Tuesday, February 7

Ancelotti: «We cannot go crazy. You have to win, not thrash”

Carlo Ancelotti, during the press conference. / Photo: Efe | Video: Atlas

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The Real Madrid coach stresses that a blow against PSG is not needed, he does not clarify if Kroos will start and he would understand that the Bernabéu would applaud Mbappé

Oscar Bellot

Carlo Ancelotti conveys calm and serenity on the eve of the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 match against PSG. “We can’t go crazy, we have to win, not thrash. Just win a match. It doesn’t matter if we score early or late. We have to win”, stressed the Real Madrid coach at the gates of a confrontation that could mark the whites’ season.

Ancelotti sees his team “well, motivated, calm” and underlines the “mental aspect” as the key when approaching a clash to which Real Madrid goes with the main doubt of Kroos. The coach did not clarify whether the German metronome, who trained this Tuesday for the first time with the group after missing the last few weeks due to a hamstring problem in his left leg, will be in the game or not. “A player who is not 100% cannot play this type of game. If Kroos is at 100%, he will play; if he is at 95%, no », he asserted.

The one who does have all the ballots to be a starter on Wednesday at the Santiago Bernabéu is Kylian Mbappé, despite the strong stomp on the instep of his left foot that he suffered in the last PSG training session before traveling to Madrid. Ancelotti assured that he has not prepared anything special to try to contain Bondy’s star. «The plan is the same for everyone: Messi, Neymar, him… Put intensity, be a block. Play a complete and intelligent game, “said the Italian, who would understand that the Real Madrid parish entertained the French star, the object of Florentino Pérez’s desire. »The history of the Bernabéu shows that great players have always been applauded. Of course I would understand,” he said.

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Ancelotti, who has Real Madrid leader of the League with a comfortable lead over his pursuers but still remains the target of criticism, was vindictive in the press room. “The season, so far, has been full of buts. We win, ‘but’; if we don’t have Courtois, ‘but’; Karim does not score goals, ‘but’; low block, ‘but’ too many cons… Many”, said the coach of the Chamartín team, who did not enter the rag when asked if he has more to lose against PSG, him or his team. “Here when we lose, we all lose. We both have the same thing to lose: leaving a competition that is very important to us. I am convinced that we will still be alive in the Champions League, but PSG will think the same,” he stressed.

The Real Madrid coach acknowledged the mistakes his squad made three weeks ago at the Parc des Princes. “We were not able to do what we had planned. We suffered a lot under PSG’s high pressure and we weren’t able, from the ball out, to build up attacking opportunities. Defensively, the low block has gone well, but with the ball we have to do better, “said Ancelotti, who did not give any clues about what his team’s disposition will be at the Bernabéu weight, he was convinced that he will be up to the challenge. “Pressing up front in a match like this forces you to make enormous defensive vigilance, because there will be rivals like Neymar or Mbappé against you. The fans tomorrow will be important. We are going to play the game that the fans want », he pointed out.

Lastly, he highlighted the physical improvement that Real Madrid has experienced since the first leg and remarked that his pupils will show off their pride against Mauricio Pochettino’s team. “We are convinced that the best Real Madrid can compete with the best PSG. In the first leg we saw the best PSG; hopefully tomorrow we will see the best Real Madrid », he completed.

Luka Modric, during his appearance. / Eph

Modric: “Of course I would like to play with Mbappé”

Luka Modric will once again play a crucial role in the Champions League round of 16 second leg against PSG. Casemiro’s loss and Kroos’ doubts transfer most of the responsibility for what happens in Real Madrid’s midfield to the Croatian. The Balkan accepts the challenge and appeals to the support of the white parish to overcome the tie. “We have played many of these games and the public, with the help of him, is always very important. We need them like the other day with Real Sociedad. That they push us in complicated moments. His role will be key,” he said.

The midfielder lamented the absence of Casemiro and the situation of Kroos. “The Casemiro thing is a shame, it means a lot in our game. But we have other players, like Valverde or Camavinga, who can do well. We’ll see if Kroos arrives, I think he could be. Me, as usual, covering even more because Casemiro will not be there, but that’s up to all of us, especially in the defensive phase. Whoever plays, he will do well, “he said.

Modric stressed that the most important thing against PSG will be “going out with personality, good energy and aggressiveness.” He also denied that in the Real Madrid locker room they are aware of Kylian Mbappé’s physical condition, he doubts because of the stomp he suffered on Monday. »We haven’t even talked about that issue. We are focused on ourselves, we do not want anyone to get injured; we want Kylian to be well. In these games if you are not 100%, you do not play. We, concentrated », he influenced before throwing a wink at the Bondy star. “You always want to play with great players and he is. Of course I’d like to play with him, but today he’s a PSG player and we’ll see what happens in the future. It is difficult to talk about other players who are not here, because other clubs can get angry. But of course we would like to play with him », he stressed.

Finally, he referred to Sergio Ramos, who traveled accompanying the PSG expedition but will not wear shorts in what was his stadium for 16 seasons. “I talk to him almost every day. It will be nice to see it again. The Bernabéu has to receive him with all the affection possible, he is a legend of this club, one of the best defenders in history and for me… No one should be offended, I am not saying this because I am his friend, but he is the best defender who has played for Real Madrid. I’m sure the Bernabéu will give him all his love. He can not be otherwise », he predicted.


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