The Real Madrid coach, Carlo Ancelotti, confessed this Friday that he is “clear about what will happen to Karim Benzema” and his future “next year”, but added that he is not a “magician”, at the same time that he was ironic with the criticism that his team receives and before which he puts on the “umbrella” and warned that “regularity” goes through winning Espanyol this Saturday and then Liverpool and FC Barcelona.

“For me, Karim (Benzema) is a lifelong Real Madrid player. I am clear about what will happen next year, but I am not a magician,” said the Italian at the press conference prior to the match against Espanyol this Saturday (2:00 p.m.) at the Santiago Bernabéu.

A duel in which the French striker will not be, who will miss his fourteenth game this season due to “a blow to the ankle.” “He has tried to recover for tomorrow, but he has not been able to. He has started training individually today, he will be available for Wednesday,” tried to reassure Ancelotti, who acknowledged that his absence “affects” the team.

“It’s inevitable, he’s a very important player, especially after last year. He hasn’t reached that level yet and that has affected us. In the first part of the season we fixed him a bit, and in the second part we think it will be important, until the end. We are not talking about a player who has to reach an optimal level. We are confident that he will help us until the end. Tomorrow is something that can happen, he has a blow”, he stated something resigned.

Focused on Benzema reaching Liverpool’s visit in the Champions League round of 16 “in optimal condition”, the Italian reiterated that the striker “is not mentally touched”. “Emotionally he is very well, very motivated. He is very confident in the season that we are going to do, we live in an environment with a lot of confidence and motivation, we can play many cards that we have in the League, the Champions League and the Cup,” he warned.

And the Frenchman’s substitute in the ’11’ will be the Brazilian Rodrygo Goes, although Ancelotti stressed that “he has to play where the team needs him, sometimes on the outside and other times it is better between the lines”. “It depends on how we plan the game, but he can play in several positions and this is the good thing,” he praised, before also giving options in that position to youth squad player Álvaro Rodríguez. “He is prepared to be a starter, he has no experience, but nobody has when you start a job,” he said.

To receive Espanyol, the whites will also present the loss of Ferland Mendy, a duel to which the team arrives “well” and which is “important” to reach the Clásico next Sunday, March 19, with “good feelings” and recover the “regularity”. “They are going to play with good defensive organization, little space, solid. They have good strikers, Joselu is very dangerous in the air. We have to be motivated and focused”, he analyzed about the ‘parrots’.

“The defensive aspect is the most important thing, especially with this squad, which has extraordinary quality with the ball. It’s a collective commitment, work, sacrifice, the team is now more solid, pressing higher up, and it gives us a lot of confidence, because the “Quality is there. It can happen that there are moments that it is not seen, that there is no success, but it is there and sooner or later it will come out,” he said about the relevance of defending judiciously.

Regarding the current bad moment, with three straight games without winning, which can raise doubts and “fine rain” against the team’s performance, Ancelotti has denied that it reminds him of his time in 2015, when he was dismissed. “I don’t have to go back, to 2015, it happens every year. When there are more difficult moments than normal, criticism begins, last year too. But it’s my job, I don’t hear the ‘fine rain’, and if it I hear, I put the umbrella,” he joked.

Finally, the Italian did not want to comment on whether in previous times there was corruption in football. “Talking about corruption is complicated, we have to go back in time, I prefer to stay in the present and talk about other things that are more important,” he sentenced, before revealing that he “never” will answer if he would like to sign PSG striker Kylian Mbappé.

By Lay

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