NEWS STORY. 14/04/2023. Rodrigo Salamanca. Photographer: Antonio Villalba
Carlo Ancelotti appeared in the press room at Real Madrid City on the eve of the team's LaLiga matchday 29 meeting with Cádiz at the Nuevo Mirandilla (9:00pm CEST): "We're in pretty good shape. It's a difficult game because Cádiz are playing really well, they're in good form. They are an intense side and it comes in the middle of the Champions League quarter-final tie. We're eager to put in a good performance."
"My players are motivated to prepare the right strategy for the game. We're in a competition we must respect. We're trailing but we want to do the best we can. There are nine games to go. If we can't finish top, we'll fight to the end to at least secure second. The players know that and this jersey demands that attitude."
Vini Jr. and Haaland
"They are two fantastic players and they each capitalize on their strengths. Our club and our fans enjoy and revel in Vinicius' quality, in just the same way that the Manchester City fans and Guardiola make the most of Haaland's quality. They each make the most of what they have."
"We still don't know who will be in the semi-finals. Manchester City have to play another game and anything can happen. It's a Champions League quarter-final. We have a lead as well, but we have to compete for another 90 minutes."
Connection with the club
"I have nothing to say. The club shows me great affection and I'm very calm and happy here. The club can't add any more than I already know, which is great affection."
Vini Jr. and Kroos
“Vini Jr. had a bit of a strain at the end of the Chelsea game but there is no injury according to the scans. It's a slight strain, the same goes for Kroos. It would be too greater risk to include them. We have to recover well for tomorrow's match. We have some players battling fatigue but they'll travel and be involved. We'll put out a competitive team tomorrow. Kroos and Vinicius will be okay for Chelsea”.
"We have to wait until the end to evaluate the season. We've had success in some competitions and less so in others. That's football and we have to wait until it's over to give an assessment. It could be a very successful season or one which ends with some doubts."
“I hear the criticism, that's to be expected. We live in a world where we have to listen to people, the fans, the club, the players. There are criticisms you can understand and that helps you to improve your knowledge and your work. A negative criticism could give you an idea about how to do things better."
“English football has several highly competitive teams, they're strong and have top quality players. I'm not surprised the English sides are the favourites, as is the case with Manchester City. You might think there is a gap but European football is showing otherwise. Last year, two Spanish teams made the Champions League semi-finals and this year, Italian football took three teams to the quarters. European football is more competitive than what it might seem and what the majority are saying, especially the English clubs. They believe their league is the strongest and most exciting in the world but in Europe they come up against competitive sides despite the fact they have less money, as is the case in Italian or Spanish football."
“He's making brilliant progress at the moment. Playing in defensive midfield or at full-back is helping his development. He has physical characteristics which mean you can play him pretty much anywhere. He likes playing in the middle and I think he'll be a great central midfielder. He can learn defensive elements which will help him in the future."
“I don't know whether he'll start but he's in good shape and he might well get a chance to play."
Centre-backs in top form
“The centre-backs have really performed brilliantly since the World Cup. Militão and Rüdiger have been fantastic in lots of games. Alaba has also got back to his best. The two centre-backs give us real confidence because in recent games, they've played higher up to press more. When we play with a higher block, the centre-backs have to work harder because of the spaces that open up and they've done so superbly."
Managing Benzema's minutes
“We're not thinking about Benzema being the Pichichi. All we're concerned with is that Karim is in good shape. We manage his minutes when we see he's fatigued. His recovery from Wednesday's efforts has been among the best in the squad. He's feeling good, positive and motivated. When we notice he's tired we'll give him a rest but it won't be tomorrow."
Pride in his work
“I feel proud of all my work. It's been a successful career up until this point and I hope it continues as such. To be back working here is what makes me happy.”
“The president has always been very kind to me and he continues to be. We have to look forward. The club are calm and show me great affection. I'll be here next season. I think we're going to respect the contract."