Speaking ahead of the much-awaited El Clasico, manager Carlo Ancelotti confirmed that Real Madrid will have to be at their very best to overcome the challenge posed by Messi and co.
Ancelotti believes that Barcelona are doing well under new manager Luis Enrique and are extremely motivated following their trophy-less season under Tata Martino. He praised the midfield strength boasted by Barcelona and accepted that though Real are not a ‘perfect’ team, they will try their best to expose Barcelona’s weakness as he prepares for the match. However the manager dismissed suggestions that Suarez will make a difference in his debut against Real Madrid.
“I think Barcelona are well motivated under their new coach. They didn’t win anything last season and now they play more vertical with a very solid defense. They have always had very good players in the midfield, I don’t think we have an advantage in this part of the field. Both teams know each other well, we need to be at our best in order to win the game the way we want to win it. We’re not a perfect team, we need to find their weak spot. I enjoy preparing these matches.”
Talking about the El Clasico, Ancelotti remembered his first encounter against Barcelona, one that he lost 2-0.
“To have pressure in a Clásico is absolutely normal. We are in good condition in comparison to how we were playing before the first game against Barcelona last year, that’s obvious. This will be a test, just like every game is a test for Real Madrid.”
Real Madrid haven’t had a perfect start this season and suffered two consecutive losses against Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid. Manager Ancelotti however believes that Real have worked hard since to find the right balance and showed his satisfaction with the team’s form in the run into the El Clasico.
“We realized what we were lacking after the losses against Atlético and Real Sociedad. All the players understood, and the team work hard to find balance. It’s all on the players because they understood well what was happening. I’m satisfied with what we’re doing, I hope to maintain this good form. The main thing for our players is that they need to put their skills and quality at the team’s disposal. They’re doing exactly this right now.