Last Training Before Copa Del Rey & More

20 Jan

537-897-_1AM5915Thumb,8Ah, it so great to see The Baby back and Karim looks pleased. I’m surprised that he’s in good spirits considering his trial got underway today. The team had their final training before tomorrow’s Copa Del Rey match against Espanyol.

The ever diligent Cristiano trained on his own this morning before flying to Lisbon with Flo Peezy. He was presented with the Grand Officer of the Order of Prince Henry from the President of Portugal (more on that in the next post). You know The Peez only went along so he could see Dolores. DOLORENTINO 4 EVAH!


Ancelotti: “Espanyol are a physical team and will play with a lot of intensity”
by Alberto Navarro

“Our aim is to take the advantage in this match but we know that the tie will be decided at the Bernabéu”, said the Real Madrid coach in the press room

Carlo Ancelotti appeared in the press room at Real Madrid City the day before the match against Espanyol. The Italian coach spoke about the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-final: “We are going into the match thinking about it being a quarter-final over two legs. We have to play well. I was happy with how we did against them in La Liga. We have to play like that again, or better if possible. Our aim is to take the advantage in this match. I know that the tie will be decided at the Bernabéu and that we have to play well both matches. Espanyol are a good team and are very well organised. They are a physically strong team and there will be a high intensity in the match. They will do everything to try to win and getting a good result in the first leg would make their job easier”.

The Italian also spoke about the four points that his team has recovered on Atlético Madrid and Barcelona in the La Liga table: “They played each other and we made up two points then. Then, neither of them won yesterday because we are playing in a very competitive league and all matches are difficult to win. You can’t always win. It happened with us against Osasuna. A lot of the credit for having cut the gap goes to the team because they have kept fighting in the competition. We improved after the match with Barcelona”.

When asked whether the team are playing as well as he wants, he said: “We are where we wanted to be when the season started. We are in with a shout in all competitions and are really keen to do well. It is good to be competitive and to be eager in all competitions. That was the aim at the beginning of the season. We need to keep going as we are”. About the fact that they have not conceded a single goal in the five official matches in 2014, he said: “We have a good balance because we are scoring goals and the team are doing better defensively. The defenders have improved a lot”.

About his preference for the 4-3-3 formation, he said: “The system gives us more balance because the defensive job done by the three midfielders is very good and we will keep using this system. It is true that it makes it more difficult for Isco, but I think he can play in Di María’s or Modric’s positions. I have not completely forgotten about old system and we may use it from time to time”. About whether the number of matches throughout January has forced him to change training patterns, he said: “We are very focused on the recovery of the players. Those that have not played the match do the same as before and the others do more in the pool, and eat and sleep well”.

When asked about Ramos’ knee problems, he was clear: “He is doing well physically and is focused. He understands what we need from him on the field and he has improved a lot. He had knee problems in the match against Real Betis and we will see how he is tomorrow. He was not feeling completely comfortable today, and if he improves for tomorrow, he will play”. Regarding Varane’s recovery, who returned to training with the group yesterday, he said: “He is doing well and has totally recovered. He needs to train with the team. He started yesterday and when he’s ready to play, he’ll play. The knee is fine now. He trained very well on his own and has taken time to make sure that the knee is ready”.

Regarding free-kicks and Bale’s high success rate, he said: “Clearly he has better chances from the free-kicks on the left, then we have Cristiano Ronaldo for the ones from the right. That’s what we’ve decided. Cristiano Ronaldo is stronger from the right and Bale from the left”. When asked about recent reports that Neymar cost around 100 million euros, the Italian was blunt: “I’m not an accountant, I’m a football coach”.

Finally, about Cristiano Ronaldo’s fitness and the possibility of resting him for any match, he was clear: “When I think he looks tired, I’ll rest him. Right now, he isn’t tired and has no problems playing. Rotation is needed when a player is tired. We communicate well with all of the players and some of them make it clear when they are tired”.

The following players were called up for the away match:

Goalkeepers: Casillas, Diego López and Jesús.
Defenders: Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo, Carvajal, Arbeloa and Nacho.
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso, Bale, Modric, Casemiro, Di María, Isco and Illarra.
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Jesé and Morata

Jese was featured in the new iteration of the Real Madrid-Movistar challenge. I have a feeling we’re going to get very sick of that dramatic music before they make their way through all the players.

– Lozil

One Response to “Last Training Before Copa Del Rey & More”

  1. futbolfan January 20, 2014 at 11:39 pm #

    OMG Dolorentino! YES!

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