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Ancelotti: “The team's much better and you can see that in the games”

NEWS STORY. 24/02/2023

“My only concern is for Real Madrid has to be happy and that happens when we win”, said the coach.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke in the press room at Real Madrid City the day before the Madrid derby clash against Atlético, on matchday 23 of LaLiga, which will be played at the Santiago Bernabéu (6.30pm CET): “I think the team's looking good. We came away from the Champions League match with a positive feeling and a buoyant mood. Tomorrow's game is a special one against a good team that's in good form, and they’ll be fighting for the win just like us. It's going to be a beautiful game just as it was in the Copa del Rey.”
“Everyone knows how important the European Cup is for this club. It's shaped the history of this club around the world. But that doesn’t mean we won’t fight for other trophies. We're going to give it everything we've got to win all the league as we did last year. From today, we're going to fight for all the competitions we are involved in. It’s more difficult in LaLiga because we’re behind, but in the Champions League we have a slight edge.”
Team’s form
“We're doing well, apart from the injuries, which are usual because of our fixture schedule. The team has improved in terms of fitness - Kroos, Modric, Ceballos. In general, the team's much better and you can see that in the games. We can apply intensity and we don't have any problems doing so.”
Kroos, Tchouameni and Nacho’s continuation
“They’re fine, they’ll be able to start. Nacho seems ok. Next year, I don’t know what’ll happen. But we should both be here. I hope so, I'd like to see him here at Valdebebas and the Bernabéu instead of on TV.”
Vini Jr’s strength
“It’s rare for a player not to get injured. You have to take into account his genetics, which are incredible. Thanks to his parents. And then his professionalism. I know he looks after himself a lot before and after training and matches. He's really focused on his work and these aspects allow him to play at a very high level without suffering any injuries at the moment.”

“What Vini does on the pitch is what he does in training. He's improved his finishing significantly because he's worked on it a lot. After training he stays to work on finishing. I don't think we can see more than what we have seen, I don't think so. The challenge for him is to maintain consistency. Players with as much talent as he has usually pause in the game to recover. It's uncommon to see a player like that give it everything for 90 minutes.”
Refereeing in the last Madrid derby
“It’s a derby and there's a lot riding on it for both teams. It's something special for the fans and for us. Facing Atlético is always special because the rivalry is fierce. In the Copa game it was correct – I don’t know what it’ll be like tomorrow. I know that the referee is an international, very highly valued in Europe. Gil Manzano has the experience to referee this sort of game.”

“At the moment there's no corruption in refereeing, not here, not in Europe and not in Italy. They make mistakes like any human being. If they make mistakes, we have to accept it. Sometimes we get angry, but I'm convinced that there is no corruption in football at this moment in time.”

Are you satisfied with the season so far?
“I wanted to reach this moment with an eight-point lead in the league, after winning the Spanish Super Cup and winning 5-0 at Anfield, so we haven't been perfect. All jokes aside, we're doing well, but we've lost a few players and that's cost us some points. But it was expected, now we can recover.”

Is age a problem?
“It's like the subject of youth. If a player performs, you don't need to look at the passport. A coach has to assess what happens on the pitch every day. Whether a player is 17 or 38 years old, what he has to do is to perform. The best players have to play. Sometimes people tell me that I don't use the youth players. People forget that I put in a 17-year-old goalkeeper, namely Buffon. I wanted to assess his work. He was great at 17, better than other older ones. Paolo Maldini, at 39, trained once a week but played, because he was better than others.”
“I see him every day and there have been times when he wasn't happy. He hasn't really complained to me, he's struggled when he hasn't played, but he's always been professional. When I needed him, he was ready and that's what a player has to do. I fully understand his disappointment. But I'm not here for individuals, my only concern is for Real Madrid has to be happy.”

"I feel sorry for my players, because I'm fond of all of them. When I see them not doing well, I suffer too, but I have this weakness. I just want Real Madrid to be happy and that happens when we win games. Nacho is going to play at left-back tomorrow. And I think I'm going to stay at the club, I'm quite relaxed. The only thing I have to do is to win games."
Camavinga and Tchouameni together
“I don't know what'll happen tomorrow. I haven't thought about the line-up. No, that's a lie (laughs). They'll play together soon.”
“I'd like to spend time with him because we love football. I don't think he has anything to learn from me. But we can learn by spending time together. I've never seen him work and I'd like to see it as a personal experience. How he prepares the training sessions, etc. It is a source of knowledge to see how other coaches prepare for games. I'd like to see how he prepares for tomorrow's game. We can talk about this after the game.”
“I like him as a person because I think he's extremely honest in his assessment of the games. He's been really successful with Atletico because you mustn't forget that a lot of his team's achievements have been down to a coach with a distinctive mindset and a very consistent team. That has been a success.”