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Carlo talks pre-Sevilla: “I will seriously risk my bank card” with Fede bet

Ancelotti speaks to the press about the upcoming Sevilla clash, Toni Kroos’ contract, the World Cup and Sergio Ramos

Joe Brennan
Carlo talks pre-Sevilla: “I will seriously risk my bank card” with Fede bet
Rodrigo JiménezEFE

Team news and the challenge of facing Sevilla

Sampaoli has had mixed results so far for Sevilla, but the disciple of Bielsa knows how to find weak spots in any team. Along with praising his own team after their 0-3 victory against Elche, Ancelotti recognised that difficulties of the long season: “The team is good. We have a good dynamic. Each game has its own history, its difficulties. Sevilla are trying to come out a difficult period, which they are doing well, showing commitment, a good attitude, it will be difficult for us as always. There are no easy games. They don’t exist.”

Despite Lunin showing he can do more than merely warm the bench, fans will rejoice in hearing that the seventh best player in the world is fit to return between the posts: “Courtois is back tomorrow. Everyone is fine, all recovered. If I make changes it will be to avoid problems down the line.” He also spoke about Asensio, a player yet to feature much this season, saying “he is motivated, keen to play. He has played few minutes but he does the job well, scoring goals. He is one of those players that can start a match with no problems.”

Ex-Madrid men returning to form

Former Real Madrid player Isco Alarcón has been used frequently by Jorge Sampaoli, and a return to form and a visit to the Bernabéu for the Málaga-born midfielder is something that pleases Ancelotti: “I am happy to see [Isco] play, happy to say hello to him, I am very fond of him, he was a great player for this club.” On other ex-Real Madrid players, the boss spoke about former Sevilla defender and Real Madrid legend, Sergio Ramos, and his return to form for PSG: “It doesn’t surprise me, he is still one of the strongest centre-backs in the world. Football has changed, you can play until you are 40 now, Maldini won a Champions League with me at 40. Players take care of themselves better, they can play for longer.”

Isco Alarcón (Sevilla FC)
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Isco Alarcón (Sevilla FC)PressinphotoGetty

On how Valverde’s goals are worrying him and his pockets

In a recent interview with his club, striker Karim Benzema admitted Ancelotti had made a bet with him on how many goals he would score. The boss was asked whether or not the Frenchman was the only player to have taken money from his wallet. “Not at the moment, there aren’t any other bets other than with Valverde. It was strange to me how with such a good shot he only scored one last year. He has a lot of confidence, so it’s normal that he scores so many from outside the box. His shooting is tremendous, almost like that of Asensio. He is showing a good level, I don’t want to up the bet because I’ll seriously risk my card. I’ll stick to ten [goals]. We are all happy for Federico. He is a good person.”

Is Toni Kroos leaving Real Madrid?

Despite the calm nature surrounding the club, one thing that is playing on the minds of the fans is the contract situation of Toni Kroos. The German has hit an incredible run of form this season, shining in the 3-1 rout against Barcelona last week.

In typical Carlo fashion, he was quick to stop the situation taking off: “I have spoken to [Kroos], he is very calm. He is going to think about [his contract ending in 2023] after the World Cup, in January or February. I think he is going to continue. His level is better than that of last year, he had physical problems at the beginning and then he did very well. He is at a very high level.”

Toni Kroos (Real Madrid CF)
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Toni Kroos (Real Madrid CF)NurPhotoGetty

The manager was asked about Real Madrid’s unbeaten streak and, just like with the Kroos situation, he calmed the nerves and excitement in his typical style: “No, in the history of football there aren’t unbeaten teams. Anyone can beat you, with more or less quality. In football there are many things that can determine the the result. We are doing well and want to continue. I don’t worry about the calmness and the good atmosphere. Difficult moments will arrive, there’s no doubt about that. We have to be ready.”

“The World Cup is an enemy”

In a strange season that is to be chopped in half, Ancelotti fielded questions regarding exactly how he will manage the squad that is going to see it split up to compete for football’s biggest international prize in the middle of a domestic and European campaign. The Italian had strong feelings: “Yes, [the World Cup] is an enemy, it is for everyone. We have to evaluate all of that, nobody can know know. We will evaluate it when the World Cup ends.

It is an individual thing for the players. Maybe some of them will come back early and don’t need so much rest. I think this part of the season helps, we will be able to see a World Cup with a lot more intensity, they will arrive at full speed. In previous editions the players arrived drained to play in the World Cup. Now they will arrive with a lot of energy. The World Cup can affect players on an individual level, I understand that perfectly. But our team is not based on that, the players will try to win the games, for sure.”

To end, Carlo expanded on how footballers always have to look forward and try to improve; despite the keys to doing this not always being clear to see. “Continuity is important in football, the team makes a lot of sacrifices for every game, they fight, and that is a challenge. You have to always strive for it. We are not always decisive, too many times we look at ourselves in the mirror... there are many things we can improve on a collective level. On a personal level it is difficult to improve these players. We have to thank their parents, they have given us players of great quality.”

Real Madrid take on Sevilla on Saturday 22 October at 12:00 PDT / 15:00 EDT / 21:00 CEST.


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