Real Madrid

Ancelotti responds to Xavi: Playing well is about more than just having the ball

The coach’s press conference ahead of Shakhtar Donetsk

Carlo Ancelotti has fired back after recent comments from Xavi and Lionel Messi, which aimed to discredit Real Madrid‘s 2021/22 Champions League victory.

It has been argued that Real Madrid won the continental tournament without being the best team in the competition, but the Italian has defended his side’s achievement.

“Playing football well is about more than just having possession,” the coach stated in a press conference on Tuesday, ahead of Real Madrid vs Shakhtar Donetsk.

“The Champions League is sometimes about small details, but that’s part of the game and Real Madrid is the club that has best managed these small details in the history of this competition.

“You can concede three goals quickly, which has happened to me in a final, or you can score two goals quickly, which happened for me in a semi-final.

“But, it’s not about luck. Speaking about luck means you’re masking the problems you have and not giving credit to the opponent.

“We might say we were unlucky against Osasuna on Sunday, but that would hide our problems and take credit away from the opponent.”

The coach went on to preview the clash with Shakhtar Donetsk in more detail.

“We know this will be an important match to try to reach nine points,” he said.

“We have full respect for this opponent. They play well, similar to last year, with fast forwards.

“After Sunday’s draw, we also want to bounce back well.”

Ancelotti also provided an injury update, revealing that Thibaut Courtois and Dani Ceballos are out injured and that Luka Modric is back but not certain to start.

Ancelotti is asked about the criticism of Benzema

Karim Benzema has been criticised in the past few days, after a poor display against Osasuna, and Ancelotti was asked if this is fair.

“People can think what they want, criticism is normal in football but it doesn’t affect us,” the coach stated.

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