Ancelotti backs Madrid to win trophy this season


Carlo Ancelotti has said he is “convinced” that Real Madrid will win a major trophy this season, before the club take a decision on his future in the summer.

Madrid are chasing three competitions, going into Sunday’s LaLiga Clasico nine points behind leaders Barcelona, preparing to face Chelsea in the Champions League quarterfinals and hoping to turn around a 1-0 first-leg deficit in their Copa del Rey semifinal with Barca.

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“It’s an evaluation that the club has to make, not me,” Ancelotti said in a news conference on Saturday, when asked if he deserved the chance to continue as Madrid coach. “I’ve said many times that I’d stay here for life, but I think that’s impossible. It’s a decision the club will take at the end of the season, whatever happens.”

One journalist suggested that Madrid’s high standards demanded winning either LaLiga, the Copa del Rey or the Champions League — having already landed the UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup this season — to keep his job.

“Rules change!” Ancelotti said. “And unwritten rules too. But I’m convinced that we’ll win something this season, so that’s that.”

Sunday’s Clasico is the second of three meetings in 34 days between Madrid and Barca. The Catalan club came out on top in the Copa first leg at the Bernabeu, an Eder Militao own goal giving them a 1-0 win, ahead of the second leg at Camp Nou on April 5.

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“It’s difficult to say what game we’ll get [on Sunday],” Ancelotti added. “Barcelona defended a lot in that game, because they went ahead. This game will be different depending if we score early, or they do… Tomorrow we’ll play attacking football, without taking risks.”

The key duel in that Copa game saw Barca defender Ronald Araujo — picked at right-back — come out on top against Vinicius Junior.

“It’s true that it’s been more difficult for him,” Ancelotti said. “But Vinicius is always Vinicius. His mobility can help him. I’m thinking about putting him on the right… Obviously I’m not being serious, but mobility is important.”


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