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Ancelotti talks Militao, Vinicius, Camavinga, Modric, Kroos, Lunin ahead of Real Madrid vs Athletic Club



Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

With the international break finally coming to a close, Real Madrid are set to resume their campaign on Sunday as they take on Athletic Club.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media in the pre-match press conference, offering his thoughts on some of the key talking points heading into the game.

Ancelotti on the Athletic game

First up, Ancelotti offered a mood check of the Real Madrid setup after the end of season’s last international break.

“The environment is good. The internationals have recovered well. We had a small problem with Camavinga, but today he trained normally. We have good feelings for tomorrow’s game,” he said.

Talking about the opposition, Ancelotti stated, “We play against a team that is having a great season and plays with great intensity. It has individual and organizational qualities. An important match that we come to with all the confidence in the world.”

Ancelotti addressed Athletic’s upcoming Copa Del Rey final against Mallorca next week but expects the opposition to play to their strengths tomorrow.

“Athletic has a week to prepare for the final and I think that tomorrow they will play at their best. We don’t think they are thinking about playing in the final, but about coming to the Bernabéu to try to score points,” he said.

The Real Madrid coach also issued an injury update, adding, “Militao returns tomorrow, which is the most important news. He is not 100%, because he needs to play football, but he is fine from the injury. It is very good news for us. We have been unlucky with Courtois’ injury, but he will be back soon.

Militao’s recovery has indeed been the talking point heading into this game and the upcoming Champions League contest against Manchester City.

When asked about Real Madrid’s plan with Militao, Ancelotti added, “We have to see it game by game. Tomorrow I may give him minutes and we have time until the 9th to improve his condition. The knee is fine, he just needs football, and get used to playing on a big field again and with his teammates. He has recovered very well.”

The Italian, though, was not very sure whether or not Militao would be there to partner Antonio Rudiger against Manchester City.

“Militao, maybe not, maybe yes. I’m not saying it’s 50%, it could be 70% no and 30% yes, but Militao is very important. He helps us with many things. It is not completely ruled out,” he said.

Ancelotti unsure of Eder Militao’s presence against Man City (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)

“If he is not there, there are not many options. If he is ruled out, will Nacho or Tchouameni play, the doubt is there,” he added.

Talking about the lack of depth in the defensive unit, Ancelotti complimented the team for holding up well.

“Something strange happened to us. I think we have held up well. They have all complied. Rüdiger first, with a fantastic season. Nacho too, he has contributed a lot to the defence. Also, the times that Tchouameni has played he has given a lot of performances there,” he said.

“We are the team with the least goals scored in the League. That’s because the collective work has been very good,” he added.

Meanwhile, multiple Real Madrid players shone during the international break, perhaps none more so than Endrick, who bagged two goals in two matches.

When asked about Endrick and Vinicius’ performances against Spain at the Bernabeu this midweek, Ancelotti said, “I saw the match. I liked it, it was an entertaining, nice match. Friendly, but very competitive. I liked it and enjoyed it.

For Vinicius, it is a very important issue, which he takes very seriously. That’s what we have to do, take this issue very seriously.”

Regarding the Vinicius issue, the Brazilian was a victim of derogatory comments from former Paraguayan footballer Jose Luis Chilavert.

Ancelotti, though, trashed Chilvert’s comments, stating, “It doesn’t make much sense to comment on what others who aren’t there say. They talk to give air to their mouths. You don’t have to take much into account what they say.”

Ancelotti backs Vinicius once again (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)

When asked whether events outside the pitch will affect Vinicius going into the final phase of the season, Ancelotti responded, “There is one thing that worries me a lot about Vinicius and that is that he cannot play tomorrow. That’s what worries me.”

Moving on, Ancelotti addressed the future of veteran Real Madrid stars such as Toni Kroos and Luka Modric.

“The feeling I have is that I see Modric very well, ready to fight at the beginning of the season. We plan to finish the season well. This month is very important and we are in an optimal position to get the best out of ourselves,” he said.

Ancelotti was rather coy when asked about Modric’s future, stating, “Everyone is talking about the next season except us. Luka is in this season. The future of the individual and the club, we are going to make the decisions when the season ends because we have time to do so. I don’t think anyone is interested now in talking about his future.

The Italian also talked about Andriy Lunin amid uncertainties over his future. “He has improved a lot, because he has had the opportunity to demonstrate his quality by playing. His performance has been very good. He is a goalkeeper who has quality,” he said.

Finally, Carlo Ancelotti was asked about Aurelien Tchouameni’s comments on Spanish fans potentially seeing more of Kylian Mbappe in the coming months.

“I believe that the fans are excited about Real Madrid, regardless of the players. I think Madrid fans are excited about the Real Madrid shirt,” Ancelotti remarked.

Source: AS

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Real Madrid News

Barcelona find legal precedent to replay El Clasico after ‘ghost goal’ controversy



Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Barcelona’s recent defeat to Real Madrid in El Clasico appears to have caused calamity inside the Catalan camp.

The defeat has effectively ruled Barça out of the title race while further diminishing the chances of Xavi staying at Camp Nou.

Amid all this, Barcelona president Joan Laporta appears to be having a hard swallowing the result and has gone on a rampage against the use of VAR, which notably annulled a goal from Lamine Yamal after it was cleared from behind the line by Andriy Lunin.

A day after the result, Laporta even warned that Barcelona might seek legal measures to try and replay El Clasico if they find any evidence of wrongdoings. And that statement could now soon turn into reality.

Barcelona consider legal measures

According to Cadena SER, Barcelona are considering legal action under the guidance of none other than Laporta to force a replay.

Their inspiration? An incident earlier this year in the Belgian League, where a VAR error led to the permission for a replay of an Anderlecht vs Genk match, although the decision was later annulled by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).

Joan Laporta ready to take legal measures. (Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images)

CAS is the apex body for all things related to sports. And although the entity was involved in annulling the replay between Genk and Anderlecht, Barcelona are hopeful they would intervene in this matter.

The Catalans are aware that local bodies such as RFEF and CTA might not cooperate with Barcelona, knowing the image and prestige of Spanish football could be at stake.

As such, Barça are hopeful of intervention from CAS. They want the apex court to look into the matter and stage a replay of the Clasico.

Barca’s threats of legal action, including potentially involving the CAS, seem like a desperate attempt to try and remain in the title race – the only avenue for silverware left for the Catalans this season.

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