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Ancelotti talks Vinicius, racism, La Liga ahead of Real Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano

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Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

After back-to-back defeats against Manchester City and Valencia, Real Madrid will be hoping to return to winning ways when they face off against Rayo Vallecano at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night.

Leading up to the game, though, the headlines are dominated by the racist abuse targeted towards Real Madrid winger Vinicius Jr during the game against Valencia.

La Liga are under intense pressure to take some tangible actions, while the RFEF has already decided to fire six referees, including the one who was the VAR during Valencia vs Real Madrid on the weekend.

As one would expect, Carlo Ancelotti was asked a lot of questions about Vinicius, the situation around him, and the racist attacks targeted at the Brazilian international, during his pre-match press conference today.

Ancelotti calls for action after Vinicius incident

“We are worried about what happened, like everyone else. There is a lot of talk and it is right to talk about it. It can be a great opportunity to improve things quickly. Vinicius is a bit sad, he hasn’t trained because of a little knee discomfort. We are waiting for what his sanction will be,” Ancelotti admitted.

Lashing out at those who claim Vinicius is provocative, the Real Madrid said: “Vini has been a victim of what is happening. Sometimes he is blamed: he provokes, the attitude… no. Let’s be clear: he is the victim of all this. Like the fans who behave impeccably.”

There was a lot of outrage within the Valencia camp after Ancelotti’s statements over the weekend, when he called out their fans for racism. Clarifying what he said, the Italian said:

“And, by the way, when I talk about Mestalla it’s not 46,000 people, but a group. As it happened in Mallorca, Valladolid… it’s a custom (racism). Beyond racism, it seems customary to insult. I think what Xavi has said is exemplary: Why do we normalize insulting in football?

“They say they did not shout ‘monkey’, but ‘stupid’. So what? Can that be said? It’s also intolerable. It has to stop. And I want to say that Spain is not racist, but there is racism in Spain. And it has to change.”

Vinicius Jr faced racist insults (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

Vinicius was sent off against Valencia for hitting out at Hugo Duro. However, the VAR had shown the on-field referee manipulated images that excluded the attacks on the Real Madrid winger by the opposition players. As such, it has resulted in his sacking as reported earlier.

Talking about it, Ancelotti said: “Manipulating an image is quite serious. I don’t know if it’s manipulated or if they’ve forgotten it. Vinicius was attacked, first by the goalkeeper and then by Hugo Duro. If you are attacked, you defend yourself.”

The manager had spoken about the referee not stopping the match after the abuse against the winger and touched on it again, saying: “I think that stopping the game can be a good solution. But I repeat: it is an important moment to take action.”

Talking the protocols in place obsolete, he added: “I think it’s obsolete, yes. Because the protocol had to be applied as soon as you arrive by bus. That’s where the insults begin and the arguments that Vinicius is a provocateur fall.

“It’s not 46,000, but neither is it one or two. Two hours before they were already insulting.”

Calling on La Liga and RFEF to take concrete measures, Ancelotti said: “I’m waiting to see what happens. I hope it’s something. And worried, of course. Because for me, it’s an important moment. It is crucial that they take action… and I look at the Federation and La Liga.”

“It’s very good to condemn, but it’s not enough. I want them to take action. And it hasn’t been done yet.”

Ancelotti confident Vinicius will not leave Real Madrid

In light of these events, there have been a lot of speculations that Vinicius Jr. could consider leaving Real Madrid in the summer. However, Carlo Ancelotti believes that the winger loves the club and is not thinking about an exit.

“No, I don’t think so. Vinicius loves football and Real Madrid. His love for Real Madrid is very great and he wants to make a career in this team,” he said.

When asked if he had spoken to the Brazilian, the manager replied: “Yes, he’s very sad. But he knows that he has the support of everyone, not just Madrid. It’s unconditional support… even rivals!”

Ancelotti reiterated the same when probed by another journalist about Vinicius’ future, as he said: “I don’t think so, because he loves Real Madrid very much. I don’t think that goes through his head.”

When asked if the Brazilian had lost his enthusiasm after recent events, the manager replied: “He hasn’t lost it, no. We will see the penalty he will have and we will evaluate giving him more, or less days off. If he gets two games, I’ll give him a week of vacation. And if he gets a game, no, he will play in Seville.”

Source: Real Madrid Twitter

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Real Madrid News

Brahim, Tchouameni start in a 4-3-1-2: How Real Madrid could lineup against Sevilla

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Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid are set to play hosts to Sevilla this evening, in what could prove to be a critical match in the context of the title race.

Although Los Blancos hold a formidable lead at the top of the table, the club are coming on the back of a disappointing result against Rayo Vallecano.

Dropping more points against Sevilla tonight could prove to be costly, especially with Barcelona and Girona breathing down their necks.

Potential Real Madrid lineup vs Sevilla

As Real Madrid approach this crucial game, coach Carlo Ancelotti has to make several arrangements, especially with so many players ruled out either due to injury or suspension.

Defence

Starting from the goalkeeper position, Thibaut Courtois remains out, which means Andriy Lunin should continue in between the sticks, ahead of the unhappy Kepa Arrizabalaga.

In the right-back position, Ancelotti is likely to opt for Lucas Vazquez, as Dani Carvajal is suspended after picking up two yellow cards in the last game.

On a bright note, though, Antonio Rudiger is back and should return to central defence. He will be accompanied by Nacho Fernandez at the heart of Real Madrid’s four-man backline.

Rudiger to return after a brief spell on the sidelines (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)

Elsewhere in defence, Ferland Mendy should continue to start ahead of Fran Garcia in the left-back position.

Midfield

Moving into midfield, Eduardo Camavinga has been ruled out due to suspension. However, Ancelotti does have a myriad of options in the middle of the park.

Aurelien Tchouameni should continue to operate in the number six position, just behind the two interior midfielders Toni Kroos and Federico Valverde.

Luka Modric is an option on the bench, should Ancelotti require more experience in the middle.

Attack

As for the attack, the Real Madrid frontline should be led by Brahim Diaz once again, even though he faces fierce competition from Joselu.

Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo, on the other hand, are guaranteed choices in the wide attacking spaces, though Ancelotti does have Arda Guler and Alvaro Rodriguez as potential alternatives.

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