INTERVIEW | 16/10/2014 | Alberto Navarro“The team is motivated and really up for it. We can continue the run we've put together in recent games,” he told Realmadrid TV and Realmadrid.com.
Carlo Ancelotti gave his assessment of the first two months of official competition on Realmadrid.com and Realmadrid TV. The coach acknowledged the squad's desire to win a second consecutive Champions League and the Club World Cup. He also had words of praise for the trio formed by Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Bale: "The quality of the three up front is unique in the world."
What is your assessment of the first two months of competition?
We had some difficulties at the beginning because August was difficult, as there were players coming back from the World Cup and they did not have time to prepare. Now we've had time to prepare and the team is in good shape, motivated and up for it.
Before putting together this run of six wins in a row, you said that the team looked better than last year.
This year we are clear on the key aspects of our play, though we can't always play at our peak level. The only problem is that we have conceded more goals than normal, but in terms of our play we're better than last year.
Discuss the attacking potency of this team: can you remember anything like it in the history of football?
It isn't easy to score so many goals, but these players have incredible quality in terms of scoring goals and attacking well. It's always a collective effort, but the quality of the three up front is unique in the world.
In defensive terms, the side was close to top form against Athletic. Does this team have the three best central defenders in the world?
I think so. Having three central defenders of the level of Ramos, Pepe and Varane is very good for us, the squad and the team. Our defensive level has improved in recent games because the players are in better physical shape and can work harder in defence, and because I think that, after changing two very important players in this respect, they are getting more used to defending and holding a better position.
There is no doubt that Real Madrid have the best player in the world. Is there anything that could surprise you about Cristiano Ronaldo now?
What doesn't surprise me about Cristiano Ronaldo is the quality he has. It's something I already knew. What does surprise me is the desire he has at this time to fight for the team, to score for the team and his level of professionalism, which is unique in the world of football and above all for a player of this level. It's very good for the team, because Cristiano is not just a goal-scorer but also an important leader, because of what he does. He doesn't talk a lot, but he works very hard and that's why he's a good example to everyone.
Do you see Cristiano Ronaldo as becoming an out-and-out centre-forward over time?
He also thinks that he can play in this position without any problems, but he is more comfortable starting on the wing, because he is always facing the goal.
Let's talk about new arrivals. We already knew all about the quality James possessed, but many have been surprised that he also covers many kilometres and works hard in attack and defence.
When we signed James, we did the physical tests and they showed that he is a player with a lot of stamina. He has the physical characteristics of a midfielder. He can play in the middle without problems, but that doesn't mean taking away the quality he has. We need his final pass and his quality of play in attack.
Have you ever come across a player who has adapted so quickly to his new team and team-mates like Kroos?
He is versatile, and players with tactical intelligence have no difficulty in being in a different position. Defensive midfielder is the most comfortable position, there is more room to play further back. When a player has the quality Kroos has, that Xabi Alonso had or that Illarramendi has, it isn't difficult to get used to it. The player has to work, but the physical exertion isn't as great as a full-back or winger.
You've always backed Benzema. There can be no refuting the impact of time and the figures posted by the Frenchman.
He has always done what I've asked him to do on the pitch. I've never asked him to score goals because we've always said that the last problem this team has is scoring goals. Karim is the ideal figure for players like Cristiano Ronaldo or Bale. Playing with three midfielders and two wingers, it's very important to have a striker who drops deeper to play with the others and isn't only about scoring. In that respect, Karim is unique. There is no other striker with his characteristics.
How far can Bale go, taking into account that last year he did not have a full pre-season and this term he did, and has started in spectacular fashion?
I hope that this year he does what he did at the end of last season. He was decisive in a number of games and his work was very important for the team. Now he is more used to the squad, to these players and he has adapted very well to Madrid. We're going to be looking for him to improve, although it isn't easy to improve on what he did last year.