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



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

Harry Kane ‘very close’ to completing Real Madrid move, only final details remain – report



Jude Bellingham’s move to Real Madrid was finally closed earlier today as officially confirmed by Borussia Dortmund on their website. Yet, the offices at Santiago Bernabeu have not even taken a break to celebrate their success.

According to reports from Alfredo Pedullà, Los Blancos are now completely focused on the acquisition of Harry Kane. The English striker’s arrival is very close to approaching closure and only a few details remain to be sorted.

The Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur representatives reportedly held a meeting today over the striker’s transfer. The agenda was to agree on a number for the transfer fee.

The Premier League side began the proceedings with an expectation of €100 to €110 million in exchange for Kane. However, the Merengues suggested a lower point at €80 to €90 million, albeit with the option to include bonuses.

There is not much separating the two parties at the moment, and the minor gap will be bridged in the coming days. Overall, the meeting ended with a broad understanding between the two clubs.

Carlo Ancelotti sees the English striker as the centre-piece of his attack for next season given the recent departure of Karim Benzema. After all, Kane has been one of football’s most consistent goalscorers over the past decade.

Yet, Los Blancos cannot afford to let their guard down with one signing and will need to rope in at least two more names in attack to serve as backup options. The exits of Mariano Diaz, Marco Asensio, and Eden Hazard leave them with no squad depth, after all.

Kane has scored 30, 17, and 23 goals in his last three seasons in the Premier League and is the epitome of consistency. Further, he had three assists in his most recent league season and created 14 big chances.

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