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Monday 26. February 2024 - 10:11

Ancelotti talks Modric, Kroos, Guler, Ceballos, referee after Real Madrid 1-0 Sevilla

Real Madrid left it late to clinch a 1-0 victory over Sevilla last night at the Santiago Bernabeu, courtesy of a spectacular strike from substitute Luka Modric.

The victory means that the Merengues continue to hold an eight-point advantage over second-placed Barcelona, with only 12 matches left to be played in the season.

It was far from an easy win for Carlo Ancelotti’s men and required a moment of magic from Modric, who has barely played in recent weeks.

Talking about the Croatian international’s impact after coming on, the Real Madrid boss said: “We celebrated the goal with Luka because he deserved it and he scored a great goal that earned us another three points. He’s scored and shown that it’s very difficult to leave him on the bench.

"Not just because of today’s goal but because of the way he trains every day, he’s an example for the rest of the squad."

On the veteran midfielder’s future, he added: "What he decides to do in the future is in his own hands and we just have to wait for his decision. I understand what he may think when he’s not playing. Everyone thinks it’s the end of his career, but he isn’t showing it."

"He doesn’t look like a 39-year-old player. The only objective fact is his age. Out of the respect I have for him, I can’t give him advice. He’s very intelligent, serious and professional. He knows what he has to do. The quality of the minutes is more important than the quantity."

Ancelotti then added that the situation with Nacho and Toni Kroos was the same as that of Modric, saying: " Modric, Kroos and Nacho are in the same situation at the end of the season. There’s time to sort it out over the next few months."

Real Madrid had taken a lead early in the game through Lucas Vazquez, but the goal was chalked off due to an alleged foul in the buildup by Nacho. Giving his take on the decision, Ancelotti said:

"It’s difficult to get used to these new rules. VAR was born to correct obvious mistakes. Nacho may have touched his foot, but he also touched the ball. The referee’s assessment on the pitch had been correct, but he was alerted by the VAR."

"It’s a general problem since VAR has been in place. I told him that VAR didn’t have to get involved because it wasn’t clear and obvious".

On what he thought of Diaz De Mera’s refereeing as a whole, he added: "We complained a bit in the first half because the game was affected on an emotional level by the disallowed goal. The second half was more controlled and calm."

During the second period, with the game still at 0-0, Ancelotti was set to bring in Arda Guler, but changed things up as Modric scored the goal. As such, Guler was asked to sit back on the bench with Dani Ceballos coming on instead.

Explaining the decision, Ancelotti said: "I had a thought before the goal and I changed my mind after the goal and I preferred to bring on a more defensive player such as Ceballos. I think he understands it very well and if he doesn’t , that’s fine."

Provided by: Frank Henriksen
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