Monday, January 24

Ancelotti: It isn’t easy to play on the counter like Real Madrid do

Real Madrid are into the final of the Supercopa de Espana, yet their counter-attacking style to defeat Barcelona in the semi-final was criticised by some. Carlo Ancelotti has now responded to these critics.

The Italian has explained that executing counter attacks isn’t easy, especially the intricate moves that Real Madrid have been putting together.

“I am proud to say that Real Madrid can play on the counter, because it’s not easy to do that,” the coach stated.

“Our counters against Barcelona, for example, weren’t long balls. Instead, they were many passes. We even had six players in their area when we scored the winner.

“Some might say we sit back and defend, but we’ve scored more goals than anyone else in LaLiga Santander this season.

“There is no perfect way to play. I respect all styles of playing.”

Discussing the style he expects to see from Sunday’s rivals Athletic Club, Ancelotti warned that the Basque side are not to be underestimated.

“We actually know this team really well because we played them twice in December,” he said.

“Both these meetings were even, like Sunday’s probably will be.

“They are solid defensively. They are well organised. They are quick in attack. They are good at set pieces.

“Given their style, our plan will be different to the semi-final. Athletic are different to Barcelona.”

Ancelotti is relishing the prospect of coaching another final with Real Madrid, something he last did in 2014.

“Playing a final is always special, especially with Real Madrid,” he stated.

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“This is a club with a culture of being used to these types of matches.”

Finally, he was asked for his thoughts on the location of this year’s Supercopa de Espana and if he has an issue with playing in Saudi Arabia.

“No, there was a good atmosphere at the Clasico,” he said.

“We know that playing here is important for the Spanish football federation.”

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