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Carlo Ancelotti talks Guler, Diaz, Barcelona following Arandina 1-3 Real Madrid

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Goals from Joselu, Brahim Diaz and Rodrygo Goes helped Real Madrid to a dominant win over Arandina in the first round of the Copa del Rey on Saturday night.

The men in white were dominant in every aspect of the game but were made to wait until the 54th minute to break the deadlock owing to the hosts’ resilient defence. As the opposition lost steam, the difference in quality became evident and Los Blancos reigned victorious.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the press after his team’s 3-1 win on the night and emphasised how special it was to engage in a clash as unique as the Copa del Rey opener in front of a passionate stadium.

“It hasn’t cost us the game and it’s our job. It was a night for them to enjoy Real Madrid here. We have been welcomed and with a good atmosphere. La Arandina has been spectacular with us. The Kings have celebrated them in a different way, but the players were happy.”

Complimenting the opposition’s effort, the manager admitted that the lower-ranked team put up a stiff fight in the first half.

“La Arandina has played as she could. It cost us in the first part because they were organized. In the second it has been easier because they have lowered the physical level.”

“They have proposed a match in which I would have done the same if I had been their coach,” he added in what is big praise for the Arandina coach.

Arda Guler finally made his debut in the Real Madrid colours on the night, not only starting but also creating one big chance and hitting the woodwork once. Speaking about his impression of the Turkish phenom’s debut, he said,

“Arda Güler has made a good time. The important thing was to get used to playing with the team. Little by little, your physical level and intensity will improve. We must be patient with him, but he has demonstrated his quality in the first part.”

“It is important that he has returned. He has personality and character, and that’s good. He has quality with his left leg, but character is an important aspect to do well at Real Madrid,” he added.

Ancelotti then gave his analysis of Brahim Diaz’s performance on the night, which while rocky, was decisive in many ways.

“He has missed many passes, but he has been decisive in the penalty, in the second goal and the assist of the third. We started the game well, but then we missed passes and we lost control a little. Then in the second half, we correct it.”

Speaking about another injury returnee, Eduardo Camavinga, the manager expressed great optimism over his level and fitness heading into a hectic schedule ahead.

“He had a blow to the back in the first part. It bothered him a little, but the knee is very good. He’s back, he’s fine and he’ll be available for the next games.”

The Real Madrid coach was then posed with a question surrounding the team’s long list of injuries and whether he felt the team was short-staffed in any department.

“Tchouameni is a pivot, but in this case of emergency, it will be central. Although Nacho is back now. Mendy will also be back tomorrow and will be available for the Super Cup. My job is to choose the best eleven to win each game,” he said, stressing that his current resources were sufficient.

Looking ahead, Real Madrid are set to take on Atletico Madrid in the semifinal of the Spanish Super Cup. Ancelotti previewed the competition and his team’s chances of lifting the silverware.

“I don’t know if we are favourites. It is a short competition, we are excited and we are close to winning it. It is also short for Atlético, Barcelona and Osasuna. We have confidence because the infirmary is empty except for Lucas Vázquez.”

The Italian gaffer also made it a point to emphasise that he did not have a clear preference between the two goalkeepers, both of whom are in great form.

“The goalkeeper who plays the Super Cup is not the starting goalkeeper. They are doing very well both of them and we will go game by game.”

Towards the end of his press conference, the coach evaluated the performances of the youth players who got a chance to don the first-team jersey on the night, saying,

“The youth players have done well. Tobias played two days ago with Castilla, just like Carrillo. Mario Martín has also done well when Nico Paz has been as always.”

Finally, Ancelotti confirmed Courtois’ positive recovery status as the player had returned to training on the field earlier in the day.

“Courtois trained this morning in the field in a soft way. The recovery is going well, like that of Militão. We don’t have to be in a hurry with him.”

Source: Real Madrid website

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid convinced with 21-year-old loanee’s performances, will count on him next season

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Photo via Getty Images

Real Madrid are eager to enhance their options in central defense after deciding to not sign any defenders in the recent January transfer window.

Several players are on the club’s radar, with Lille’s promising center-back Leny Yoro most notably high on the club’s wishlist.

However, the Merengues are not turning a blind eye to their homegrown academy gems, as Rafa Marin is making a strong case for himself to join the first team dynamics next summer.

Rafa Marin strengthens his case

The 21-year-old is presently on loan at Alaves and is showcasing solid performances in the heart of defense, with Real Madrid reported to count on him next season.

Now, AS have reported that the reason for the club’s trust in Marin is his upsurge in performances at Alaves. And if Nacho Fernandez leaves, Marin will serve as the fourth central defender in the squad.

A testament to his worth to Alaves is the fact that Marin has not been benched since mid-November, demonstrating his importance in coach Luis Garcia Plaza’s defense.

With 2,282 total minutes played, he ranks as the fourth-highest on the team with the most minutes.

Against Atletico Madrid recently, Rafa Marin enjoyed a stellar outing. In addition to making 15 recoveries and 9 interceptions, he took part in 24 defensive actions. Along with winning two ground and four air duels, he only committed one foul.

A stellar performance vs Atletico. (Photo by CESAR MANSO/AFP via Getty Images)

An important summer for Marin

Not only is Rafa Marín returning to Real Madrid, but he is also going to represent Spain in the Olympics in Paris.

Marin was included in five of the six matches during the Euro Under-21 qualifiers because coach Santi Denia of Spain’s under-21 team greatly values his presence and height (1.91 meters).

Marin has a bright future ahead of him if all goes according to plan. His season with Alaves is sure to serve as a stepping stone for his integration into the Real Madrid first team.

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