NEWS STORY. 01/03/2023
Carlo Ancelotti spoke in the press room at Real Madrid City ahead of the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final against Barcelona (9pm CET). The coach said: "We're approaching it full of confidence as it's important to show the personality and courage to put in a complete performance both defensively and in attack. We're looking forward to the game because these are the most exciting games for a player and we're very close to a final. There's a lot of things to enjoy at the moment as we try to do our best".
"We lacked commitment and decisiveness in the Spanish Super Cup. We made individual errors and if we make this kind of mistake again it will hurt us. I don't think they'll happen again because it's a very important game and we're near to winning what is an important competition for us. We're going to compete. It's not the crucial game, but we can take an advantage".
Vini Jr. vs. Araújo
"Vini Jr. is one of the best in the world and he often decides games for us. It's normal to rely on him because at the moment he is one of the greatest players in the game. Araújo is a very strong defender and it'll be an entertaining confrontation. Hopefully Vini Jr. can win it".
Hazard and Rodrygo
"Hazard is good and he's training. He wants to be given minutes and he could get them in the next few games. Rodrygo looks good and we will make decisions before announcing the squad".
Regarding the referees
"I don't think that there's any corruption at the moment. I don't know what the referee will do, he'll try to do his best".
Video.Ancelotti: "Hay que tener personalidad y coraje para hacer un partido completo"
Tchouameni and Camavinga
"The main thing is that Tchouameni is doing well and has returned to full fitness. He's ready to play in the starting line-up without any problem. Camavinga is also doing very well. Having two players of this standard back is very good for us".
Praise for Benzema
"What Karim has done is out there and we're grateful to him because he helped us to win trophies last year. Let's hope we can also thank him this year, he's doing very well. Having Karim available at the key stage of the season means we're in a better position to winning titles".
"Rüdiger is always focused. He's improved a lot. He can continue to improve his ball playing, but defensively the team is much more solid with him and Militão in the centre of defence".
A midfield without Kroos or Modrić
""It's possible. We'll see tomorrow. You have to take into account that you need a lot of things in games like these: energy, personality, ball control... Kroos might not make the eleven because of his energy, but he might be in it due to his courage, his experience and his knowledge. I have to consider whether to leave out players of this level".
Keen to beat Barça
"We're not looking forward to it simply because it's a rematch of the Super Cup, but because we're near to winning a title and when this team is close to a title the temperature rises".
The team's current position
"We have two points less in LaLiga compared to last year, but we were out of the Copa del Rey at this stage and we had lost the first leg of the last 16 of the Champions League. We're not in a worse position, we're where we deserved to be. The good part is coming now, it's the important time of the season. When March comes around this way, it means that you're competing in every competition. I'm sure we can win something".
"After eight months of the season, I still don't really know what the starting line-up will be. I have to choose the best eleven for every game, which is not the first eleven".
The importance of the cup
"At the beginning it's not the most important competition, but it becomes so when you play in the semi-finals. You don't always field the best team in the early stages, but when the title is close, it's important. It's a different competition, 270 minutes in which you can win a title. LaLiga is another story, and the Champions League another".
Putting Barcelona under pressure
"We're up against a very strong opponent and it's going to be an entertaining game and the fans are going to enjoy it. It's a 180-minute match with a place in the final at stake".
The Best Awards
"It's not too important. The World Cup has played a big part in this award and since Argentina were the deserved world champions it's normal that Messi, Martinez and Scaloni received this award. I congratulate them. I can't name my three favourites, because I've got a conflict of interest, but they're all Real Madrid players".