17 September 2013
Carlo Ancelotti gave a press conference at the Ali Sami Yen stadium, where Madrid will face its Champions League debut in just over 24-hours. The coach analysed the upcoming match against Galatasaray: “We’ll need skill and courage because we’re playing in an atmosphere that helps the home team a lot. We’ll come out to win and it will be a really good test to demonstrate the team’s character. It’s the most important competition in the world and everyone wants to win it. Things are really balanced and the most important thing is to demonstrate our skill. Our team has a lot and this quality can be a good weapon to make it to the top in this competition. I’m really excited to play in this competition with Real Madrid and win the Décima. It’s a fantastic motivation for me”.
When asked about the starting eleven that will take to the pitch of the Ali Sami Yen today, Ancelotti confirmed that Casillas will play and also revealed that: “Casillas will play along with those that played against Villarreal, more or less. Arbeloa is available, thought we’ll see after today’s training session. We should be careful with Bale and we’ll make a decision tomorrow. He hasn’t had any issues after his debut and we should think before putting him on the pitch. He can play in every attack position behind the forwards”.
In regards to the team’s captain and his rivalry with Diego Lopez, Ancelotti said: “I have two great goalkeepers with a fantastic attitude. Diego deserves to play La Liga and Iker deserves to play the Champions for his professionalism, seriousness and skill. Casillas has a lot of experience. He seems calm and I think he’s going to play a great match. He’s has the ability to overcome any type of pressure. Both are performing well”.
Ancelotti also spoke about the recent renovation of Cristiano Ronaldo: “It’s great news for madridistas because Real Madrid will have the most important player in the world for years to come. Cristiano Ronaldo will be more motivated because of it. I hope that his performance is the same as in past years. The goal is to play well, win and improve the quality of the game”.
Ancelotti also evaluated his squad’s defensive balance: “I’m not happy because we lacked balance. I don’t think that we’ll have problems when it comes to scoring goals because we have players with fantastic skill. We need to defend better and it’s a question of balance. Tomorrow will be a good test, but we’ll try to play to win”.
The Italian coach was also asked about Özil’s transfer and Benzema’s performance. “Nothing has changed in our game. Özil has a lot of skill, but we have players with a lot of skill and the team without Özil remains unchanged”, commented Ancelotti. The coach only had words of praise for Benzema: “What matters is that he plays for the team, not that he scores. He’s going to improve and Karim combines well with Cristiano Ronaldo and with Bale”.
To conclude, Ancelotti was clear when asked about his relationship with Fatih Terim: “I have a really good relationship with him. He’s a great coach and his history in football speaks for itself. He has extensive experience”.