Speaking ahead of Real Madrid’s match against Rayo, Carlo Ancelotti has backed Cristiano Ronaldo for the Ballon D’Or while indicating either Isco or James Rodriguez will have to make way for Gareth Bale on Saturday.
According to Ancelotti, Ronaldo is the favourite to win the Ballon D’Or and has referred to him as Di Stefano’s heir at Real Madrid.
“Maybe a German could be in contention for the Ballon D’Or because of World Cup. I can’t think of another challenger for Cristiano. I believe that Cristiano is Di Stéfano’s heir, and that’s a big compliment because everybody knows what Di Stéfano represents for this club. He deserves this.”
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti also emphasised that rotation will be the key for his squad while disclosing that Isco or James Rodriguez could make way for Gareth Bale’s return in the starting eleven.
Rotations are going to be key for Real Madrid. Following Bale’s injury, Ancelotti opted for Isco in a string of important matches and the young Spaniard delivered on the manager’s show of trust. he adjusted well alongside Modric and Ronaldo and was integral in dropping deep to defend. However with Bale back in reckoning, it seems Isco or Rodriguez are set to lose their spot in the starting eleven.
“Someone will, obviously! But we are making rotations here, and this is very normal. Isco and James have played wonderful matches and it is possible that I will give one of them some rest.”
“Bale knows he has to track back and run. I don’t need to ask him that, since it’s not a problem for him.”
Speaking about the team, Ancelotti revealed that he worked on Ronaldo and co to play together off the ball and that has helped the team perform better.
“All I did was get them used to playing together to win back the ball. The team are working well together, and that benefits the midfielders. They’re doing a great job and making sacrifices. Defensive work isn’t a matter of skill; it’s a matter of sacrifice”.
Talking about Isco’s role in the team, Ancelotti revealed that the young Spaniard could play behind Ronaldo and Bale, in Modric or Kroos’ position in the team.
“I don’t plan to field Isco as a false ‘9’. He might play in central midfield every so often in place of Kroos or Modric. I’m thinking of playing him further back because he could do the defensive work he does on the wing equally as well in central midfield”.
Speaking about Jese Rodriguez who has joined the team for practices following his injury last season, Ancelotti insisted that they are not planning to rush the youngster and will probably give him some time on the field next month.
“We are not in a hurry with him, he’s in the final stage of his recovery process and we still need to be patient about it. Hopefully he should be ready to play next month.”
Khedira on the other hand remains unavailable for selection but is expected to get some minutes in the international break playing for Germany.
“Khedira is not available for the match against Rayo, but he’s fine. He will play some minutes with Germany and then he will be back with us. It’s important for him to play some minutes.”
With Gareth Bale back from his injury, Real Madrid will look to fire on all cylinders as Ronaldo, Benzema and co look to create the ‘BBC’ magic.