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EL CLÁSICO

Carlo Ancelotti talks El Clásico, Bellingham, Modric and more

The Real Madrid boss sat before the media on Friday to give his latest thoughts going into El Clásico.

Update:
Real Madrid's Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti addresses a press conference in Madrid on October 27, 2023, on the eve of the Spanish League football match against FC Barcelona. (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP)
OSCAR DEL POZOAFP

Real Madrid travel to Barcelona this weekend to take on their great rivals in the first Clásico of the 2023-24 LaLiga season.

Carlo Ancelotti sat before the media on Friday to give his latest thoughts going into the game against Xavi Hernández’s side.

Ancelotti on Bellingham and Barcelona

Who is going to play at left-back?

Camavinga has done well... Mendy has the advantage because he was rested in Braga. I trust everyone. I know perfectly well that being a starter is as important as coming on in the second half. The players know it too.

How is Bellingham?

He will play tomorrow because he is fine and has recovered. I don’t have to explain to him what a Clásico is, everyone knows.

How are your players going into El Clásico?

Motivated, it’s a special game. It’s going to be the first Clásico of the season, but there will be more... the Supercopa, the second leg, Copa del Rey, Champions League. There are so many opportunities for us to meet again. We’re in good shape.

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Special weeks, Modric and a long LaLiga season

Ancelotti went on to discuss how he is feeling going into Saturday’s clash.

How are you and how have you been this week?

Fine, very well. These weeks are special and I like them. They motivate me... I’ve had a good rest.

How do you tell players like Modric about being on the bench?

They are all professionals and don’t ask for explanations and I don’t usually give explanations to someone who doesn’t play. There is nothing to worry about.

Is tomorrow’s game more than just a match?

It’s very important, but the season is very long. The season is very long, very long. It will be a very competitive league.

Carlo Ancelotti addresses a press conference in Madrid on the eve of El Clásico.
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Carlo Ancelotti addresses a press conference in Madrid on the eve of El Clásico.OSCAR DEL POZOAFP

What worries you most about Barcelona?

They are a great team in general, both in attack and defence. They have brought in young players with a lot of quality this season. We expect the same Barça as always.

Xavi has said that there are no favourites. Do you agree?

A Clásico, like a derby, is always evenly matched. It’s a very, very competitive match. I hope people enjoy it.

Do you understand Florentino’s [Pérez] decision not to go?

I don’t know if he will go or not, but if not, it will be for the good of the club, as all the decisions that the president makes are for the good of Real Madrid.