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Ancelotti talks Rodrygo, Bellingham, Valverde, Brahim, Vinicius, Alaba, future ahead of Cadiz vs Real Madrid



Photo by CARLO HERMANN/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid resume their pursuit of the La Liga title after the international break on Sunday as they take on Cadiz away at Nuevo Mirandilla.

The Merengues went into the international break with a resounding 5-1 win over Valencia, but return with their injury woes piling up.

Having lost both Eduardo Camavinga and Vinicius Jr. until early 2024, Los Blancos will also be without Thibaut Courtois, Aurelien Tchouameni, Arda Guler, and Eder Militao, while Kepa Arrizabalaga is also ruled out.

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti appeared for his pre-match press conference and discussed the injury problems bogging down his team among several other topics.

Injuries and fixture calendar

“The truth is that we’ve had these injuries and they’ve hurt us. The squad is fine. I think we’ve always been competitive, despite the absences. We go in with all the confidence in the world, and we hope that the injured players recover soon,” the Italian started off.

“The squad gives me a lot of confidence. It’s an opportunity to show how good we are.”

Criticising the governing bodies for the fixture pile-up that is resulting in injuries for players, the Real Madrid boss said:

“I think the calendar is unsustainable and those who prepare it need to look at it. Now there will be more matches and the only solution is to reduce the number of games. And who can do this is La Liga, UEFA, and FIFA, but they do the opposite.”

“It’s all good if the number of matches is reduced, because it reduces injuries and increases the spectacle. 8-0 or 14-0 games, I don’t know if that makes sense,” he added.

On his future

In the past few days, there has been a lot of talk about Ancelotti’s future as some reports suggested Real Madrid will offer him a new contract, while Brazil remain confident of his arrival in 2024.

When asked about the topic, the Italian remained tight-lipped, saying: “I don’t think anything, I’m not going to answer about my future.

“I’m proud that the Brazilian national team is talking about me, it makes me proud, but until my contract is up I’m not going to talk about my future.”

“Everything will soon become clear. At the most, in six months,” he further added.

When asked if he would wait for Real Madrid to make a contract offer until the last day, Ancelotti replied: “Of course I would.”

On the squad and options after injuries

Dealing with a plethora of injuries. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

With both Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga ruled out, Real Madrid are short on numbers in midfield. It had sparked speculations about David Alaba playing as the defensive midfielder, but Ancelotti shot them down.

“Alaba is not going to play in the middle. We have a lot of resources. Bellingham can play as an interior. We have no problems. Brahim has done very well,” he stated.

“We have brought in Gonzalo and Nico Paz. I have a lot of confidence in my squad. Vinicius didn’t play for a month and we had good results.”

Providing an update on Rodrygo, who returned with a knee problem from Brazil duty, Ancelotti said: “Rodrygo is fine. The little niggle is gone. He is available tomorrow.”

Discussing the two academy options in attack, Alvaro Rodriguez and Gonzalo Garcia, the Real Madrid boss remarked:

“Alvaro did very well during the period he was called up. He went back to Castilla and his performance dropped a bit. He has less opportunity because his profile is occupied by Joselu. Gonzalo has a different profile.”

On the availability of Federico Valverde and the idea of using him in the double pivot, Ancelotti said: “He has come back well. He can play in a double pivot. There are many solutions there.”

The manager also discussed the role of Real Madrid captain Nacho Fernandez, stating that it is not necessary for a skipper to be a regular starter.

“The captain should not be an undisputed starter. He must be a leader, like Nacho, Marcelo, Sergio Ramos. A leader with commitment, seriousness…. The truth is that he is very happy with the role he has. Everyone wants to play more,” he said.

Source: Mundo Deportivo

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Real Madrid News

Official: Real Madrid announce starting lineup to face Real Betis



Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Real Madrid will sign off on their successful La Liga campaign today with a fixture against Real Betis at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The game, being seen as a final preparation for the UEFA Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund, sees manager Carlo Ancelotti field his strongest possible lineup.

All eyes will obviously be on the retiring Toni Kroos, who bids goodbye to the Bernabeu in what will be his final home game as a Real Madrid player.

The German international starts in the centre of the park alongside Federico Valverde, while Eduardo Camavinga slots in as the No. 6.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid captain, Nacho Fernandez, also starts in what could be his last game at the Bernabeu as well.

Nacho pairs up with Antonio Rudiger in defence, flanked by the full-back pairing of Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy. Thibaut Courtois starts in goal ahead of Andriy Lunin and Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Up front, Vinicius Jr. starts in attack, partnering up with Rodrygo Goes. Top scorer Jude Bellingham occupies the attacking midfield role for Real Madrid.

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