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Key Real Madrid star not guaranteed a starting spot against Manchester City



Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images

The absence of Eder Militao was one of the biggest focus points ahead of Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League first-leg semi-final clash against Manchester City.

The centre-back had, after all, been the team’s leader at the back all season and to lose him through suspension for the season’s most difficult game was a big blow.

The Brazilian is now back and raring to go for the second leg at the Etihad Stadium. While he was an undisputed starter in the team a few weeks ago, he now finds himself with a good chance of starting on the bench.

AS reports that Ancelotti is second-guessing his decision to deploy Militao as a starter for the second leg, and two factors are behind his dilemma.

For starters, the combination of David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger did a phenomenal job against Pep Guardiola’s side at the Santiago Bernabeu. The English side’s attack appeared blunt for long parts of the game and Erling Haaland was virtually eliminated from the equation.

The second factor, however, boils down to Militao himself. The Brazilian has not helped himself with subpar performances in recent league games, and doubt unsurprisingly has sprung in the mind of Ancelotti now.

Militao’s bearish period began against Girona when he cut a helpless figure against Valentin Castellanos’ four-goal haul. The situation only worsened from there on.

Against Real Sociedad, Militao gifted the opposition an opening goal just after half-time and hurt Real Madrid’s position on the table. He was exceptional in the recent game against Getafe but that does not appear to change Ancelotti’s mind.

Real Madrid must tread a tightrope to get over the line at Etihad, especially given that they do not have a cushion heading into the second leg. On that front, providing continuity to the working combination of Alaba and Rudiger does not sound like a bad idea.

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Real Madrid News

Brazil not giving up on pursuit of Ancelotti: “Haven’t thrown in the towel yet”



Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images

Speaking to the media, Brazil Football Confederations (CBF) president Ednaldo Rodrigues has claimed that the Selecao have not given up on their pursuit of Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, despite the Italian stating that he will not leave the club.

Brazil have been without a manager since the World Cup in Qatar last year, following which Tite stepped down. The CBF have made Ancelotti their top target and have been pursuing his signing for months but to no avail.

The 63-year-old Italian tactician has, on more than one occasion, made it clear that he will be at Real Madrid next season, with his contract expiring in 2024.

However, CBF president Rodrigues is adamant that Ancelotti’s statements are due to him being cautious as he is under contract at Real Madrid and that the Selecao are not prepared to give up on their quest to appoint him as of yet.

“We made a plan, that ‘Plan A’ is the one you know, Ancelotti, and as they say in the ‘ring’ (boxing), I haven’t thrown in the towel yet,” Rodrigues said (h/t Mundo Deportivo).

“Because of contracts, people are cautious,” he added.

Ancelotti, for his part, has repeatedly stated that he does not intend to leave Real Madrid unless he is forced out of the club.

Despite missing out on the La Liga and the UEFA Champions League titles last season, the club continue to back the veteran Italian and are planning for next season with him in charge.

So, despite Rodrigues’ confidence and perseverance, it is extremely unlikely that Ancelotti will be leaving Real Madrid for Brazil this summer.

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