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Carlo Ancelotti talks Modric, World Cup, and their group ahead of Celtic vs Real Madrid

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Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid’s defence of the Champions League begins tomorrow as Carlo Ancelotti’s men travel to Glasgow to take on Scottish defending champs Celtic. Los Blancos are so far unscathed in La Liga and will hope they can bridge that winning run into the UCL.

Much like last season, Madrid have been mostly written off for this UCL season as well. Ancelotti certainly still believes they are the biggest club in the world, and spoke to the media ahead of their trip to the UK.

On the Real Madrid-UCL connection: “Real Madrid have always been respected in this competition, not only because we won it last season.”

On the World Cup: “Now we only think about the group stages, we don’t know what will happen after the World Cup.”

“I think we won’t have a problem until the World Cup. The doubt is how players will return after it.”

On Celtic: “Celtic are not going to change their attitude tomorrow. They’ll play attacking football but we are not worried about defending.”

On Real Madrid not being favourites: “I’m not surprised, it’s good. We will compete until the end, as always. Hopefully, we will play in the final again.”

On their ‘easy’ group: “It’s not an easy group. Celtic are doing very well and we respect them. Same for Leipzig and Shakhtar. There are always surprises in the group stages.”

“We all remember what happened against Sheriff last season. Anything can happen.”

On Luka Modric: “He’s still one of the best midfielders. He has not had big injuries during his career and this allows him to be this good at 36.”

“He will turn 37 this week and will have a big birthday party. I hope I get invited (laughs).”

“There is no explanation for him. He’s a fantastic player, with a great attitude, great quality.”

Source: Real Madrid TV

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid midfielder set for a change in roles heading into the new season

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(Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images

Federico Valverde, the dynamic midfielder for Real Madrid, is once again on the cusp of adapting to a new role under the guidance of coach Carlo Ancelotti, reports Mario Calderon for Mundo Deportivo

Valverde’s remarkable versatility has been a key asset for Real Madrid, allowing him to excel in various positions on the field. This adaptability has been crucial for the team, and it seems another transformation is on the horizon for the 25-year-old Uruguayan.

The team chances and so does Valverde

His potential shift in role comes amid changes within the team, notably the reassignment of the number ‘8’ shirt to Toni Kroos. 

The German midfielder’s responsibility for constructing the game will likely be shared among several players to ensure a seamless transition.

Here, Valverde’s ability to quickly grasp new concepts will be a significant advantage for both him and Ancelotti. Even during the current period, with many players still absent, Ancelotti is already strategizing on how to best integrate everyone into the team dynamics without compromising performance.

Federico Valverde might play a different role at Real Madrid next season. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Marcelo Bielsa must be credited

Valverde’s recent experiences with the Uruguayan national team in the Copa America under coach Marcelo Bielsa have further honed his skills. 

Bielsa entrusted Valverde with the captain’s armband and deployed him in a deeper role, where he was responsible for initiating plays from the back alongside his teammate, PSG’s young pivot, Manuel Ugarte. 

This experience has enriched Valverde’s understanding of the game, adding another layer to his already impressive skill set.

As the new season approaches, Valverde will need to re-establish himself in whatever role Ancelotti deems fit—be it as a winger, a pivot, or even a full-back, a position he has previously played under former coach Zinedine Zidane. 

Regardless of where he is positioned, Valverde’s importance to the team is undeniable. His versatility, coupled with his ability to adapt quickly, makes him a pivotal player for Real Madrid’s upcoming campaign.

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