Ancelotti tired of being asked about his future
The Italian, visibly upset, wants to settle once and for all the rumors regarding whether or not he will continue at Real Madrid.
Carlo Ancelotti gave another masterclass in how to handle press conferences. The Italian, asked for the umpteenth time about his future, settled the matter, hopefully once and for all by telling reporters, “I’ll say it again - I’m not talking about my future”. He was however, more than willing to discuss other issues, such as the fixtures calendar, the mounting injury list and took a potshot at the press (“although you didn’t believe it, we have a very good squad...”). He also clarified his statements about Andriy Lunin (“He’s playing very well, there will be competition for a place. Kepa will have to compete with Lunin”), he defended Xavi (”He knows the environment very well and I think that he has all the resources to handle this situation”) and warned that Theo Zidane could be in the squad to face Napoli and that Brahim could return to the starting XI.
How important is tomorrow’s game against Napoli?
Tomorrow, we have another chance to finish first in the group. Individual statistics are something else. Being on par with [Miguel] Muñoz is incredible. (Ancelotti is one win away from equalling Miguel Muñoz’s record of 41 wins in the competition)
You have eight players out injured...
Talking too much about the problems we have and the absentees seems disrespectful to the players who will be out on the pitch tomorrow. They are contributing in ways that could never have been expected. They will show that we have been okay despite all of the problems we’ve had; this squad, although you didn’t believe it, is actually a very good squad.
Would you like to spend 15 years at Madrid like Simeone at Atlético?
I don’t know. Simeone’s case is special. Like that of Ferguson or Wenger. Congratulations to Simeone, but it’s not normal.
Were you surprised by Mazzarri’s return to Napoli?
He knows Italian football very well and is a great friend. The change of coach adds extra motivation.
Is it a case of personal revenge with Napoli?
I have had very good times in Napoli. It’s not about revenge.
Carvajal said Mazzarri would be a great coach for Madrid...
And he’s right. I hope we stay here until 2030. Only joking... I thank Carvajal for saying that.
Any advice for Xavi?
Absolutely not. Xavi and myself know football very well... and we know that you get criticism. Sometimes it can happen, but Xavi has the experience to handle all of this. He knows the environment very well and I believe he has all the resources to handle this situation.
Would you like to continue at Real Madrid next season?
I will give you the opportunity to ask another question...
Given the injuries, you will have to use your players sparingly...
You have talked a lot about the youth team not playing. Now is the time to take advantage of it. Nico Paz, Mario Martín, Theo Zidane may be there. Raúl is doing a fantastic job. Players arrive prepared to play, but I have to give opportunities to Brahim, Lucas or Fran García. I trust the reserves.
Do you hope that Madrid will renew your contract?
I’ll say it again, I don’t talk about my future.
What can you say about Bellingham?
Bellingham is very serious, very professional and can easily adapt to any country.
What kind of game are you expecting tomorrow?
The first leg was a very balanced game. Tomorrow’s match won’t be much different. Napoli’s counterattack is very dangerous and it is an aspect that we have to take into account.
What would be the most important team of your career?
I have a lot of love for Milan. I remember all the teams fondly. I don’t want to disrespect anyone by putting them in order, but I have something special with Milan and Madrid. Simply because Madrid is the greatest team in the world.
Do you regret what you said about Kepa?
Lunin is not going to think that tomorrow is his last game. Kepa is going to compete with Lunin. Lunin is playing very well and there will be competition, which will be very good for us. We have two high-level goalkeepers.