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Ancelotti talks Rodrygo, Hazard, pitch conditions after Cacereno 0-1 Real Madrid

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Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images

In their first game of the new year, Real Madrid would have hoped to put up a dominant performance and get off on the right foot. Considering that their opponents played in the fourth division of Spanish football in their first Copa del Rey clash of the season, one would have expected a landslide victory.

Yet, as has been the script in recent years, the underdogs did not show any sign of inferiority despite playing the European Champions. Cacereno took the game against Real Madrid with such strong intent that it could well have all gone wrong in the opening period itself.

Eventually, Los Blancos walked away with a narrow 1-0 lead thanks to a Rodrygo Goes strike. They now advance to the Round of 16 in the competition after getting through what could ironically be the toughest round.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media after his team’s win on Tuesday and addressed topics including Eden Hazard and the state of the pitch. Madrid Universal brings you the snippets from his interview.

On whether his team deserved the win: “We couldn’t play the way we planned because of the state of the field. We are not used to playing like this but I am satisfied with today’s performance. The result is deserved.”

On his overall assessment of the game: “It’s difficult to fully assess the game because it was difficult to play tonight due to the pitch. Hazard and Rodrygo faced more difficulties and could not create many chances, but fortunately, Rodrygo managed to finish the match with a goal.”

On the poor condition of the pitch: “You can’t play football like that. This is not football and the stadium needs more work. Such things should be monitored by the officials. It’s good to see the kids fight and compete against the big boys. That’s good for the fans, but they want to see good football.”

On how his players adapted to the situation: “I liked the technical side of the players, I knew we had to struggle in this environment. This is our second clean sheet and that makes me very happy, we didn’t suffer as we expected and everything was fine.”

On his team’s aspirations to win the Copa Del Rey: “We are a team that can win and compete in all competitions. Our genes are not to give up and we will compete for all championships as best as possible.”

Source: Real Madrid Twitter

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid face Premier League, Saudi Arabia competition for free transfer target

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid are set to welcome two new stars this summer, Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, but the Merengues are keen on further bolstering their squad.

Owing to the embarrassment of riches Real Madrid possess in midfield, replacing Toni Kroos with a new signing in midfield is not seen as an immediate priority.

Nonetheless, interesting opportunities will invariably be evaluated closely and it appears the name of Adrien Rabiot has entered the club’s crosshairs.

Real Madrid not the only ones interested

But, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Real Madrid face stiff competition from Premier League clubs and Saudi Arabian teams in their pursuit of midfielder Adrien Rabiot.

The French midfielder is set to become a free agent if he chooses not to renew his contract with Juventus, a decision that seems increasingly likely.

Rabiot set to become a free agent this summer. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Known for his technical prowess and versatility, Rabiot excels at playing multiple roles in midfield and notably thriving as a goal threat with late runs inside the opposition box that tend to catch opponents off guard.

While Real Madrid have no shortage of quality in midfield, Dani Ceballos’ exit could pave the way for the 29-year-old to secure a signing for Los Blancos.

However, Real Madrid would have to outmanoeuvre both the financial prowess of Saudi Arabian teams and the competitive allure of Premier League clubs to secure Rabiot’s signature.

On top of that, Juventus are also not giving up on their efforts to try and renew the contract of the French international.

In any case, Rabiot is unlikely to be a priority target for the club but they will be sure to keep a close eye on how his situation develops.

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