June 25, 2024

Ancelotti: “Mendy remains our starting left-back”

Real Madrid have played their second fixture of pre-season, drawing 2-2 with Club América in San Francisco. Carlo Ancelotti was happier with this performance than that of the 1-0 Clásico defeat last time out. As he told the media after the game:

“I think it was a better match than the first one. We struggled at the start of the game since they’re in better rhythm, but we had more intensity in the second half. It was a more roll and roll second half. Ceballos and Camavinga did well, bringing a lot of energy with the ball.”

Ancelotti on Benzema’s fitness

Karim Benzema was back and scored a sublime goal in this game, curling in to the bottom corner to make it 1-1 in the first half.

The Frenchman is still working his way back to full fitness and is on track. Ancelotti said of the striker: “Even without many training sessions, he has arrived well and is doing well. He can still get even closer to his level.”

Ancelotti on the left-back position

The decision to play Antonio Rüdiger at left-back in the Clásico had some Madridistas scratching their heads, but this time the German was deployed at his natural position of centre-back.

The coach explained his reasoning and also confirmed that Ferland Mendy remains the starting left-back when all options are available.

He said: “I had to try Rüdiger at centre-back this time, and he did well alongside Nacho. It’s clear that the starter is Mendy, but we have backups there for when he can’t play. We could have a more attacking profile in David Alaba, or a more controlled one in Rüdiger.”

Ancelotti on the Hazard at No.9 experiment

When Eden Hazard came on for the second half, he was again deployed in the middle of the front three, yet this time he performed better, not just because he scored a penalty.

On the Belgian, Ancelotti said: “In these matches we need to try to give minutes to Hazard. So, I’m making the most of these matches to give him the chance to get into rhythm.”

Ancelotti on Vinicius Tobias’ debut

Vinicius Tobias, the 18-year-old right-back signed for Castilla in the middle of last season, got the chance to play with the first team in San Francisco. Ancelotti explained that: “He has been very professional and serious in training, so I wanted to give him minutes.”

Ancelotti on Tchouaméni’s progress

These are the first experiences in the white of Real Madrid for Aurélien Tchouaméni and the coach was asked about the youngster.

Ancelotti replied: “He’s a different kind of pivot to Casemiro. Casemiro is more positional. We watched the Barcelona game to see where Tchouaméni could do better and position himself better. He is able to get forward well.”

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