Just a few seconds after modric praised Ancelotti for his “way of being”, appeared Carletto. More serious than on other occasions, even more succinct, perhaps the result of the tension of tomorrow’s appointment. But wanting to send a message to the fans: “With the Bernabéu, we can do it.”
How is the locker room?
Very motivated and focused. We have a challenge tomorrow, an opportunity to play in a Champions League final. There is a great atmosphere. We are aware of the difficulty, but the tie is open, despite that small disadvantage and it’s time to fix it.
What arguments does Madrid have to believe?
Personality, for example, is an important part, because it makes you shine all the quality you have. There are many aspects. Tomorrow will not be won only with the heart, although it will help; you win with everything, adding quality, collective commitment…
Madrid have been shot 20 times per game on average. What’s going on?
It’s true. If we put the block low, we won’t get shot as much; if we get inside the area, they will do it to us. Sometimes you have to take risks, because that also makes you score a lot, as we have done.
After the first leg he stressed that they should improve in defense. Does it reassure you to know that Casemiro is back?
His return reinforces the defensive aspect, I have no doubt. We have to improve the defensive aspect, be more compact, move better. It is something that we have worked on and it will be seen.
Can history influence tomorrow?
No, each party has its history. They have an advantage, we know it and it’s up to us to do better. I am aware that it is very difficult, but after winning LaLiga and with the Bernabéu, we can do it.
How have you improved Vinicius?
What he has improved is the finish. Now he is much colder, he takes his time to make the right decision. It is something that has matured; I have only given him the confidence to continue putting it on, nothing more. The job is yours.
Will he choose Rodrygo or Valverde?
I do not have doubts. It can be a long game, so it won’t be more important which one starts it and which finishes it. By the way, Alaba does not arrive, he is not ready.
Does the way of defending change if Nacho plays?
No, nothing. As I said, emphasis must be placed on collective work. Alaba is important, but Nacho has been doing very well and he’s going to do well tomorrow.
Are the Real Madrid coaches undervalued when they are called more ‘managers’ than ‘technicians’?
I do not know! Real Madrid coaches have been valued, I don’t know. In the end this, having the assessment, is the most important thing. Then each one will think what he wants.
How has Modric evolved in these years?
It hasn’t changed. If I had to compare Benzema with him, I think Karim has changed more. Especially when it comes to leadership. It may have changed the perception that other players have of him, he is an exceptional player, fantastic, extraordinary, with tremendous technical and physical quality.
How important will it be tomorrow to do well?
I think we have to think about a complete match. We are not going to propose a party with a low block, although on some occasions it is. The mentality has to be of a complete party.
At the beginning of the season he said about Benzema that he was a 30-goal striker who should now be asked for 50. They are already at 42. Have you been surprised by his boom goal scorer?
He has done very well, he has even improved Vinicius. This team, in general, has greatly improved the offensive aspect, introducing mobility and touch.
You faced City during your time at Everton. What do you think of Foden?
He is a fantastic player, he is doing spectacular. He predicted a spectacular career. He is a modern striker, who can play in many positions and move through all of them. He is one of the greatest talents in English football.