NEWS STORY. 11/02/2022
Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media via an online press conference at Real Madrid City before the LaLiga matchday 24 game against Villarreal at the Estadio de la Cerámica (4:15pm CET): "Villarreal are doing very well, they compete very well, they're on a good run of form and they've got quality in the team. It's going to be a difficult game, like always, but we're confident of putting in a good performance".
"For us, our focus is on the match against Villarreal. We’re in a good position in the league and we have to keep picking up points because it’s highly competitive. So I'm going to field the best possible team to win the game tomorrow and then we’ll have time to prepare for PSG. Hopefully Neymar and Benzema will be on the pitch so that we have the most entertaining match possible".
Desire to win
“This group of players is motivated to keep winning given what they've been through. Winning motivates you to win again. The reason they've won so much in their careers is that they're very motivated".
Will Benzema be fit for Paris?
"We're feeling good about Karim. He's still working individually and we have to wait for him to be back working with the team, which will be on Sunday or Monday, before we make the decision. There's nothing I can say until then. The general feeling from me and the doctors is very good. We've always said that the player's health comes first. We don’t take risks. Karim will play if we think he can do so without taking risks. If Karim plays on Tuesday it’ll be because there’s no risk”.
"He's much better now that he's recovered from being out with COVID-19. He's training well and did well in the game against Granada, he's got a chance of playing tomorrow. That will depend on how we approach the game. If we need someone clever in the penalty area he will play, if we're looking for possession, someone else will play".
Mendy and Valverde
“Mendy has been doing well, but won’t make tomorrow’s game. I think he’ll be ok for Tuesday. He started training a bit with the team yesterday and is feeling good. Do I want to give Valverde more playing time? Of course”.
Ancelotti’s style of play
“I adapt my style of play according to the players I have. For me, there are two main things in football: aesthetics and practice. Practice is a collective commitment, as the team must fight and be committed; the aesthetics part is for the players. If you have players with quality, they have to show it. If you have these two things and you are able to combine both of them, you can be successful. Aesthetics are individual qualities. This is my personal opinion”.
“Vini Jr. needed a good rest. I’ve given him an extra day to rest because January was a really intense month for him. He’s doing well. He’s motivated and I think he can reproduce the same form we’ve seen from him recently”.
“The same goes for him. Isco has had a tougher time of it this season because he hasn’t played as much, but I think as we head into the final part of the season everyone is motivated. He’s been training well and he’s an important player for us”.
“My personal relationship with Bale is really good. He’s training well, he’s committed. But it's one thing to see something in training and another in the match. I can assess him by what I see in training and I believe he’s ready to play. Certainly someone might question me as to why I haven't played him yet. Lately, after the injury, it’s been a little bit difficult for him to reach full fitness. In the last 15 days I’ve seen a player who’s been training with intensity and with less risk of injury. Afterwards you have to assess him, but from what I see in training, he’s ready”.
Managing the squad
“We’ve had to rotate. I’ve rotated, sometimes out of no choice, but I think most players have played, some more than others. We’ve rotated Lucas and Carvajal at the back. Nacho has played a lot and now Marcelo is. In midfield, Valverde and Camavinga have had playing time. We’ve rotated Asensio and Rodrygo, sometimes Hazard has played on the right. I think it’s fair to say that I rotate the players. Maybe I haven’t wanted to, but I’ve done it. We’ve had a lot of injuries, just like everyone else, and we’ve had to make changes. I haven’t rotated players due to fatigue, because I don’t think the team has been tired”.
PSG have an extra day to rest
“I don’t read too much into having an extra day’s rest, as it could work for or against one team or another. We have three and a half days to recover. We have all the time we need to be ready for the Champions League game”.
Does the squad prefer to play every week or every three days?
“That's a good question. I really don't know. If a team’s in good shape and on a good run, playing every three days can be good. If your team’s tired and you need a rest, maybe a week can help. When a coach has a week, there’s more risk of shortcomings and sometimes too much water kills the plant”.
“We haven’t spoken at all about Tuesday’s game yet. We haven’t seen any videos or anything. The only thing we’ve seen is Villarreal’s quality and weak points. The reverse fixture was tough for us, because they prepare really well for the games”.