Soccer

‘Untouchable’ Modric, Kroos can’t play each game

Carlo Ancelotti stated midfielders Luka Modric and Toni Kroos are “untouchable” at Real Madrid however “that doesn’t mean they play every game” with competitors from children Aurelien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga and Federico Valverde.

Modric missed Thursday’s 3-2 Copa del Rey comeback win at Villarreal by harm, whereas Kroos was substituted at 2-0 down with substitute Dani Ceballos contributing to all three Madrid objectives, scoring the 86th minute winner.

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Madrid are going through a troublesome fixture checklist, with Sunday’s LaLiga journey to Athletic Club adopted by a cup quarterfinal derby with Atletico Madrid subsequent Thursday, after which internet hosting in-form Real Sociedad subsequent weekend.

“The squad is untouchable,” Ancelotti stated in a information convention on Saturday, when requested if managing the transition from one era to a different was his hardest job as coach.

“It’s not only [Modric and Kroos], it’s the others who come onto the pitch and give everything, like Ceballos and [Marco] Asensio did [at Villarreal]. Modric and Kroos are untouchable, but that doesn’t mean they have to play every game.

“They’re gamers who’ve made historical past at this membership, they’re making historical past and they’ll make historical past. But that does not imply they must play each game.”

Madrid went into Thursday’s Copa del Rey round-of-16 game under pressure — after a loss to Villarreal in LaLiga and a defeat to Barcelona in the Spanish Supercopa final — and performed poorly, before a dramatic second-half turnaround.

“The response at Villarreal was excellent,” Ancelotti added. “We made large errors within the first half. Over the previous few days we have evaluated all the things. We [don’t have time] to coach, so we get better and watch movies. The errors have been fairly clear, let’s hope they don’t seem to be repeated… We can’t give away [goals] like in current video games.”

Ancelotti also dismissed reports of interest from Premier League leaders Arsenal in Camavinga — saying “Eduardo is untouchable, like Modric or Kroos” — and said he’d accepted Tchouameni’s apology for attending an NBA game between the Chicago Bulls and the Detroit Pistons in Paris while Madrid were playing in Villarreal.

“He’s apologised in public,” Ancelotti said. “He made a mistake, he is a younger boy who made one mistake and it is over. Let’s hope he might be again [from injury] subsequent week.”


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