Speaking in an exclusive interview with MARCA, former Real Madrid captain and club legend Iker Casillas has claimed that Carlo Ancelotti is the ideal coach for the Spanish capital giants.
Ancelotti returned to Real Madrid in 2021 for a second stint and has tasted tremendous success again. The Italian tactician was recently handed a new contract by the Merengues, furthering his stay at the Santiago Bernabeu until 2026.
And Casillas is of the opinion that Real Madrid have the right man at the helm of affairs, as he said: “Carlo is an ideal coach for Real Madrid. And he is proving it. He gets a lot out of the players. On top of that is the good work of the overall team.”
The former Spain international also spoke about Real Madrid’s current No. 1, Thibaut Courtois, who has not played a single game this season due to an ACL injury right before the campaign started.
Casillas advised the Belgian shot-stopper to not rush his recovery and instead focus on preparing for the next season rather than a return this campaign.
“The first thing Courtois has to do is to recover as well as possible. I think it would be premature for him to try to come back at the end of the season. What he has to do is prepare for next season,” said Casillas.
Justifying his statement, the Los Blancos icon added: “Kepa has come in this year as a replacement, Lunin is demonstrating the confidence he’s been given… and the good thing is that they’re at the level to be Madrid goalkeepers.”
The Real Madrid legend also discussed the team’s chances of winning La Liga and other trophies this season, saying:
“It’s quiet until you have a defeat and that means you are eliminated from a competition. A few weeks ago we lost in the cup and that again makes someone doubt the commitment of the players.
“But it’s true that in the Champions League and in La Liga the season has been very good. Let’s see now that we play Girona, who are direct rivals, how far they can go. Madrid have to continue to have their line.”
Casillas also discussed the situation of his former Spain teammate and current Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez, who will be leaving the Catalans at the end of the season.
“The shame with football is that people have no memory. They don’t remember what you’ve been doing for so long. He’s been a legendary player at the club, he’s been involved now as a coach at Barcelona, winning a league last season…,” he said.
“But this so fast and so imminent that you’re already being asked for success again. Every day, every three days. Surely he must have made the best decision for himself, for his family and for his group as a whole. If he has made this decision, it is because he had made it a long time ago.”
Casillas also had something to say about the recent announcement of the Santiago Bernabeu hosting an NFL match in the near future.
“Since the technological revolution that has taken place, where we are all very close, I think the NFL is followed in Europe and in Spain there are also a lot of fans,” he said.
“To have this approach of bringing the NFL to the new Santiago Bernabéu is something incredible. And for LaLiga and the NFL to have that relationship is going to be very good for both parties.”
Real Madrid do not want to pay ‘crazy money’ for top defensive target – Romano
As has been reported by multiple reliable sources today, Alphonso Davies is likely to be on his way to Real Madrid from Bayern Munich in the summer.
It has been suggested that the 23-year-old Canadian left-back already has a verbal agreement with Los Blancos over a transfer either this summer or in 2025, when his contract with the Bundesliga champions runs down.
Now, the idea is for Real Madrid to start negotiations with Bayern Munich over a transfer fee so that a mutually beneficial agreement can be reached for the summer window.
Real Madrid will not pay crazy money
Amidst all this, Fabrizio Romano has come out with an update claiming that Real Madrid do not intend to pay ‘crazy money’ to sign Davies from Bayern Munich given that he will be entering the final year of his contract.
The Italian transfer expert claims that Real Madrid have been the preferred destination for Davies for a while now and that the personal terms between the two parties will not be an issue at all.
So, a summer move would now hinge on Bayern Munich’s asking price for their left-back.
Romano states that the Bavarian giants will attempt to tie Davies down to a new contract until May or even June.
But if the left-back, who is demanding hefty wages worth around €20 million, does not agree to sign, they will be forced to sell instead of losing him for free next year.
In that scenario, Real Madrid will be best-placed to sign Davies, although Los Blancos will not go overboard with their spending on the Canadian.