Carlo Ancelotti sends a message: Real Madrid is stronger than ever

Carlo Ancelotti repeated a determined phrase twice in 24 hours, a message loaded with optimism and strength. “We are better than ever,” said the Los Blancos coach when discussing the Champions League draw and the tremendous quarter-final clash with Manchester City.

The clash between the two big favorites and the last two winners of the competition is eagerly anticipated and Real Madrid are out for revenge after the crushing 4-0 defeat handed to them in the 2022/23 semifinals.

Santiago Bernabeu to host NFL in 2025: Vinicius Jr. dons football helmet in exciting collaboratioeTwitter

So, the sentence was repeated in the press room of El Sadar after his team cemented their place at the top of LaLiga by extending the gap to second-placed Girona before heading off to the international break.

And here’s why the grand Italian might be spot on…

1 – Vinicius Jr.’s exceptional form

The Brazilian’s form is spectacular. Not even the noise generated around him, which he does plenty to silence, can overshadow evidence: we are facing the best version of the Brazilian.

In the win against Osasuna (March 16) he showed his best skills as he scored two goals and could have scored two or three more. His runs down the left flank can only be compared to those of Mbappe and his reading of the game is increasingly developed.

And in terms of goals, Vinicius Jr. is already on 18, just five short of the 23 that marked his ceiling last season as he competes with Jude Bellingham for the golden boot in the league.

“He is much better without the ball,” Ancelotti sad. “Which is something he was lacking.”

2 – They are not dependent on Jude Bellingham

Bellingham has been Real Madrid‘s franchise player this season. In the last stretch, between injuries and suspension, Ancelotti has been without his top scorer (20 goals). But whenever the Englishman has been absent, Real Madrid has responded with quality with nine victories from ten games and only the draw at Vallecas.

There has often been talk of Real Madrid‘s dependence on Bellingham’s goals in the absence of a stellar center forward in their team. The collective response negates that theory.

And much of the explanation for why Madrid is not paying for the absence of its lighthouse is in Brahim Diaz‘s extraordinary performance. He started the season as the third choice and today he is the answer to Bellingham’s absence and, with 10 goals, the team’s fifth top scorer.

3 – Antonio Rudiger, a king at the back

Real Madrid’s foundations shook when David Alaba‘s knee exploded against Villarreal and added to Eder Militao‘s serious injury, one that Ancelotti describes as very bad. But in that misfortune the club have found the resounding response of Antonio Rudiger.

The German centerback has become the best in the league and his leadership on and off the pitch is vital to the heart of this Real Madrid.

The numbers and what is seen match by match speak of Rudiger‘s value. From what happens behind closed doors, Ancelotti has given hints of what it means to have Rudiger, in good times (see the goal celebrations or the care for Arda Guler) and in bad times (internal criticism after the match against Leipzig).

4 – Andriy Lunin is a pleasant surprise

What the Ukrainian was when the season started can be explained with the quick reaction of Madrid to go for Kepa after Thibault Courtois‘ cruciate rupture in August and give him the starting lineup as soon as he had a few training sessions.

What Andriy Lunin is today can be explained with a phrase of Ancelotti in the press room of El Sadar:

“We have discovered a goalkeeper who gives us confidence,” Ancelotti said. “We are in no hurry with Thibaut’s return.”

5 – Tremendous offensive numbers

The “we are better than ever” finds positive statistical arguments. After 41 matches so far this season, Real Madrid have only lost in two, both against Atletico Madrid and at the Metropolitano (in LaLiga and Copa del Rey).

With 32 wins and seven draws accompany a team that has already scored 100 goals (96) and conceded 37 and with only nine games remaining in LaLiga, the team that has been their traveling companion at the top of the table all season, Girona, are already 10 points behind them.

6 – Excellent roster depth

Last season Ancelotti missed help from the bench in the wake of serious injuries but that’s not the case in 2023/24.

The slab of players like Mariano Diaz and Eden Hazard weighed on the lack of help on the field and a daily load at group level. None of that is happening this season.

The arrival of Joselu has meant an important goal-scoring relief (14 goals) and to compare Diaz with Hazard is to compare someone who wants to eat the world with someone who gave up.

In addition, Dani Carvajal has five goals to his name, when he had to play as a central defender he looked like an experienced stopper.

Luka Modric stars every time he plays against a substitution that makes him bitter but does not make him turn his back on his team and Federico Valverde does not care where he is put.

7 – Toni Kroos is a midfield general

Nothing of what Real Madrid is today can be understood without Toni Kroos. He is the master who pulls the strings of everything in midfield, and he is also a key leader, the one who manages the team without the need to exhibit anything other than an excellent knowledge of the game.

That means that there is nothing more important in a soccer player and the German’s form makes it inexplicable that he would even entertain the idea of quitting the game.

Of all the reasons that Ancelotti has to say that “we are better than ever” there may not be any that see Kroos better than ever.

Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top