2022 SPANISH SUPER CUP
Ancelotti: "Xavi's Barça are clear about how they want to play"
Carlo Ancelotti looked ahead to tomorrow's Spanish Super Cup semi-final meeting with Barcelona and says the Catalans will improve under Xavi.
Carlo Ancelotti and Toni Kroos gave their thoughts on tomorrow's Spanish Super Cup semi-final meeting with Barcelona. The coach spoke about the current moment of form his side is in - and how their opponents have been doing as well as the distance between them in LaLiga.
Considering the gap between the two teams in the league table, would it be embarrassing for Madrid to lose this Super Cup edition of El Clásico? "You can either win or lose a game of football, one team has to win tomorrow. It's a match we have to play in the best way possible. Our rivals have had more problems than we've had, but it's one game...".
Any doubts regarding which team you will field tomorrow? "Carvajal is one, and another on the right wing... I also have players who are fresher such as Rodrygo who could be used to fill Asensio's role. Jovic's back. As always whenever we play Barça, there are worries leading up to the game but also motivation. We like playing these kinds of games".
Which Barça players have you been impressed by? Would you sign any of them? "Apart from the veteran players they have like Piqué, Alba, Busquets... they have younger players who are doing well and pushing for a place - Gavi, Nico... they have players with great futures ahead of them".
What do you like about Xavi's Barça? "I like that they have a clear idea about what kind of football they want to play. Their style is in line with the club's identity. They've been on a decent run recently. With his ideas, the team will improve".
There are 17 points difference between Madrid and Barcelona in LaLiga, does that reflect the difference in level between the two teams? "In tomorrow's game we will be starting from zero. It will be an equally-fought game like it was at Nou Camp before Xavi returned".
Alaba's adaptation: "I haven't asked him about what differences he has noticed between playing in Spain and the Bundesliga, but he's adapted really well. I was never in any doubt, because I know how professional he is. In the past few years he's only played in central defence, but he's forming a good partnership with Militão and that's working out well for us".
You admitted before the Clásico in October that's it's good to have a feeling of fear going into these kinds of games... "Every game makes me feel a little afraid, the Valencia games for example, I was very nervous before that. I know perfectly well what a Clásico is all about, I would be worried if I thought that my players believed we were the favourites, but fortunately they don't think that way".