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‘I’m very proud’ – Ancelotti talks Vinicius, Lunin, Brahim, Guler after Osasuna 2-4 Real Madrid

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Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Real Madrid stretched their lead atop La Liga to ten points after securing a 4-2 win over Osasuna away at El Sadar.

Vinicius Jr. opened the scoring just three minutes into the match, only for Osasuna to equalise minutes later through Ante Budimir. However, Dani Carvajal, back in the starting lineup for today’s game, restored Los Blancos’ lead.

Brahim Diaz, starting again in the absence of Jude Bellingham, added the third goal for Real Madrid in the second period before Vinicius got his second of the day to kill the game.

Osasuna did score again through Iker Munoz late on, but it merely proved to be a consolation.

Ancelotti speaks to Real Madrid TV

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the club’s media channel right after the game and praised the performance of the team, saying (h/t MARCA):

“Great game, from start to finish, with good commitment, good attitude, it was an important game to get ahead and we took advantage of it. We competed well, in the duels, on the long ball….”

After taking Vinicius off, Ancelotti was spotted giving the Brazilian a big hug on the touchline. When asked about the moment, the manager said:

“Today he could have scored four goals without a problem, he was extraordinary in all the situations he had, accurate, cool in front of goal. We need a player like that.”

After a run of sub-par displays, Real Madrid have now scored eight goals in the two games against Osasuna and Celta Vigo, combined, that too without top scorer Jude Bellingham.

“You have to take into account that Bellingham was missing, he was one of the players who scored the most,” remarked Ancelotti on the matter.

On registering his 200th victory at Real Madrid, the Italian said: “Very happy to have achieved all these victories, but it’s not enough, we’ll keep going, we’re going for 201.”

Vinicius wsa the star for Ancelotti’s Real Madrid. (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images)

Press conference

Soon after, Ancelotti attended the post-match press conference, where he was again asked about his 200th win with Real Madrid. In response, he said (h/t AS):

“I’m very proud, I’m very happy, but above all for the victory here. We played well and it’s three very important points to get some distance in the table. We’re going into the break better than ever.”

Ancelotti praised Vinicius, but also reminded the Brazilian to keep his emotions under check after he was booked again today, which means he is suspended for the Athletic Club clash.

“We’re talking about an enormously decisive player, who scored two today… and even with that, he always wants more. He’s been effective in every play he’s made, with and without the ball. He needs to control the atmosphere and the pressure he’s under, yes.”

Further elaborating on the matter, he added: “We all know that he is a very dangerous player. The opposing fans whistle at him, the opposing players kick him a lot, although today I think they were correct, a lot, but within the rules.

“He can and will improve in this area because he is humble, serious and intelligent.”

On what he said to the Brazilian after taking him off, Ancelotti replied: “Nothing special. I congratulated him, because he played an extraordinary game, moving very well, generating danger….

“That’s where he has improved the most, because with the ball he has always been very good, but now he is being spectacular without it. He’s very quick and moves with good timing.”

With Thibaut Courtois close to returning to action, Ancelotti was asked what it would mean for Andriy Lunin, who has hardly put a foot wrong in recent months. In response, the manager said:

“He’s doing well… and it’s true that we’ve discovered a goalkeeper who gives us confidence.

“He’s safe and when Thibaut comes back, we’ll see, because he’s coming off a very bad injury and we have to be careful, like with Militao. There is no rush. Lunin is giving us security.”

Praising Brahim Diaz’s performance, the Real Madrid boss said: “He is an attacking player, but he can cover all positions well, left wing, right wing, he associates well with Vinicius.

“His strength up front is his mobility, which makes it difficult for opponents to fix positions, because he keeps moving around. This mobility gives us a lot of opportunities up front.”

On Arda Guler’s audacious attempt from the halfway line which struck the crossbar, Ancelotti said: “Well… (laughs). (laughs) He’s a great talent, only a great talent can visualise something like that! It doesn’t matter that he didn’t score, for us it’s a goal.”

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Features

Real Madrid’s best lineup next season with Kroos retiring, Mbappe and Endrick joining

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Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images

It is set up to be a transformative summer for Real Madrid. After the UEFA Champions League final has concluded and the grand showdown finally has a victor, the Merengues are expected to undergo a squad revamp.

Indeed, the Santiago Bernabeu is preparing to welcome several high-profile signings, while also bidding farewell to some beloved Madrid legends.

Considering the potential arrivals of Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, as well as Toni Kroos’ recent retirement, here is how Real Madrid could shape up next season:

Goalkeeper

Having made a long-awaited return from injury, Thibaut Courtois is anticipated to guard Real Madrid’s goal next season once more.

The Belgian goalie has already started featuring in the starting XI and is expected to play against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final, too.

As such, his place for next season is hardly in doubt. However, unlike previous seasons, he will face much fiercer competition from Andriy Lunin, who has enjoyed a stellar campaign.

Defence

Fortifications in the defensive line remain high on Real Madrid’s priority list in the upcoming summer transfer window. However, even with the given options the Royal Whites boast assurance and grit in their back-line.

The likely occupants on the flanks would be Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy, who have both produced great exhibitions throughout the campaign.

Ferland Mendy has the full trust of Carlo Ancelotti. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Carvajal is known to punish defensive lines and on the defensive end, his anticipation of forwards has been equally appreciable.

Meanwhile, Mendy’s resurgence this season has earned him immense faith from the coaching staff, as his defensive aptitude continues to set him apart.

In the centre-back positions, Real Madrid are expected to rely on the dependable figures of Antonio Rudiger and Eder Militao.

Real Madrid consider Rudiger to be indispensable owing to his front-footed style and the important role he has had to play amidst the injury crisis. Similarly, Militao is valued by the team as he proceeds to regain match fitness after recovering from a long-term injury.

Midfield

The void of Toni Kroos in midfield will compel coach Carlo Ancelotti and co. to
reconsider their midfield strategy.

Real Madrid will be unable to count on Kroos next season. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Thankfully for Real Madrid, their succession stage had begun a while ago and they have ample options to trust in the center of the park.

With Aurelien Tchouameni protecting the base of midfield, Real Madrid will possess security and deep progression.

Ahead, occupying the interior midfield positions, Fede Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga are well-suited to provide a combination of energy off the ball and threat in possession.

And to put the cherry on top, Jude Bellingham’s place as the number 10 behind the two strikers would certify his status as a pivotal playmaker and scorer in the team’s setup.

However, he is adept at making third-man runs and connecting the midfield with the offence and could play deeper to not only make up for Kroos’ absence but also facilitate more options up front.

Attack

Real Madrid’s offensive department is where the largest reform is expected to take place.

Kylian Mbappe’s goalscoring instincts need little introduction by now and he is thus anticipated to be fielded as the striker.

Vinicius Jr. is expected to take up the position as a secondary striker drifting from the left, something he has become quite accustomed to this season.

Endrick will have to battle for a starting spot. (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)

It is worth noting that Endrick could also play a part by either replacing Vinicius off the bench and playing off Mbappe.

It remains to be seen how many men forward Ancelotti will commit to but the presence of Mbappe and Vinicius seems set in stone, given their huge profiles and status in world football. How the manager uses Rodrygo Goes will be interesting to see as well.

All in all, considering Ancelotti’s proficiency in profiling players, Madrid fans can expect to see these stars play in favourable environments.

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