Sunday, October 2

Carlo Ancelotti puts salt in the wound of Barcelona: “It is not now a direct rival”

Carlo Ancelotti was eloquent and forceful in his press conference.

Photo: LLUIS GENE / AFP / Getty Images

The Italian Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid coach, he assured that “Barcelona is not now a direct rival” for the LaLiga Santander title, due to the 18 points away what is between both sets; but warned that they have “quality to fight to the end.”

“Not direct now, because it is further behind than Sevilla, Atlético, Betis … but he has the quality to fight until the end, and if he were Barcelona coach I would say exactly the same”, He said at a press conference in reference to Xavi’s words, in which he stated that they are still in position to fight for the title.

An Ancelotti who did not hesitate to criticize the repetition of the draw for the knockout stages of the Champions League last Monday, in which Real Madrid was paired in the first instance with Benfica and secondly, after repeating itself by an error, in front of Paris Saint-Germain.

“The draw was unfortunate, but we will think later in this tie, that it will be difficult and very exciting. Play against one of the best teams in Europe It will be demanding and exciting, ”he commented.

This week it was also known who will be his rival in the sixteenth of Copa del Rey (Alcoyano) and the schedule, set at 9:30 p.m. (from Spain) on January 5, a circumstance that the technician also criticized.

“What can we say … seems a bit late to me. Not for the Spanish (laughs), but many Italians are sleeping in bed at that time. But what can we do? They have set us that schedule and we are going to play it ”, he declared.

Ancelotti also spoke of physical condition of their footballers, after not making large rotations and having accumulated seven games in 21 days.

“First, we have worked well. Second, we have had a bit of luck. You can’t always talk about luck, but sometimes this helps you. The team has done well. Not starting so strong in the first parts has helped us in the second parts to have a good physical appearance. We keep doing things well, recovering well and evaluating the fatigue of the players. So far we have done well, hopefully we can continue like this in the second part of the season, ”he said.

Continuing with this topic, Ancelotti was asked by the physical decline of your team in the second half of the 2014-2015 season, which started by adding 22 wins in a row. And the Italian defended that, even so, they fought until the end for the two great titles.

“It is difficult to say. We had a very serious injury to (Luka) Modric that affected us in midfield. I believe that Sergio Ramos did not play in the quarterfinals of the Champions League… I also know that that season we were one goal away from the Champions League final and one or two points away from winning the League ”, he replied.

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