Real Madrid are set to host FC Barcelona on 25th August and coach Carlo Ancelotti believes that the Catalans look more competitive and motivated this year.
FC Barcelona had a miserable last season as the club failed to win a single major trophy but the Catalans made some impressive summer signings like Luis Suarez, Jeremy Mathieu, Thomas Vermaelen and Claudio Bravo and they have made an excellent start to the new season as they sit at the top of La Liga table.
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is also impressed with the progress made by fierce rivals FC Barcelona. Speaking to Real Madrid TV, Ancelotti said that, “FC Barcelona look more motivated and competitive in comparison with last year. They’ve changed the coach, they have new players, a renewed Neymar. I think they’re more motivated and competitive than last year but they are always a very strong team.”
“It isn’t easy to score so many goals, but these players have incredible quality in terms of scoring goals and attacking well. It’s always a collective effort, but the quality of the three up front is unique in the world.”
Speaking of his own team, Ancelotti said that Real Madrid have overcome their early season troubles and the squad looks more improved than last season. “We had some difficulties at the beginning because August was difficult, as there were players coming back from the World Cup and they did not have time to prepare. Now we’ve had time to prepare and the team is in good shape, motivated and up for it.
“This year we are clear on the key aspects of our play, though we can’t always play at our peak level. The only problem is that we have conceded more goals than normal, but in terms of our play we’re better than last year.”
The Real Madrid boss has used Cristiano Ronaldo as no. 9 in few games this season but Carlo Ancelotti insisted that the Portuguese superstar is more comfortable in his role as a winger and he plans to use him in that role only.
“Ronaldo thinks that he could also play in this position without any problems, but he is more comfortable starting on the wing, because he is always facing the goal. What doesn’t surprise me about Cristiano Ronaldo is the quality he has. It’s something I already knew. What does surprise me is the desire he has at this time to fight for the team, to score for the team and his level of professionalism, which is unique in the world of football and above all for a player of this level.”