Ancelotti declares his undying love for Real Madrid: 'I would stay at this club for the rest of my life'

Ancelotti declares his undying love for Real Madrid: 'I would stay at this club for the rest of my life'
Ancelotti, at the press conference prior to the Clásico.
Ancelotti, at the press conference prior to the Clásico.
Speaking ahead of Real Madrid's El Clasico at the Spotify Camp Nou on Sunday, Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti (63) said his side will play an attacking game to close the nine-point gap to their biggest rivals and praised the Catalans' defensive solidity throughout the season. The Italian also praised several of his players, such as Camavinga and Tchouaméni, who he believes are making up for the loss of a "legend" like Casemiro, and Vinícius and Militao, who he believes are the best in the world in their position.

What they need to do well to win at the Spotify Camp Nou

"We have to enjoy the moment by being protagonists in a match that is always important. We must prepare well and play better. You can only win if you bring out the best in all aspects, whether individually or collectively, in attack or defence."

His goal to remain at Real Madrid next season

"It's an assessment that the club has to make, not me. I have said many times that I would stay at this club for the rest of my life, but that is impossible. The club will make a decision at the end of the season whatever happens. My thinking is that I want to stay and I hope that will be the case. But what the club decides is not important to me, because I enjoy every day. If the club wants me for three months, then I will enjoy three months. And if they want me for three years, then the same. What is clear is that in the end I will thank the club for the life it has given me."

What he thinks about the fact that if a coach doesn't win a title at Madrid he has to leave?

"The written rules change. So can the unwritten ones. I'm convinced that we're going to win something this season, so that's the end of it."

On whether the LaLiga race would be over if they don't beat Barcelona

"I don't know because we're not thinking about that but about winning tomorrow (Sunday). What happens if we don't win, we'll think about it if that happens, but today we're only thinking about winning."

Doubts about Kroos and Modric

"I'm surprised that people are doubting them because they are still the best."

Which title he thinks they can win

"The data says that we have a disadvantage in the Copa del Rey and LaLiga, but we don't have a disadvantage in the Champions League. Tomorrow we can close the gap a bit and that's what we're thinking about today".

On whether he expects Barca to be as defensive as they were in the Copa

"It's very difficult to say what kind of game it's going to be because everyone has their own story. The truth is that they defended a lot in the Copa game because they were ahead on the scoreboard and they thought that in the second half they had to defend. This game could be different depending on what happens. If we score early or if they score early, it can go one way or the other.

The possibility of taking risks and being more offensive because the only thing that counts is to win

"Tomorrow we will play offensively, but without taking risks."

A more pragmatic Barca, in the style of Real Madrid

"More than pragmatic, I see a very solid team at the back who have conceded very few goals. That means that they have had an important collective commitment and this has allowed them to win games when they have suffered a little more than usual."

A tougher Champions League draw than last year's

"I don't know, but it's true that playing the second leg at home last year helped us a lot. I don't know if it's a disadvantage because the fact that there is no longer a rule of double value for away goals doesn't change much. I don't think about that but I think that the Bernabéu will help us a lot in the first leg."

Vinícius' duel with Araújo and the plan to stop him losing concentration in matches

"He's had more difficulty in the last few games, but Vinícius is always Vinícius. His mobility in the game can help him get the best out of tomorrow."

Benzema's condition and whether Vinicius is serious about the game

"Benzema is fine and he's going to play. Obviously, Vinicius's issue is not serious, but mobility can be important and not having a fixed reference to put the defence in trouble. He will play on the left, but with more mobility."

On whether he sees Barca as a lion or a cat

"We have to see Barca as a lion, not a cat. If we see them as a cat, it looks like we're going to a party and that's not the case. It's an important game and we have to fight until the end, be committed and strong to get the best out of ourselves. Having said that, I'm always afraid or worried before a match. The hours before are the most complicated for me."

Camavinga as Casemiro's replacement in the "Bermuda triangle"

"Eduardo is doing well, just like Tchouaméni in the first part of the season. They have both replaced well a legend and a fantastic player who was the best for years in his position. Real Madrid can look to the future very well with the two of them."

The tactical solution to help Vinícius against Araújo and the plan against Gavi

"The plan we have because both teams know each other very well, there are no secrets. All the assessments on how to create problems and how to avoid them will be with us until the opening whistle."

How he sees his team's form

"From 22 January until now, the team has done very well. The physical and technical data confirms it. We are in a good moment, also mentally, and we are very motivated and excited about what can happen in the next three months. The team has improved a lot technically and tactically and is more solid at the back and more effective up front, except for a few games that didn't go our way. I think we can do very well until the end."

Why he thinks Militao is the best defender in the world

"I might lose a bit of credibility if I say Vinícius is the best in the world and Militao the best defender in the world, but for me it's the truth, being honest. For me, Militao is the best or among the best because he has everything. He is a very fast player, very strong in one-on-one situations, very good on the ball, a great header... He lacks nothing. One flaw he has is that he's not always 100 per cent focused. And he's not that good looking either."