Real Madrid News
Ancelotti talks Vinicius, Asensio, Rodrygo, Modric, Kroos after Mallorca 1-0 Real Madrid
Real Madrid were dealt a major setback in the defence of their La Liga title as they fell to a 1-0 defeat to RCD Mallorca at Son Moix today.
Coming into the game with a five-point gap to leaders Barcelona, Carlo Ancelotti’s men had a great chance to cut down that lead and put pressure on their rivals. Instead, Los Blancos put in a listless display and fell to a shock loss to Javier Aguirre’s men.
Mallorca took the lead through a Nacho Fernandez own goal in the 13th minute and managed to hold on to that advantage. Marco Asensio could have brought Real Madrid back in the game, but missed his penalty at the hour mark.
The game had an edge to it due to Antonio Raillo’s recent comments against Vinicius Jr leading up to the match. And tempers flared throughout the game, with the Brazilian being targeted by opposition defenders and fans.
Speaking after the match, manager Ancelotti addressed the same as well as his decision to put Asensio in charge of penalties ahead of Rodrygo in Karim Benzema’s absence.
On Vinicius Jr: “Everything that is happening is not Vinicius’s fault, he just wants to play football. You have to change your focus and look at what happened against him in today’s game.”
On the game: “Tough. It was the match we were expecting. A very tough match, difficult… We didn’t have the luck to handle it, because they scored against us very early and then it was very difficult. A lot of fouls, and the match stopped many times. We deserved to draw, we missed the penalty, we had chances in very tight spaces…”
On benching Kroos and Modric for Valverde and Ceballos: “Because they were good. Kroos came out of the last game a little bit injured, Luka [Modric] too. I’ve done a bit of rotation.”
On whether the La Liga title race is over: “It’s a defeat that hurts a lot in this sense, but it was the game we expected. We prepared for a tough, difficult match, with a lot of fouls and interruptions. The small details determined the match. The early goal and the missed penalty really affected us.
“The match wasn’t bad, in my opinion, but it was an atypical match, with a lot of interruptions. Now we have to think about the Club World Cup, where we are very excited.”
On whether he considered starting Kroos, Modric with Benzema’s absent: “Kroos was out injured after the Valencia game, it was better to avoid problems. Luka had played a game less than 72 hours ago and I didn’t want to risk him. The team played a good game in terms of energy, especially in the first half.”
On Courtois’ condition: “Courtois had a problem with a knock in the warm-up and that’s why we changed him.”
On whether the UCL is more important now: “What is more important is every game we have to play. Now we have to play the Club World Cup, which we want to win, and then we’ll fight for the league until the end. It’s not over yet, there are still a lot of games to go. What happened to us today can happen in every game.”
On the number of fouls Mallorca made: “I have to study the fouls a bit. Today the referee forgot about the repetition of fouls. It’s a yellow card when the foul is repeated, repeated, repeated and repeated again, because we came out of the first half with two cards and Mallorca with zero.”
On why Asensio took the penalty: “I chose him. The first one is Benzema, then Modric and then it can be someone else: Kroos, Asensio, Rodrygo… I choose the penalty taker.”
Real Madrid News
Real Madrid held talks with Thomas Tuchel before he signed for Bayern Munich
Before he was hired by Bayern Munich as the direct replacement for Julian Nagelsmann, Thomas Tuchel was closely linked with a move to Real Madrid at the end of the season.
The German tactician had kept a close eye on the development at Santiago Bernabeu, especially with coach Carlo Ancelotti facing immense pressure following the club’s poor performances in domestic competitions.
A recent report from Jorge Picon has offered more details on the Tuchel saga, suggesting that the coach was even learning Spanish during his time at Ibiza, anticipating a potential move to Real Madrid at the end of the season.
There were even contacts made between Tuchel’s entourage and Real Madrid. Although the talks were positive, the two sides were not able to reach an agreement.
Real Madrid did not guarantee him the job. They had informed Tuchel that Ancelotti may continue at the Bernabeu in the event the club win the UEFA Champions League this season.
This bit of uncertainty played a critical role in convincing Tuchel to join Bayern Munich instead. The former Chelsea boss was hired as a direct replacement for Nagelsmann, who was sacked after a poor season in the Bundesliga by the club’s high standards.
However, Tuchel’s move to Bayern appears to be a missed opportunity on the German’s part, as Real Madrid have recently intensified their search for a new manager.
It is clear that the club’s hierarchy is yet to reach a consensus over the future of Ancelotti, with some believing that a change is necessary come the end of the season. In fact, the club’s president Florentino Perez has been an admirer of Tuchel’s compatriot Nagelsmann.
The coaching prodigy is one of the candidates to replace Ancelotti in the summer, though it is Mauricio Pochettion who is reportedly leading the race so far.