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Dani Carvajal talks Ancelotti, Rodrygo, Lunin, Barcelona ahead of Real Madrid vs Napoli

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Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Real Madrid will play hosts to Serie A champions Napoli tomorrow night in the UEFA Champions League, having already confirmed their place in the knockout stages of the competition.

With four wins in the first four games, Carlo Ancelotti’s men are through to the Round of 16, but will be eager to keep winning and avoiding complacency and relaxation, especially with some key fixtures coming up in La Liga.

On the eve of the game, Real Madrid veteran Dani Carvajal attended the pre-match press conference along with manager Carlo Ancelotti and discussed several matters of note.

Discussing the team’s approach and mentality ahead of the Napoli clash, the right-back said: “Totally focused on the match against a very tough opponent, Napoli, and with the objective of finishing first in the group.”

Real Madrid have been rocked with several injuries at the moment, with the team being without eight players for tomorrow’s contest.

But, Carvajal insisted that it could pave the way for players who have not been playing regularly to step up, as he said:

“It’s not good, but it opens up this opportunity to people with few minutes and, in the end, it might bring the dressing room closer together. I am convinced that they will help us.”

On the matter of injuries and the workload on players due to the fixture schedule, the Real Madrid defender said:

“With elite, international players playing in Europe, it’s true that the calendar is very demanding. We won’t have much of a summer. There are too many games and it’s no coincidence that there are so many injuries. It’s very difficult to be 100% every three days.”

Discussing his own workload and condition, Carvajal added: “I’m a player who doesn’t measure myself, I don’t tend not to give my maximum. It’s true that you know your body and you know how you get there. And I’m already talking about it with the coach.”

The Spanish international was also asked about the plight of Real Madrid’s arch-rivals Barcelona, who face FC Porto in the Champions League later tonight.

“I’m not sure about Barça…they’re there with one and a half feet in the last 16 of the Champions League and close to us in La Liga. We focus on our own thing and if in a few months we have to cross paths with them, we’ll try to beat them,” he said.

There has been a lot of chatter surrounding the future of Real Madrid manager Ancelotti, but Carvajal backed the Italian to continue at the club for a long time, saying:

“When I started I was a stranger to him and I fell a bit on my feet with him. I’ve spent the most time with Zizou. He never stops reinventing himself and preparing for games. As far as I’m concerned, let him stay as long as he and the club want him to. There are few coaches who can do better than Carlo at Real Madrid.”

On whether Ancelotti’s contract should be renewed, he replied: “We all know about the issue of coaches in the world of football. The results determine the future of the coaches. I would renew him, of course. Few can do it better than him.

“In this club, if you don’t win anything, the coach’s head rolls and some players’ heads roll. It’s like that here and in all the big clubs.”

The veteran defender then reserved some praise for in-form forward Rodrygo, who has burst into form after a slow start to the season, as he said:

“Rodrygo knows it’s Madrid, in three games without scoring, you get a lot of criticism. I’m glad he’s taken the pressure of scoring goals off himself. When he’s on a roll and starts scoring, the team feels it. I hope the streak lasts longer because he gives us a lot.”

Carvajal also discussed the youth prospects, Nico Paz and Gonzalo Garcia, who have broken into the first-team setup recently, saying: “Madrid’s youth academy is the best in the world. I see youngsters who are prepared. I also see others who are pushing from below.”

There was also some praise for backup goalkeeper Andriy Lunin, who has stepped up in the absence of Kepa Arrizabalaga, as Carvajal said:

“He’s a professional through and through. He’s an introverted guy. He doesn’t get carried away by emotions. I want to congratulate him because he’s up to the task. When Kepa is recovered it’s the coach’s decision. I congratulate him, keep it up and he’s helping us to score points.”

Source: SPORT

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid captain drops future hint – ‘Sometimes circumstances aren’t right to be a one-club man’

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Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Real Madrid are just days away from their highly anticipated Champions League final showdown against Borussia Dortmund.

Once the final has been played, planning for the summer transfer window will be in full swing, with the topic of arrivals and departures likely to be discussed.

One of the players facing an uncertain future is Nacho Fernandez. The Real Madrid captain has yet to disclose his future ambitions, despite nearing the end of his contract.

Nacho opens up about future

While he previously claimed that he had already made his decision, a shift in tone can be observed now, with Nacho asserting that he will soon sit with the club and his family to evaluate the best course of action

For now, the 34-year-old remains focused on the Champions League final and does not wish to draw any unnecessary attention.

“Future? The focus is on the final now. After that, I will sit with the club, Ancelotti and my family and I’ll decide what’s the best thing for me,” he told El Chiringuito.

On his way out? (Photo by Yasser Bakhsh/Getty Images)

Fernandez acknowledges the fans’ support

Additionally, the veteran centre-back claimed that he does need a grand farewell to know how much the Madrid faithful appreciate him.

“That love the fans have for Toni is the same they have for me. I don’t need a farewell to know the fans love me,” he reflected.

Nacho has devoted his entire career to Real Madrid, rising through the ranks from the youth academy and spending over two decades with the Merengues.

However, he has alluded to the possibility of perhaps donning the colours of a different jersey.

“Sometimes the circumstances are not right to be a ‘one club man’,” he cryptically claimed.

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