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Ancelotti talks Lunin, Courtois, Guler, Kroos, Vinicius, Bellingham following Real Madrid 5-0 Alaves



Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti felt pleased with the victory over Alaves, seeing it as a practice run for the upcoming UEFA Champions League final on June 1. 

He expressed his confidence that the team would be well-prepared for their match against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley.

The manager emphasized the significance of matches like these in keeping up the team’s momentum, positive spirit, motivation, and solid gameplay, all vital for gearing up for the showdown with Borussia Dortmund.

“I am convinced that we will reach full capacity on June 1. These games are important to maintain the rhythm, good dynamics, motivation and good play,” said the manager as quoted by Mundo Deportivo.

“Two weeks left. Now we will rest for a few days and next week we will put a physical load on it. In the second week, we will do the tactical work,” he added.

Who would play in the Champions League final?

Andriy Lunin will play one of the two remaining matches in the league. (Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images)

Now that Thibaut Courtois has returned, the Madrid manager faces a massive conundrum over team selection for the final. 

On one hand, Courtois has performed really well in the last few matches and at the same time, Andriy Lunin has done enough to warrant a place as well. Speaking about the situation, the manager explained,

“The situation is clear. We have made the decision. In the two remaining games, one will be played by Andriy and the other by Thibaut.”

About Courtois, the manager said, “He is progressing very well. We are convinced that on day 1 we will arrive in good shape. It is important to rest this week and prepare for the final the next two.

“We are not worried. Until June 1 it is a secondary issue. We are thinking about winning the Champions League,” added the manager.

On Guler, Kroos, Vinicius Jr and Bellingham

Arda Guler, despite not starting against Alaves, was on the scoresheet for the second time in two games, taking his tally to four league goals in just three starts. Talking about the 19-year-old, the manager said,

“We are all very fond of young people. He is the youngest. He has a gift for scoring goals and scores even when he doesn’t deserve it. The ball is in love with Arda Guler.”

Furthermore, there were a lot of questions swirling about what lies ahead for Toni Kroos. Ancelotti appeared uneasy, and he tried to explain the uncertainty surrounding it.

“The club and the player will talk after the Champions League final, now it is a secondary issue.”

Toni Kroos could win the Ballon d’Or this year, says Ancelotti. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Upon asking if Kroos is a candidate for the Ballon d’Or, he said,

“I don’t think it is for him but taking into account that this is a Euro Cup year and that Germany is a candidate, if he were champion with his team and we won the Champions League, maybe he would be a candidate,” explained the manager.

The manager had nothing but admiration for Vinicius Jr and the progress he has made over the last few years. Speaking about his brace, the manager added,

“He has greatly improved his unmarking and his first-touch finishing. He is in a spectacular moment in his career. He couldn’t do better.”

Lastly, Ancelotti also explained Jude Bellingham’s playing position, adding, “It was my intention. We’ve been asking him for it for a long time and it’s a role he likes. 

“He is quite comfortable there. He has been there for a long time and has helped us in that aspect,” he concluded.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid superstar reveals how advice from Brazil legend helped him improve



Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Even with all the excitement around Kylian Mbappe, it is Vinicius Junior, who continues to be Real Madrid’s biggest star.

In the past few years, the Brazilian has witnessed substantial growth, notably establishing himself as one of the best players in world football.

Vinicius’ rapid rise to prominence has been backed by numbers as well, with the forward racking up 82 goals and 75 assists in 262 competitive matches for Real Madrid.

Vinicius on receiving advice from Ronaldo

In a recent media interaction, Vinicius Junior, when talking about his success at Real Madrid, revealed that the forward constantly receives advice from his compatriot and former Real Madrid legend Ronaldo.

Vinicius particularly pointed out Ronaldo’s advice in 1v1 situations and how it has helped him improve in such scenarios.

“Ronaldo always calls me and gives me advice, he teaches me so many things. Since he told me that his favourite thing is a 1v1 vs a GK, I thought about it a lot and started working on it really hard,” Vinicius said (h/t Madrid Zone).

Ronaldo regularly speaks with Vinicius. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

“Now, every time I’m in a 1v1 with a GK, I’m the calmest guy in the world. Ever since that conversation with Ronaldo, I stopped being afraid of making mistakes in a 1v1,” the forward added.

Vinicius has indeed witnessed an improvement in his 1v1 play in recent years, which has been reflected in his higher goalscoring numbers.

This season, the forward has netted 23 goals in all competitions while racking up 11 assists. His goalscoring prowess, coupled with his ability in 1v1 situations could prove to be critical as Real Madrid take on Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League final next month.

The Brazilian international, though, will be up against a challenging defensive duo of Mats Hummels and Nico Schlotterbeck, who have been able to keep the opposition attacks quiet this season.

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