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Video: Carlo and Davide Ancelotti’s brilliant plan leading to Alaba’s winner vs Almeria

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Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

The manager’s understanding of his players’ abilities is vital for any top football club. This trait is further amplified when the coach can motivate his men and believes in their quality.

When Real Madrid desperately needed a second goal against Almeria, all eyes were on Carlo Ancelotti to see what solution he could conjure. Once again, the manager showed the world why he is one of the best in the business.

In the 75th minute, Los Blancos won a free kick just outside the Andalusians’ box. Sighting the possibility of an opening, Davide Ancelotti immediately discussed the possibility of involving David Alaba with his father.

The Austrian was rushed onto the field in a hurried substitution and, just seconds later, scored the winning free-kick for Real Madrid.

After the game, Alaba revealed that it was the manager who instilled confidence in him to take the free kick on the night.

“Before I came on, Ancelotti told me to take the free kick because I’d score it. After the goal he said to me: ‘Look, I told you’,” the Austrian said.

Not only is this incident a testament to Alaba’s brilliant set-piece abilities but also to Ancelotti’s trust in his players. It is not surprising that the Italian has seen so much success in his professional career.

Ancelotti has been nominated for UEFA’s Best Men’s Coach award for the season 2021-22. He will compete with the likes of Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola, but is widely touted as the favourite to walk away with the award.

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Real Madrid News

Key Real Madrid defender still not 100% fit ahead of Club World Cup semi-final – report

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Carlo Ancelotti heads into the FIFA Club World Cup in a pressure cooker situation. The pressure on the manager’s shoulders is immense, for his job could be on the line after Real Madrid’s poor run of form.

The injury situation does not favour the Italian tactician either. Lucas Vazquez, Ferland Mendy, Karim Benzema, Eder Militao and even Thibaut Courtois are out of the semi-final against Al Ahly, leaving him very few options to play with.

According to reports from Jorge C Picon, David Alaba too is not completely fit yet. The Austrian International was given the medical all-clear and entered the squad for Real Madrid’s game against Mallorca, yet started on the bench as he was not at 100%, and that remains the case ahead of tonight’s clash.

The report, however, adds that his mere inclusion in the squad comes as a breather for Ancelotti. Alaba is highly valued by the technical staff, not only for his reading of the game on the field but also for his leadership.

The defender has already missed seven games for Los Blancos since sustaining a muscular injury against Villarreal at La Ceramica. He did indeed come off the bench for under half an hour against Mallorca, but will likely not be risked to start on Thursday. 

In his absence, Nacho Fernandez and Antonio Rudiger are expected to take centre stage in defence in Morocco. Eduardo Camavinga, meanwhile, could start as left-back again.

Alaba has played 17 games for Los Blancos this season and was one of the players with the most minutes until his injury. In his league campaign so far, he has scored one goal and provided three assists while also averaging a key pass every ninety minutes.

It remains to be seen if the Austrian recovers completely in time for the Club World Cup final should the European Champions make it. As it stands, using a cautious approach is in Real Madrid’s best interest.

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