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Real Madrid mainstay opines on the future of Carlo Ancelotti: “He is our manager”

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Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has claimed that he would like to see Carlo Ancelotti remain at the club after the season even if they do not win the UEFA Champions League this season.

Los Blancos’ campaign has not hit the heights of last season even though they have won the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.

They are nine points behind leaders Barcelona in the La Liga table heading into tomorrow’s El Clasico. On top of that, Real Madrid are also trailing the Catalans 1-0 in the semi-final of the Copa del Rey after the first leg.

It has led to question marks over the future and continuity of Ancelotti, with reports suggesting that Real Madrid could axe him if they do not win any major titles this season.

But Courtois is clear that he wants Ancelotti to stay at the club even if the Merengues do not win the Champions League, although he knows that the decision is not in his hands.

“Yes, of course. He is a great manager and the players have a good bond with him. They are not our decisions but we fight with him for titles and he is our manager,” he told Movistar (h/t Mundo Deportivo).

Courtois on the importance of winning the Clasico

The Belgian international then talked about tomorrow’s El Clasico against Barcelona and how important the fixture is with respect to the title race.

“If we don’t win the game, the point difference will be quite high but we have the confidence to win and to reduce the points to keep fighting until the end,” he said.

Furthermore, Courtois added that Real Madrid will do everything to put Barça under pressure until the end and make it as hard for them as possible, saying:

“We want to put pressure on them and if they keep winning then they will be deserved champions. We want to fight until the end, until the first weekend in June, and hopefully, we’ll be happy.”

When asked if he and the team prepare differently for Clasicos, the goalkeeper replied: “We prepare the same for every game because every game is important, although obviously, the Clásicos are special because of the rivalry. They are three points and the important thing is to prepare for each game in the same way.”

Courtois also spoke highly of his Barcelona counterpart Marc-Andre ter Stegen, stating that his exploits were key in the Catalans’ rise to the top.

“This year Barça have a very good defensive base and the few chances they do concede are saved by Ter Stegen. He has been winning many games 1-0 and if it wasn’t for him they would have ended in a draw,” he said. “It’s to his credit that Barça are nine points clear at the top. He’s having a great season and he’s a great goalkeeper.”

There was praise reserved for Robert Lewandowski as well, as Courtois added: “He brings a lot to the team, he’s a winner since Dortmund and Bayern Munich. He scores a lot of goals and has given Barcelona a plus. He has a great eye for goal and gives them a lot to play with.”

On the Champions League and facing Chelsea

Courtois also spoke about the Champions League draw, where Real Madrid will be facing his former club Chelsea in the quarter-finals.

“To win the Champions League you have to beat the strongest teams. That’s the way it is. The game against Chelsea is always special for me, for Rüdiger, for Eden and we’ll see if we go further,” he said.

“First, we have to concentrate on tomorrow’s game and when we come back from the international break we hope to have a good run in April.”

On Real Madrid’s chances of winning the Champions League this term, he added: “Last year nobody thought we could win and this year we don’t know, but we will always be one of the favourites.”

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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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