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Ancelotti talks Modric, Kroos, Asensio, Rudiger, Xavi ahead of Barcelona vs Real Madrid



Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will be hoping for a stunning remontada as they look to overcome a one-goal deficit and oust Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semi-final when the two teams face off tomorrow at Camp Nou.

Real Madrid lost the first leg of the semi-final 1-0 at home last month and suffered another defeat to Barça soon after in La Liga away at Camp Nou. Having lost three Clasico encounters on the bounce, Los Blancos will be gunning to bounce back on Wednesday night.

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti addressed the media ahead of the blockbuster encounter and spoke about his team selection, the Clasico rivalry, among several other topics.

On the condition of his team: “We are doing well. Motivated, focused and going all out for the game. We have a lot of confidence.”

On whether Toni Kroos and Luka Modric are untouchables: “Yes, they are untouchable. But Modric was also untouchable in the game against Valladolid and he didn’t play. I have to think about all the resources I have on the bench, not just the starting 11.

“Starting the game is not the most important thing, but being a protagonist and that is also for the players who are not going to start the game.”

On the assignment of the referee: “What a question. It’s a subject I prefer to leave to one side and focus on preparing for the game and nothing else.”

On the importance of El Clasico: “The Clasico is always the most important match. For everyone. And that’s because there is a very important rivalry. It’s a game that allows us to play a final and we’ll do everything we can to win it.”

On repeating the last Clasico lineup: “In the last two games we have done well against Barcelona. We came close to winning the last game at Camp Nou and that’s why I may or may not have the same lineup. We’ll see.”

On the keys for tomorrow’s game: “It’s important to have energy in this type of game. You also have to get the ball out from the back well but you also have to have experience and that’s where the veterans can help us, but there are many important aspects.”

On the importance of full-backs attacking: “The left flank is well occupied with Vinicius and that’s why we don’t ask too much of the full-back. On the right wing, it depends. If we have Rodrygo it’s well occupied and if Valverde is there, who plays more on the inside, we ask the right-back for more depth but it also depends on what they have in front of them.”

On how his team will play at Camp Nou: “The idea is not to go crazy looking for a goal because you can do that in the 90th minute.

“In the first leg, we controlled the game well although we didn’t get forward much and we have to improve on that, but we’re not going to go crazy. The team must play a complete game because that’s the only way you know you’re going to score goals.”

On his future at Real Madrid: “I’m not talking about my future as I said in the last press conference.

On the players with expiring contracts: “I don’t work with them in any different way because it doesn’t affect them and that’s how they show it. Asensio, whose contract is up, played a spectacular game with Real Valladolid.”

“I think everyone has to evaluate the role they have and when you want to renew the contract you have to make that assessment and if they want to renew it is because this situation motivates them.”

On any possible change in formation: “No. I don’t envisage changing the system.”

On Antonio Rudiger’s condition and role of David Alaba: “Antonio is fine. Yesterday he trained alone and today he trained with us. To come out from the back, Alaba has a good outlet for the ball but the one who should be better, even if it’s not easy for me to say, is Courtois.”

On choosing between Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga: “It’s always difficult to choose because the mentality of the players hasn’t changed and they all want to start. Tchouaméni brings a lot defensively and Camavinga, with the ball in tight spaces, has quality. Camavinga has taken his chance and Aurelien is back to his best.”

On telling players about their omission from the starting XI: “Nothing special is said to those who stay on the bench. This group of players are not the type to ask for a lot of explanations. It’s a squad that has a lot of competition and they understand that, which is why my office, although it’s always open, is usually empty.”

On who is the favourite to win: “I don’t know who is the favourite because it is a close game.”

On his poor record against Xavi: “It’s complicated to have individual duels between coaches. They’ve won the last three and it’s our turn to win.”

On whether they can surprise Barcelona after so many duels: “You can surprise with small details. It’s difficult for a team to change the system when you always train with the same system. So I don’t recommend a change. You can surprise with a set piece, a free kick, you can create a surprise. With a change of system, you can surprise yourself and that doesn’t suit us”.

Source: Real Madrid Twitter

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid winger has two future destinations on table for next season



Photo by JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid set out on a mission to change the minds of Dani Ceballos, Marco Asensio and Nacho Fernandez earlier this week. After all, all three players were contemplating a departure from the club for a gross lack of minutes.

Los Blancos’ latest approach seems to have impacted Ceballos’ position in a positive fashion. However, Fabrizio Romano reveals that it has not changed Marco Asensio’s mind.

According to the Italian journalist, the Spaniard will leave Real Madrid at the end of the season as a free agent.

Of the numerous options on his table, he sees Aston Villa and PSG to be the best bets. In fact, Villa have already submitted their opening bid for the player as revealed by Fabrizio Romano once again.

After a dramatic final day of action in the Premier League, Aston Villa finished in the European spots and will participate in the UEFA Conference League next season. While a move to the English club would be a steep step down, it will see Asensio receive regular playing time.

Paris-Saint Germain, on that front, appears the more probable destination. The French club are close to losing both Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr ahead of the new season, and Asensio would thus fit in as a starting quality winger. Moreover, they offer Champions League football.

The Spaniard’s role at Real Madrid this season has not been minor by any means considering his contributions. In 30 La Liga appearances, the 27-year-old has scored nine goals and provided six assists in addition to creating nine big chances and averaging 1.4 key passes per game.

However, that does not satisfy the winger who wishes to be a starter week in and week out. His departure in June appears to be now written in stone, and the club should feel hard done to not make a penny of his move.

Many in Los Blancos’ administration see Brahim Diaz as a direct replacement for the Spanish international if he leaves. Needless to say, the AC Milan star’s future will closely depend on Asensio’s situation.

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