Real Madrid News
Ancelotti talks Vinicius, Modric, Rodrygo, Valverde, Nacho after Liverpool 2-5 Real Madrid
Tuesday night saw one of the UEFA Champions League’s most special clashes as last edition’s finalists Real Madrid and Liverpool engaged in action at Anfield in the Round of 16. The game did not disappoint with an incredible comeback scripted by Los Blancos and seven goals scored on the night.
The first half was more evenly balanced, and both teams shared the spoils at the halfway mark, with the scoreline at 2-2. However, the Merengues went out blistering in the second half, putting three more goals beyond Liverpool to settle the result.
Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media after his team’s special win at Anfield and spoke about the dynamics of the game amongst other topics. Here are the snippets from his interaction.
On the performance of his team: “Winning at Anfield isn’t easy and doing so in a convincing manner is even more difficult. We’re very pleased about that. The team showed that they’re improving and that they’ve been at a good level in February after a tough January.
“The season doesn’t stop and we have to be at our best. We’re pleased and we’re confident we can do well.”
On the contrasting halves of action: “We struggled a lot at the start, but in the second half we made a difference. We didn’t expect to get off to such a start, but as is often the case with this team, we stayed calm and gradually got into the game thanks to the quality we have.”
On what changed in the second period: “The forwards were highly effective and we created problems when we broke out of their pressure. We sorted out the defensive side of things and in the second half, we made a difference. We looked for our front players, who were outstanding today.”
On the second leg: “We have gained an advantage from the first 90 minutes and now we have to manage the second 90 in Madrid well. Liverpool are a highly competitive team and unfortunately, the tie isn’t over. Liverpool are a great team because they play at a high tempo and that’s tough to come by in Europe. It’s going to be tough for us.”
On how his approach last night was distant from last year’s final: “I tried to field a line-up to ensure we played a more open game than in the final because this is a knockout tie. We went for a dangerous forward line.
“Rodrygo did a fantastic job defensively and really helped us a lot. We had a different strategy compared to the final.”
On pushing through despite being two goals down: “I remembered the semi-final against Manchester City. It was inevitable that we’d have to suffer. We said to ourselves that we could struggle, but the important thing was to remain calm and keep our emotions under control.”
On the importance of players’ mentality: “This is where the veterans really help a lot. Everyone showed composure because it was a long game. You keep cool by trusting in the quality you have. You have to prepare the team to stick to the strategy you have set out.”
On Vinicius Jr: “Right now he’s the most influential player in world football. No other player has this consistency.”
On Luka Modric: “He’s the same Modrić as always. The best Modrić you can see in a match: consistent, confident, and great on the ball. In times of trouble, he’s been essential in getting us out of trouble.”
On controlling the game in the second half: “I told Luka to press Fabinho in the first half, but he found more on the left wing, and in the second half we put Valverde there.
“Nacho always performs. He has a football intelligence in defence that not many have. We sorted it out well in the second half.”
Source: Real Madrid official website
Real Madrid News
Brazil ready to wait until June for Carlo Ancelotti – Romano
Earlier today, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti spoke openly about the rumours linking him to the vacant Brazil national team job.
The Italian tactician has emerged as the top target for the Selecao to succeed Tite, who was let go of after the FIFA World Cup 2022.
The president of the Brazil Football Confederation (CBF), Ednaldo Rodrigues, has made it clear that Ancelotti is the preferred candidate for the job.
Reacting to the same, Ancelotti, during his press conference today, said: “The reality is that the Brazilian national team wants me and I love it and I’m very excited about it, but then I have to respect the contract I have and I want to fulfil it.”
“I’m not surprised that there are these rumours. It doesn’t affect me, it doesn’t worry me. I’m just focused on fulfilling my duties with this club and with this team. I’m still here until Real Madrid allow me to stay.”
While the 63-year-old might be saying that he wishes to fulfil his contract at Real Madrid, which expires in 2024, he did not shy away from stating that he was happy about Brazil’s interest in him.
And now, Fabrizio Romano (h/t Madrid Zone) is reporting that the Selecao are ready to wait until June to go ahead with the appointment of Ancelotti.
While the Italian tactician remains in control at this point at Real Madrid, things could change drastically over the next couple of months.
The La Liga title looks already out of the Merengues’ hands while they are also trailing Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semi-final. If they fail to go all the way in the UEFA Champions League as well, Florentino Perez could decide to make some changes, starting with Ancelotti.
Hence, Brazil are happy to wait patiently until June and see how the situation is at that point and whether Ancelotti is available. With no major matches coming up for the Selecao until September, they can afford to wait as well.