for a tough contest ahead as they take on Sevilla on Saturday. It is a must-win game for the league leaders, especially with FC Barcelona breathing down their necks.

Heading into the game, Carlo Ancelotti attended the press conference, offering his thoughts on Isco’s return, along with providing a fitness update on key players.

“The team is fine, we are in a good moment. Sevilla are trying to recover from a difficult period and now they’re better. It will be a tough game,” he said when asked about the game.

Ancelotti confirmed the return of Thibaut Courtois, suggesting he ‘will play tomorrow’. The Real Madrid manager also vowed not to rotate, adding: “I won’t rotate tomorrow. All the players are fine.”

Ancelotti went on to praise Federico Valverde, who has emerged as a key player for Real Madrid this season, firmly establishing himself as a first-team regular.

“Valverde is showing a great level. We’re very happy for him because he’s a very good person. His shooting technique is almost as good as [Marco] Asensio’s,” he said.

Ancelotti backed another key midfielder Toni Kroos to continue at Santiago Bernabeu as well. “Toni Kroos is very calm ahead of his future. He will think about his future in January. But I think he will continue at Real Madrid.”

The Real Madrid manager was asked about his players’ prospects in the upcoming FIFA World Cup. Responding to the question, Ancelotti offered uncertainty but suggested that the timing of the competition could lead to players returning on top form.

“We don’t know what will happen after the World Cup. We will have to give our players some days off after the tournament. The best thing of this World Cup is all the players will arrive in top form, in the middle of the season. The other years the players were all exhausted during summer,” he said.

Ancelotti was also asked about some of the former Real Madrid players, including Sergio Ramos, who started his career at Sevilla. He hailed the legendary Spaniard as ‘one of the best in the world‘.

As for the returning Isco, he added, “Isco back at the Bernabéu tomorrow? I’m happy to see him again and meet him. He’s been a great player for Real Madrid.”

Isco played for Real Madrid from 2013 to 2022, featuring in over 350 competitive matches in the process, before he eventually joined Sevilla on a free transfer this summer. He will be one of Sevilla’s creative lynchpins when they take on Real Madrid tomorrow.

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Real Madrid News

Lucas Vazquez talks following MVP performance vs Barcelona – ‘Speaks about our work’

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Photo via Getty Images

Of all players people would have expected to turn up for El Clasico today from Real Madrid, it was the backup right-back Lucaz Vazquez who delivered an absolute masterclass of a performance in their 3-2 win.

The Spaniard played Barcelona out of the park starting as the right-back, and ran circles around Joao Cancelo.

He won the penalty for the first goal, scored the equaliser in the 73rd minute, and then assisted Jude Bellingham’s winner in the 91st minute.

“Great night, like many others at the Santiago Bernabeu. We are very grateful to the fans, they created a spectacular atmosphere. We are where want to be, six points away from winning the league,” Vazquez said, as quoted by MARCA.

Coming off an exhausting 120 minutes vs Manchester City in the Champions League, not many would have expected the shift Madrid put in tonight, especially after trailing on two occasions.

“The team, despite the great effort in Manchester, showed their face again. We once again played a great game, and we did everything in our power to achieve this win that gives us the advantage in the league,” Vazquez commented on it.

Now 11 points clear off Barcelona, Madrid can almost sniff La Liga out, and according to Vazquez, it reflects their work well.

“I think this difference speaks well about our work. We had a very good season in La Liga, and we are on the right track.”

As for his own performance, the Spaniard was modest, and said, “I am very happy to be able to help the team. A lot of things went well today, and that is important for everyone”

He was asked two very important things, as well, including his possible inclusion in the 2024 European Championship, to which he replied, “I would love for Luis de la Fuente to call me up for the Euros.”

And more importantly, he also spoke about the controversial penalty incident, but claimed that it was 100% a penalty. “I cut back and his leg caught me. It was a penalty.”

Real Madrid have five days off now before they travel to the Basque county to take on Real Sociedad in the league before travelling to the Allianz Arena to face Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-finals.

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