Ancelotti: There are many good footballers and then there’s Cristiano
Real Madrid manager, Carlo Ancelotti is confident his side can secure qualification in the Champions League with a win over Tuesday’s opponent, Juventus in Turin, while also praising forward, Cristiano Ronaldo for his performances and professionalism.
In his pre-match press conference, Ancelotti spoke about the upcoming match and if he will make changes to the look of his squad.
“Rotating keeps players fresh and with better fitness levels. The goals we have conceded have not been a problem of rotating, that’s more about us losing balance, confidence and not defending well.
“Rotating isn’t a problem because it allows two things: first, no injuries; we only have one injured player at the moment, which is Coentrao. The second is that the players are motivated.
“Our offensive combination has been very good and hopefully that continues. I’d heard Benzema and Bale weren’t compatible. Or Cristiano…
“Varane will start tomorrow because he’s fresh. I’ll make a decision on who plays out of Pepe and Ramos.
“[Balance] is a very simple word. I’m not happy with our defensive work but we’ve also scored a lot of goals. You have to find a balance.
“Clearly you have to set yourselves up well at the back, but defending with more intensity using seven players and not the three up front is normal.”
Ancelotti then discussed how he intends to prepare for Juventus and what he expects from the Italian side.
“I think it will be an interesting game. Juve have got more problems in the group, but the game is also an important one for us because it’s a chance to seal our qualification. The sooner we get a result, the better.
“The system Juve played with at the Bernabéu was a surprise. I’m not sure if they will change it or use the same system. What I do know is that Juventus will play with a lot of intensity.”
The Italian went on to add that the return of Xabi Alonso is significant and who he would pick between his former midfielder at AC Milan, Andrea Pirlo and the Spanish international.
“Xabi is a very important player but Illarramendi is also doing a good job. It’s about our collective game being good, which will then have an effect on the defensive side.
“They are both fantastic players, on the same level, and with skill and intelligence. These teams are lucky to have players like that. I had Pirlo at Milan and now I have Xabi Alonso at Madrid.”
Ancelotti went on to discuss the current state of his former club, AC Milan, who will face arch-rivals, Barcelona on Wednesday evening.
“It’s a very difficult and delicate situation for Milan and I hope they can solve their problems. Not just qualifying for the next phase. I worked with Galliani for many years and he’s a top director. I would compare him to Cristiano Ronaldo. There are many good players and then there’s Cristiano, who is in another league. There are many good directors and then there’s Galliani, who’s in another league.”