Ahead of Sunday’s clash between Real Madrid and Barcelona, Ancelotti was asked about how the Blaugrana have changed under the young coach.
According to Ancelotti, Barcelona’s identity never changes
Sunday’s Clasico will see Carlo Ancelotti go up against Xavi Hernandez, and the veteran coach has been impressed with what the Catalan is doing at Barcelona. Ahead of Sunday’s clash between Real Madrid and Barcelona, Ancelotti was asked about how the Blaugrana have changed under the young coach. “Barcelona’s identity never changes, as the club has a clear style,” the Italian said. “Xavi fits in with that style well, and the team have improved a lot under him. They’re a complete team and are playing well. My opinion is that he is doing a good job.” Despite his praise for Xavi’s work at Barcelona and his assertion that the Blaugrana are playing in the club’s typical style, Ancelotti said that he doesn’t like to have a set style for his teams. “Football isn’t about just one style, in my view,” he said
Karim Benzema is missing the game
“I want my teams to be able to have various identities. I have always tried to use styles where my players feel comfortable.” Moving on to talk in more detail about Sunday’s match, Ancelotti confirmed that Karim Benzema is missing and was asked about possible replacements. “Benzema is a very important member of our squad, so now we’ll need to look for solutions since we won’t have him,” the coach said. “I have already decided who’ll replace him, but I won’t reveal that here. We have the options of Gareth Bale, Mariano and Luka Jovic, while Isco or Rodrygo have played there on occasion too. There are many options. I’ve picked the one that I think is best for this game.”
Ancelotti also insisted that he isn’t overly concerned about Benzema’s injury and that he’s glad it’s now the international break. “I think this injury comes at a good moment since we now have the two weeks of the international break for him to recover,” the coach added. “He’ll be back stronger for the rest of the campaign.”