Ancelotti: Madrid must win every game to overhaul Barcelona

The Blancos currently sit second in the Primera Division standings, two points adrift of their great rivals with just six rounds remaining

Carlo Ancelotti has admitted that Real Madrid will probably have to win all of their games in order to beat Barcelona in this season’s Liga title race.

The Blancos currently sit second in the standings, two points behind their Catalan rivals with six rounds remaining.

With Barca in fine form, having won 22 of their last 24 games in al competitions, Ancelotti feels that Madrid will most likely require a flawless finish to the season in order to come out on top.

“Our aim is to keep the race alive for as long as possible,” he told reporters. “Both sides have difficult games left.

“At the moment both sides are playing for a lot, and that means that every game is difficult. 

“Barcelona have an advantage. We have to try and win all our games to force them to also win.”

Ancelotti was speaking after his side’s 3-1 victory over Malaga on Saturday, which came courtesy of goals from Sergio Ramos, James Rodriguez and Cristiano Roanldo.

The Italian was pleased with his side’s collective performance but he singled midfielders James, Isco and Toni Kroos out for special praise.

“They played well,” Ancelotti added. “James was the best, he gave a lot of quality to the side. 

“Isco did not have such a great first half but then he played very well in the second half. 

“What I most liked is that the players fought and gave everything they had, that is what we needed this match.”

Madrid now turn their attention back to the Champions League and Wednesday’s quarter-final, second-leg clash with Atletico, which is beautifully balanced after last week’s scoreless draw at the Vicente Calderon.

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04 2015
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Real Madrid reeling as Modric ruled out for six weeks

The Croatia international sprained a ligament in his right knee in Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Malaga at the Santiago Bernabeu

Real Madrid have been rocked by the news that Luka Modric will miss the rest of their Liga campaign after being ruled out of action for six weeks.

The midfielder hobbled off 60 minutes into Saturday’s Primera Division clash with Malaga at the Santiago Bernabeu and it was subsequently revealed that he had sprained a ligament in his right knee.

However, both Madrid and the Croatian Football Federation confirmed on Sunday that Modric will be sidelined for six weeks, meaning he will play no part in the conclusion of the Spanish season, which wraps up on May 24.

Consequently, the former Tottenham playmaker will miss the upcoming clashes with Celta (away), Almeria (home), Sevilla (away), Valencia (home), Espanyol (away) and Getafe (home).

More immediately, of course, Modric will also sit out Wednesday’s pivotal Champions League quarter-final, second-leg showdown with city rivals Atletico at the Santiago Bernabeu.

However, the 29-year-old would, in theory, be available for the final, should Madrid make it all the way to Berlin to defend their European crown.


04 2015
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I'd love to play with Cristiano, says Brazil legend Ronaldo

The retired 38-year-old has ruled out a return to top-flight football but admitted that he would enjoy teaming up with the Real Madrid superstar

Brazil legend Ronaldo has revealed that if he could play alongside anybody in the modern game, it would be Cristiano Ronaldo, claiming that the pair would form a “spectacular” partnership.

The 38-year-old brought the curtain down on his illustrious career in 2011, though he recently hinted that he might occasionally turn out for Fort Lauderdale Strikers, a North American Soccer League outfit that he now co-owns.

Consequently, while Ronaldo says that there is little hope of him making a comeback at the highest level, he would dearly love to play alongside namesake Cristiano.

“If [Fort Lauderdale] reach the playoffs, I might give it a go again but I’d have to train very hard,” the iconic striker is quoted as saying by AS. “But my time has passed.

“If I could play anywhere today, though? I’d love to play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo. 

“It’s not possible but it would be spectacular!”

Cristiano, of course, is consistently compared to Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi but Ronaldo refused to be drawn into the debate over who is the superior talent.

“It’s wonderful to see how they play and how they score goals,” the two-time Ballon d’Or winner stated. “I love watching both of them.”

Ronaldo represented both Madrid and Barcelona during his playing days and he is expecting the pair’s battle for this year’s Liga title to be decided on the final day of the season.

“It will go down to the wire,” he added.

Barca currently top the table but are just two points clear of Madrid, with six rounds of the season remaining.

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04 2015
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James: Madrid worried by Modric injury

The Croatia international is facing six weeks on the sidelines after suffering a sprained knee in Saturday’s 3-1 Liga win over Malaga at the Bernabeu

James Rodriguez has admitted that Real Madrid are worried by the prospect of having to face the rest of the season with Luka Modric.

Modric was forced off with a suspected sprained knee 60 minutes into Saturday’s Liga win over Malaga and early reports have suggested that the Croatia international could be sidelined for six weeks.

That would represent a hammer blow for the European champions, whose form nosedived when the influential midfielder picked up an injury earlier in the season.

“We’re worried about him but hopefully he’s okay,” James told Canal Plus after the 3-1 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu.

“He’s a great player, with a great touch and capable of scoring goals.”

Gareth Bale also picked up an injury against Malaga, with the Welshman having to be replaced just five minutes in after pulling up with a suspected calf muscle tear.

As a result, coach Carlo Ancelotti now looks set to be without two key players for Wednesday’s decisive Champions League quarter-final clash with Atletico Madrid, with the tie finely balanced after a 0-0 draw at the Vicente Calderon.

“Hopefully, we’ll all be fit for the match,” added James, who netted the Blancos’ second goal in their 3-1 triumph over Malaga. 

“They’re a very tough rival and our matches are always difficult. We need to concentrate.”

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04 2015
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Real Madrid suffer Bale and Modric blows

The winger picked up a suspected calf injury very early in their home clash with Malaga, while the Croatian could be out for even longer with his problem

Real Madrid suffered a major blows in their trophy chase as Gareth Bale and Luka Modric suffered injuries in Saturday’s clash with Malaga.

Bale has been a key forward for Madrid this term with 13 goals in 27 Liga appearances before the latest game at the Santiago Bernabeu, which they ultimately won 3-1 thanks to goals from Sergio Ramos, James Rodriguez and Cristiano Ronaldo.

In the opening minutes of the meeting, the 25-year-old collapsed to the ground clutching his leg, having appeared to tear a muscle in his calf.

Bale was withdrawn and replaced by Javier Hernandez and, with Karim Benzema already missing from the encounter, it will pose a real worry for Carlo Ancelotti.

Potentially even more concerning for the head coach is Modric’s knee injury, which reports suggest could see him sidelined for as long as eight weeks.

However, the Italian is hopeful the Croatian midfielder and Bale can be fit for Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final second leg at home to Atletico.

“Luka Modric has had a knee problem and Gareth Bale’s issue is with his calf,” he told reporters. “We must wait.

“We are hopeful they can play on Wednesday. With or without Bale, we’ll give everything to be in semi-finals.”

Madrid still trail Barcelona by two points in La Liga, with the Catalans having beaten Valencia 2-0 earlier on Saturday.


04 2015
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