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Athletic - Real Madrid

Ancelotti: “We're strong enough to fight for everything"

NEWS STORY. 16/01/2022. Rodrigo Salamanca. Photographer: Pedro Castillo and Helios de la Rubia (Riyadh)

“We deserved to win this trophy, It's a great honour to coach this team”, said the Real Madrid coach.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke in the press room at the King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh and gave his thoughts on the win over Athletic, which saw Real Madrid secure their twelfth Spanish Super Cup. The Real Madrid coach said: "We deserved to win the trophy based on the two games we've played here. Both games were different, but they were good games. We had to play differently in this game and played well for the first 70 minutes. We controlled the possession and defended very well. We dropped a bit deeper afterwards, but that could happen in a final. I'm very pleased, happy and we'll carry on".
"We're going to compete, but I'm lucky to be here. It's a great honour to coach this team and this club. We're going to compete for the other trophies too.
The strength of the squad
"I can take a lot from today. Firstly, we're got a very good squad. The spirit is also good. We're strong enough to fight for everything. I like to watch this team play. We can play in different ways and that's this team's strength. Kroos and Modrić's are not the best when it comes to defending, but they're very committed".
Differences with his previous spell at Real Madrid
"They're two different periods, yet the thing that remains the same is the quality of team. The foundation's are pretty much the same. Cristiano isn't here now, but we've got Vini Jr. and Rodrygo, who are young and playing very well. We play a bit differently now than during my first stint here. The level of pride is always high. It's special to coach here".
"We played out from the back very well, especially in the first half and against a very good pressing team. I think we had the quality to play out from the back and they found it difficult. It's always nice when you have a lot of possession like today".

“The team has really worked hard in the last two games. So it’s normal to have tiredness. Our next game is on Thursday. We need to recover, but the team has so much quality because if players are tired, others can come in. We can prepare well for Thursday’s game. I’m not tired of winning because the last trophy I won was the Super Cup with Bayern and I hadn’t won anything for a while. I’m enjoying it just as much and I love seeing so many people happy and the players too. We’ll do our best to win the next trophy”.

The importance of winning
“Winning is the result of the hard work. Winning means you’ve done a good job, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. I did a good job at Napoli and Everton but I didn’t win anything. People think that winning means you’ve been successful. I know that you can’t always win because sometimes you draw or lose”.

“I feel calmer now because I initially had my doubts about the quality of the defence, but everything worked out well.   But they’ve won a lot of trophies and they’re still committed. When you win a lot you think you’re more handsome, you play the best football in the world and the level of sacrifice drops a bit. Fortunately, the level of sacrifice from our players is high. I don’t think my players are handsome, they’re ugly (laughs)”.

Rodrygo and Asensio
“Each player has his own characteristics. I don’t think Rodrygo needs more confidence, because I’ve given him all the confidence in the world, and it’s what he deserves. Sometimes he plays and other times Asensio. And this competition between the two of them helps the team. Rodrygo played really well in the first half. He was a threat and had the beating of his marker. He’s young and he’ll improve a lot more”.

Marcelo has been affected by Mendy’s arrival. But he’s still a top professional and a very important player for the squad. I didn’t give him any kind of prize. There wasn’t long left and I needed to cover the left wing. His attitude shown every day means he deserves to get more minutes”