The Internationals Continue To Return & More

16 Oct

Satellite (12)CR7, Pepe, Benz, The Baby, Toni, Isco and James returned to training today with the rest of the gang, as they prep for Saturday’s match against Levante. 

Carletto was interviewed for the mothership and Real Madrid TV about the start of the season.

Ancelotti: “The quality of the three up front is unique in the world”
by Alberto Navarro

“The team is motivated and really up for it. We can continue the run we’ve put together in recent games,” he told Realmadrid TV and

Carlo Ancelotti gave his assessment of the first two months of official competition on and Realmadrid TV. The coach acknowledged the squad’s desire to win a second consecutive Champions League and the Club World Cup. He also had words of praise for the trio formed by Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Bale: “The quality of the three up front is unique in the world.”

What is your assessment of the first two months of competition?
We had some difficulties at the beginning because August was difficult, as there were players coming back from the World Cup and they did not have time to prepare. Now we’ve had time to prepare and the team is in good shape, motivated and up for it.

Before putting together this run of six wins in a row, you said that the team looked better than last year.
This year we are clear on the key aspects of our play, though we can’t always play at our peak level. The only problem is that we have conceded more goals than normal, but in terms of our play we’re better than last year.

Discuss the attacking potency of this team: can you remember anything like it in the history of football?
It isn’t easy to score so many goals, but these players have incredible quality in terms of scoring goals and attacking well. It’s always a collective effort, but the quality of the three up front is unique in the world.

In defensive terms, the side was close to top form against Athletic. Does this team have the three best central defenders in the world?
I think so. Having three central defenders of the level of Ramos, Pepe and Varane is very good for us, the squad and the team. Our defensive level has improved in recent games because the players are in better physical shape and can work harder in defence, and because I think that, after changing two very important players in this respect, they are getting more used to defending and holding a better position.

There is no doubt that Real Madrid have the best player in the world. Is there anything that could surprise you about Cristiano Ronaldo now?
What doesn’t surprise me about Cristiano Ronaldo is the quality he has. It’s something I already knew. What does surprise me is the desire he has at this time to fight for the team, to score for the team and his level of professionalism, which is unique in the world of football and above all for a player of this level. It’s very good for the team, because Cristiano is not just a goal-scorer but also an important leader, because of what he does. He doesn’t talk a lot, but he works very hard and that’s why he’s a good example to everyone.

Do you see Cristiano Ronaldo as becoming an out-and-out centre-forward over time?
He also thinks that he can play in this position without any problems, but he is more comfortable starting on the wing, because he is always facing the goal.

Let’s talk about new arrivals. We already knew all about the quality James possessed, but many have been surprised that he also covers many kilometres and works hard in attack and defence.
When we signed James, we did the physical tests and they showed that he is a player with a lot of stamina. He has the physical characteristics of a midfielder. He can play in the middle without problems, but that doesn’t mean taking away the quality he has. We need his final pass and his quality of play in attack.

Have you ever come across a player who has adapted so quickly to his new team and team-mates like Kroos?
He is versatile, and players with tactical intelligence have no difficulty in being in a different position. Defensive midfielder is the most comfortable position, there is more room to play further back. When a player has the quality Kroos has, that Xabi Alonso had or that Illarramendi has, it isn’t difficult to get used to it. The player has to work, but the physical exertion isn’t as great as a full-back or winger.

You’ve always backed Benzema. There can be no refuting the impact of time and the figures posted by the Frenchman.
He has always done what I’ve asked him to do on the pitch. I’ve never asked him to score goals because we’ve always said that the last problem this team has is scoring goals. Karim is the ideal figure for players like Cristiano Ronaldo or Bale. Playing with three midfielders and two wingers, it’s very important to have a striker who drops deeper to play with the others and isn’t only about scoring. In that respect, Karim is unique. There is no other striker with his characteristics.

How far can Bale go, taking into account that last year he did not have a full pre-season and this term he did, and has started in spectacular fashion?
I hope that this year he does what he did at the end of last season. He was decisive in a number of games and his work was very important for the team. Now he is more used to the squad, to these players and he has adapted very well to Madrid. We’re going to be looking for him to improve, although it isn’t easy to improve on what he did last year.

Isco and Illarra are the present, but also the future. You have always maintained that they can contribute great moments of quality to the team.
The most difficult thing is giving minutes to players who deserve more. It hurts me, because I would like to pick players like Isco, Illarramendi and Nacho more. They totally understand what Real Madrid is and the competition they’re up against, but also the happiness that comes with playing for this team.

Soon we will see the return of Jesé, who is a very special player for the fans. What can he contribute to the team?
We’re very excited about his return and he is also raring to come back. He is training individually and he will be ready very soon.

In a few days it’s El Clásico. What do you make of Barcelona?
They look more motivated and competitive in comparison with last year. Barcelona are always a very strong team.

La Décima feels like a long time ago, and it has only been four months…
For me it doesn’t feel like long ago. My memories of La Décima are really fresh and that helps us to be motivated to win La Undécima. That is our aim.

It’s an exciting challenge: to become the first team to win two consecutive Champions Leagues.
I won two European Cups in a row as a player with Milan. Last year we talked about the obsession with La Décima. It was the major motivation and in the end we won it. Now we’re thinking about La Undécima.

In December, it’s the Club World Cup. Is it a different competition to the rest?
The title of world champions is very important. We’re going to prepare for it really well. In the past it was played in Japan and it was really tricky to prepare for it because the time difference was huge. Now, playing in Morocco, we can prepare for it better.

There was another edition of the Luis de Carlos Forum  which is organized by the Real Madrid Foundation. The topic was “The 1o European Cups”moderated by journalist Enrique Ortego and chaired by Enrique Sánchez.

Satellite (14)In addition to Ancelotti (who won 2 cups with Milan as a player in 1989 & 1990, as well as coaching us to La Decima), some of our European Cup legends took part: Gento, who is the only player to have won 6 European Cups (1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1966)- that’s a record! -and he played in 8 European Cup finals as well, Amancio (1966), Sanchís (1998, 2000 & his dad, Manuel Sanchís Martínez,  won it with Real Madrid in 1966!) and Hierro (1998, 2000, 2002). There’s some translated excerpts on the mothership. Well worth the read. Makes you proud to be a Madridista!

ARBELOA-_EEC1496Thumb (1)Congrats to Arbeloa – today is the 10th anniversary of his debut on the first team. Time has flown. In his 200 games for Los Blancos, he’s been a part of teams that won 1 Champions League, 1 European Super Cup, 1 Liga, 2 Copas del Rey and 1 Supercopa de España. Mazel tov!

– Lozil

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: