Real Madrid brushed off the dust and defeated Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday night. Carlo Ancelotti ‘s team recovered from two consecutive setbacks. The league season may be done, but it was a crucial win for both the players and the fans during a difficult time. Karim Benzema scored in the first half, but the visitors equalised late in the second. Ultimately, a Rodrygo goal in the 89th minute gave them all three points.
Carlo Ancelotti reflects on various aspects
Carlo Ancelotti had a lengthy post-match press conference, focusing particularly on Vinicius Jr, but also on the situations and performances of Karim Benzema and Rodrygo Goes. Here are some excerpts from his conversation.
Ancelotti feels Vinicius’s morale is ‘fine’
The manager began by mentioning Vinicius Jr., who was the centre of attention despite not playing at Santiago Bernabeu. The entire crowd stood with him, and Ancelotti stated that such racist incidents will not happen again.
“His morale is just fine. All the support he has received in the last few days has been good for him. I don’t think there will be any more cases of racism because we’ve all become aware of it and things are going to improve very quickly.”
“He would have played if he didn’t have the discomfort in his knee. We’ll see if he can train tomorrow or Friday so he can play on Saturday. It was just a small issue today that stopped him from playing.”
Carlo Ancelotti eulogized Rodrygo’s performance
The Italian went on to explain why Vini Jr. was such an important part of his idea and appreciated Rodrygo for filling his shoes on the left wing on Wednesday night.
“Everyone knows him, he’s such an important player for us with his assists, his goals and the danger he creates. He was replaced by another left winger today, although he often plays on the right too. And Rodrygo made the difference today.”
Ancelotti elaborated on Rodrygo’s overall 2022-23 campaign and stated that the youngster was still far from his peak potential.
“He’s had a bigger impact this season and he has nearly been a nailed-on starter. He’s really progressed well compared to last year. He’ll continue to improve next season as well because he still hasn’t reached his best, but he’s getting there.”
Rodrygo Goes performed a spectacular celebration after his late winner against Rayo Vallecano, standing with his head down and a clinched fist high above. It was definitely a show of support for Vini Jr, but Ancelotti claimed he didn’t notice the celebration.
“I didn’t see the celebration. All of the players who are close to Vini Jr. feel this issue deeply and have been affected by it because they are friends. Vini Jr. has been impacted by it all a bit and they are showing their support to a teammate.”
The Italian manager felt it was the ‘correct call’ to overturn Vinicius’ red card
The Competition Committee overturned Vinicius’ red card after discovering compelling evidence that the referee had been influenced in his judgement last weekend. The Italian coach expressed surprise at the unexpected choice, but felt it was the correct call.
“I was surprised because I didn’t think they would review a situation where a mistake was made. On the pitch, they only evaluated Vini Jr.’s conduct but it was a long sequence of events. They changed their mind and I think they made the right call.
“It’s a very difficult situation and I would like to think it was a genuine mistake. They didn’t show all of the images and I don’t know if that has happened before.”
Carlo Ancelotti praised the authorities for sanctioning Valencia
Ancelotti praised the authorities for taking fast and strict action in response to Valencia’s sanctions, which included a partial shutdown of the Mestalla.
“An awful lot has happened in general over the last couple of days. Society at large, not just sport, has accepted its guilty conscience a little bit. It could be a real opportunity. They have imposed measures these days that affect the stands at Mestalla. It’s a very important step in the right direction and I hope this issue can be resolved as soon as possible.”
When asked if he had any words or thoughts for opposing fans, Ancelotti stated that a person’s actions must be founded on an internal evaluation of good and wrong, adding,
“I’m not asking anything of anyone. Everyone should behave as they wish to behave, taking into account that certain things can be done and others should not be.”
Real Madrid boss is happy with Javier Tebas’ apology
The press conference never got away from Vinicius Jr, and the second issue the coach was asked was about Javier Tebas’ open apology to the youngster for his hasty and unpleasant social media response. Ancelotti responded to the La Liga president’s recent remarks, saying,
“I think it was right. Everybody is becoming aware of what is going on. Our society is full of very intelligent people, especially in Spain. When intelligent people make decisions, the problems stop. I hope that is the case.”
Benzema sustained a minor cut in the encounter
Karim Benzema started the scoring on the night, but he appeared to be in pain for the whole of the game. Carlo Ancelotti dismissed injury rumours, revealing that Benzema had simply sustained a cut.
“He got a cut on his foot in the first half and it was bothering him. We assessed him at half-time and decided he could carry on. It affected him a bit but it wasn’t too bad and he played the full 90 minutes.”
Real Madrid Boss says Fran Garcia will join them this summer
Finally, Ancelotti concluded his press conference by stating that Fran Garcia will join Real Madrid in the summer.
“He’s a left-back with real energy and he’s so quick with the ball. He plays out very well and he’s got great attributes for us. He’ll be with us next year.”
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