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Ancelotti talks Ronaldo, Bale, Gattuso, penalties ahead of Real Madrid vs Valencia

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Photo by JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will be aiming to bounce back to winning ways when they lock horns with Valencia in the semi-finals of the Spanish Super Cup in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Following the loss to Villarreal in La Liga this past weekend, it is imperative that Carlo Ancelotti & co. produce a strong reaction and progress to the finals of the Super Cup, where they would meet either Valencia or Barcelona.

Real Madrid are the current holders of the trophy, having won it last season and will look to successfully defend the title.

Ahead of the game against Gennaro Gattuso’s side, Ancelotti appeared in front of the press and discussed what it means for Real Madrid to win the Super Cup, along with several other topics.

On the Spanish Super Cup: “Titles are always important for this club. Last year it was a title that gave us confidence for the season. Hopefully, it can be the same in this Super Cup. We have to prepare well for tomorrow’s game and play well. Then we’ll try to go home with another title.”

On Real Madrid’s performances post-World Cup: “I think it was foreseeable that we wouldn’t be at our best at this stage of the season. The signs from training were good, I was surprised by the Villarreal game. We have to get back to doing things right; the defensive aspect wasn’t good.

“We have to work and show something different. We know how to defend much better. Tomorrow we have to apply ourselves, the defensive phase is important for us. Up front we have the quality we need.”

On not having any Spanish players in the lineup vs Villarreal: “I think it was a coincidence. I think the matrix of this club is Spanish, it’s clear. Madrid is a universal club, we have Spaniards, in the youth academy too. Madrid are the club that has produced the most players in the youth academy who play in La Liga.”

On whether the players are mentally burdened after the WC: “I don’t think it was too much of a mental burden. It could be that some people are affected emotionally, but we have to wait a bit to draw conclusions. We are hurt by Villarreal and I hope the team reacts tomorrow. It’s a very important test.

On Gennaro Gattuso: “We’ve had some great moments, we’ve won two Champions League titles. Memories forever. After that the relationship is not always good, we have had personal problems but I don’t want to talk about that.”

On the objective in the Spanish Super Cup: “We have to fight for every title, we think about winning everything. Now we will do everything we can to win the Super Cup. We don’t think about whether or not it’s an objective.”

On Gattuso as a manager: “A lot of coaches have come out of that Milan team. They don’t come to me now, but Seedorf, Pirlo, Gattuso, Nesta…maybe they have ‘learned’ something, an experience. Then each one puts his touch on the team. Gattuso’s teams have a very clear identity, they’re intense.”

On the team’s defensive problems: “I am convinced that we will see a compact, solid unit. The defensive aspect is not about quality, but about mentality and sacrifice.”

On whether physical problems led to defeat vs Villarreal: “It’s been years since we stopped doing very long physical programmes. There are a lot of games, not a lot of rest time. We haven’t scheduled any down time. We went down because we didn’t play well.”

On penalty shootouts: “We don’t train for penalties very much. It influences those who want to take them and those who don’t. Sometimes it’s hard to find five players who want to take them. The mental aspect is very complicated. It’s impossible to recreate the atmosphere of a penalty shoot-out in training”.

On playing in Saudi Arabia: “We are delighted to play the Super Cup here, because of the atmosphere we had last year.”

On Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Al Nassr and Gareth Bale’s retirement: “Cristiano was a fantastic signing for Al-Nassr, we wish him all the best. The same goes for Bale, who retired yesterday. They will always be in the hearts of the Madridistas.”

Source: RFEF Official YouTube

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid defender wants to stay and renew contract amid exit talks

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Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Ferland Mendy has had an up-and-down trajectory at Real Madrid since he joined the club back in the summer of 2019 from Olympique Lyon.

The 28-year-old took some time to replace Marcelo as the first-choice left-back but has served the team well ever since, although injuries did make his continuity come into doubt.

Even though he has been largely fit this season, there was a phase when Fran Garcia appeared to be the preferred option at left-back, but Mendy has overturned the situation in his favour.

Now, the undisputed starter at left-back, the French defender is constantly hailed by manager Carlo Ancelotti as the best in the world in his position when it comes to the defensive aspect.

Mendy wants to stay

That has not stopped rumours of a summer departure from doing the rounds for Mendy’s contract with Real Madrid expires in 2025 and the club want to sign Alphonso Davies this summer.

However, as per MARCA, Mendy is not considering the idea of leaving Real Madrid in the summer window and is eager to stay on at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Mendy has been on the transfer list for a while now. (Photo by ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images)

In fact, the French international would be leaning towards the idea of a contract renewal, having previously turned down an offer that he did not feel satisfied with.

As per the report, everyone at the club is happy with Mendy and his contributions. Meanwhile, the player himself feels good and respected at the club and is enjoying his life in the Spanish capital.

As such, he has conveyed that he is not contemplating a departure at this moment.

It does leave Real Madrid in a bit of a quandary, considering that they are eager to sign Davies from Bayern Munich while Fran Garcia is also on the books.

It remains to be seen how the situation is resolved by the Merengues and whether Mendy gets a renewal or is shown the exit doors.

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