Carlo Ancelotti has been all over the news in recent days for taking a direct dig at the referees and VAR after his team’s draw at the weekend. Amidst all the talk and speculation, the manager faced the press ahead of Real Madrid’s Champions League clash tomorrow where he even addressed the elephant in the room.
Los Blancos have secured qualification to the next round but are yet to seal the first place to their name. A win on Wednesday would do the deal and that will be the only objective against Celtic. Here are the snippets from Ancelotti’s press conference.
On the importance of tomorrow’s clash: “Tomorrow’s game is very important because we want to top our group.”
On accusing the referees after the last game: “I didn’t accuse the referee the other day because I would never talk bad about the referees.”
On Aurelien Tchouameni: “Tchouameni will NOT play tomorrow.”
On Benzema’s recovery: “Benzema is training right now and we will see how he feels. Then we will decide if he’ll be in the squad for tomorrow.”
On the penalty called on Marco Asensio: “That against Girona wasn’t a penalty. I know the rule very well. I’m not stupid. At the beginning of the season they explained us that’s not a penalty.”
On tomorrow’s opponents: “Celtic will play their game with intensity and passion. It will be an open game. We want to give our best version tomorrow.”
On facing a ban for his comments: “The possible sanction for my words? I don’t know, I don’t lose sleep on this. But I said what the whole world thought. It wasn’t a penalty.”
On VAR: “I think VAR is a good thing but the referee should always be more important during the games. VAR has to help the referee, not be the protagonist.”
On whether Benzema was intentionally missing games: “Benzema missing games because of the World Cup? This is bad faith. You don’t have to think this. We have to remember he’s 34 and sometimes he misses some games.”
On the team’s poor run in the last two games: “We made mistakes against Leipzig and Girona. We talked about it and I hope the players will fix these aspects tomorrow.”
On Benzema’s availability: “We have to see how Benzema feels after the training today. If he makes the squad I’ll have to decide if he starts or not.”
Source: Real Madrid Twitter
Inter Milan star claims he is the best playmaker in the world, ahead of Real Madrid superstar
Hakan Calhanoglu raised many eyebrows in the summer of 2021 when he left AC Milan to join arch-rivals Inter Milan on a free transfer.
It was a move that surprised many, but more than two and a half years later, Calhanoglu’s acquisition has turned out to be a masterstroke from Inter Milan’s end.
During his time at Inter, the former HSV starlet has featured in 125 competitive matches, racking up 23 goals and 24 assists. He has eclipsed his AC Milan numbers, which is quite a feat to achieve.
Calhanoglu hails himself as the best playmaker
Hakan Calhanoglu’s performances have been particularly impressive in the ongoing campaign. The midfielder has been involved in 14 goals this term, including 11 goals.
In light of his performances, Calhanoglu has raised eyebrows by hailing himself as the best playmaker in the world, in a recent interview.
“I’m the best playmaker right now,” Calhanoglu said, shortly after Inter Milan’s narrow 1-0 victory over Atletico Madrid.
Calhanoglu ranks Toni Kroos as the ‘next best’ after him and Rodri
The Turkish international went on to name a few more players who he thinks are the best playmakers after him.
Calhanoglu notably mentioned Real Madrid superstar Toni Kroos, stating (h/t DAZN), “After me Rodri, then Toni Kroos, Kimmich and Enzo Fernández.”
The Turk’s decision to add Kroos to his list is highly surprising as the German maestro has been quite important to the Real Madrid team this season.
Even at the of 34, Kroos has remained an integral part of the Real Madrid midfield. His experience and leadership have been crucial in guiding an otherwise young midfield unit.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for another veteran Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric.
The Croat is reportedly unhappy with his current role in the first team and is likely to leave Santiago Bernabeu at the end of the season.