Talking ahead of Real Madrid’s clash against Ludogorets, manager Carlo Ancelotti has made it clear that his side will not take the Bulgarians lightly as there are no ‘poor’ teams in the Champions League.
“There are no poor teams in this competitions. The first match played by Ludogorets against Liverpool was really good, and we all know how hard it is to play in Anfield. We want to win this match to establish ourselves in the Group.”
Ancelotti spoke about Ludogorets and their performance against Liverpool, emphasizing on the fact that the Bulgarians are a very well-organised unit.
“They play with a lot of intensity and they are solid. I believe these two things will be their main weapons for Wednesday’s match. They also have quality, we are building a gameplan to contain a whole squad and not a single player. They are quick and dynamic and that’s what surprised me the most after watching them playing in Anfield.”
Talking about the need to rotate the squad, Ancelotti made it clear that he is not going to rest any player until they are really tired to play a game.
“I’m not thinking about rotations, but if I see that some of our players are tired today I will give them rest. These first matches in the Group Stage are always crucial and our primary goal is to lead the Group.”
The Italian also spoke about Cristiano Ronaldo who has been making headlines due to his goal-scoring abilities on the field along with the rumours of a dream come return to Manchester United. Ancelotti had earlier dismissed such rumours and spoke about Ronaldo’s importance to the team.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player I’ve ever coached, with no disrespect to the others.”
While Ronaldo has started the campaign with a bang, Bale on the other hand has had a lukewarm start despite having underwent a thorough pre-season routine. But Ancelotti dismissed being worried about the Welshman and emphasized his belief in the player.
“Bale is not as involved in some games because there are some games in which players are not at 100%. But he’s played well, he’s scored and he knows the work he has to do because he’s doing it very well. I’m satisfied.”
Ancelotti also spoke about Real Madrid’s tactical formations and said that he believes in having a strong presence in the midfield and in attacking from the wings given Real’s counter-attacking abilities.
“We always try to defend with a 4-4-2 formation and then attack through our wing players. I think 4-4-2 is the best system when you don’t have the ball because it allows you to cover gaps really well.”
He also spoke about Isco since the Spaniard has rarely featured for Real this season.
“Isco doesn’t need anything else. He knows he’s very important for us, but I can’t start more than 11 players.”
Isco himself was present in the Press Conference and chose to back the manager’s decision, saying that he and Illarramendi are completely determined to make it to Real Madrid’s starting line-up.
“The coach wants me to be involved in defense, if I want to have minutes I have to contribute defensively. I’ll just try to go out and play well with the ball and off the ball as well. Players like Illarra and me don’t need any special motivation, we’re young and we know how hard it is to play for Real Madrid. We’re always ready to give our best. I’m really happy here.”
Speaking about Ludogorets, Isco made it clear that Real Madrid are not expecting an easy game and that they cannot to relax in their bid to hold on to their Champions League trophy.
“This is not an easy game. We will play respectfully and we’ll try our best to get the three points. It’s a very important away game but we can’t afford relaxation and we’re hoping to keep this momentum going.”