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Ancelotti: “We want to put on a top performance”

NEWS STORY. 01/11/2022. Eduardo Olivera

"Our objective is to finish top of the group, What’s most important is the prestige of this club in this competition", said the coach.  

Carlo Ancelotti spoke in the press room at Real Madrid City on the eve of Real Madrid’s matchday six clash of the Champions League group stage, which will see the team go head-to-head with Celtic (6:45 pm CET). The Italian had the following to say: “It’s an important game. We know that our objective is to finish top of the group. We’re up against a team that plays at high intensity, we’re prepared and we want to put on a top performance. We’ve got all the conditions to do so. We’re back at our stadium on a Champions League night. I think we're capable of producing our best”.
Tchouameni and Benzema
Tchouameni won’t be available tomorrow and Benzema is going to train now. If he feels good, he’ll be in the squad. I’ll then have to see if he starts the game or comes on later. We'll see after training”.
Respect for the referees
“I’d like to clarify this issue, because it’s not very clear. What is clear is that I’ve been reported for what I said. In Italian, a made-up penalty means rigore inventato. This means a penalty has been awarded that should not have been. This does not imply a lack of faith or accusation of the referee. I’ve never disrespected a referee or anyone else. I try to respect everyone, but they can give me a four-game ban. I’ve been in the dugout for 1200 games. Four of these won’t change the statistics much”.

“For me it wasn’t a penalty because of what they explained to us at the start of the season. When it’s not clear, it’s not a penalty. If they’ve changed the rule, they have to say so. If not, it’s ok to say it’s a mistake, everyone makes mistakes”.

“Mistakes can occur against any club. What we want is clarification. We didn’t think it was a penalty. It’s a question of football, not the team, because it’s still not clear. They have to explain the rule because I understand it very well, I’m not stupid. What they explained to us says it’s not a penalty”.

Expectation from Celtic
“I don’t think they are going to change their identity. They’ll play their game, with intensity passion and quality. It’ll be an open game and we want to be at our best. I have a lot of respect for this team and they could do better in the group.  They’ve come very close and they’ve played well in a lot of games. They played well against us for 60 minutes”.

On the importance of finishing first
“It’s not that important because a lot of competitive teams who finish second reach the last 16. What’s most important is the prestige of Real Madrid, and we mustn’t forget that. This is a special competition for this club and we have to give it the respect it deserves, not just because of the three points. We have to produce that image that the club has always shown”.

On what they have learnt from the last games
“We've learned a lot from the different mistakes we've made. Generally speaking, we haven't been as concentrated as we should have been in those games. We found it difficult to recover the ball against Girona, and defensively against Leipzig. These are aspects we haven't worked on because of a lack of time. we hope we can fix them in the next games”.
Four-game ban
“I'm not losing any sleep over it. I don't know what’s going to happen, I'd like to reiterate that I haven't disrespected anybody. I said something that everybody was thinking. If I get suspended, I'll be patient”.
“The VAR has been a good invention and it's not in bad faith. Sometimes the VAR is in the spotlight more than the referee and I think that it has to remain in the spotlight. It has to be in order to resolve the obvious mistakes. I understand that it's a very fine line but that’s the way it is. It should only be consulted when the mistake is clear, but the penalty didn't seem clear to me”.
Benzema and the World Cup
“I think Benzema hasn’t played because he didn’t feel right because of a couple of knocks. He’s not a kid, he looks after himself well, but sometimes he can’t be available. A player needs to be playing in order to go to the World Cup in the best physical condition”.

The only Spanish team
“Nobody likes it when a big team is knocked out of the Champions League. This has happened at the moment in Spanish football for several reasons, but you can’t say they’ve lost credit in Europe. We’ll have to wait a bit to be able to say that Spanish football is not competitive in Europe, we’ll see it in good time”.

Opinion on Shakhtar
“They’ve done really well, in spite of all the problems they’ve had, and they’re fighting to finish second in the group. They’ve got an important game against Leipzig and it’s going to be difficult, but anything can happen. They can also compete well in the Europa League”.