Ancelotti hits back at Dunga: Marcelo is the best left-back in the world

The Real Madrid coach cannot understand why the defender is not a Brazil regular and revealed the recovery progress of James Rodriguez, Sami Khedira and Luka Modric

Carlo Ancelotti has hit back at Brazil boss Dunga for suggesting Real Madrid left-back Marcelo is too attacking for his team.

The 26-year-old was a regular at the World Cup this summer, starting six of the nation’s seven games, but has not made a single appearance under Luiz Felipe Scolari’s replacement, who explained this week that he does not consider the player to be efficient enough for his first XI.

Dunga’s results without Marcelo are certainly in his favour – the Selecao have won all six of their games since the summer humiliation to Germany and Netherlands, conceding just one goal – but his club coach Ancelotti thinks his left-back is the best in the world right now.

“Marcelo is one of the best wide players in the world, if not the best,” he told reporters at the press conference ahead of Real Madrid’s clash on Friday with Almeria – the club’s final Liga game of 2014.

“Brazil did not have a good World Cup but that was not Marcelo’s fault.”

The Italian coach stressed that the club’s ongoing record of 19 successive competitive wins is important for morale at the Santiago Bernabeu and commented on the fortunes of on-loan forward Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez, who has largely been restricted to appearances off the bench in 2014-15.

“We want to finish the year in La Liga in fantastic style,” Ancelotti added. “I would like to give more game time to Chicharito, because he deserves it, but he knows that there is a lot of competition in the squad.”

“The record is important because it shows that we are doing well, but we have not won anything yet.”

Ancelotti also revealed James Rodriguez is close to a return to first-team training with the club following his injury, while Luka Modric continues to recover well from his thigh problem.

He also claimed Sami Khedira would travel with Real Madrid to the upcoming Club World Cup, but that the German midfielder “would not be fit for the semi-final, but perhaps for the final”.

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