Real Madrid freed by Ancelotti return but tougher tests await

MADRID: Carlo Ancelotti (Photo) Called it his ‘honeymoon period’ at Real Madrid and the club and coach want to enjoy it while it lasts.

Madrid will face Sheriff Tiraspol on Tuesday in the Champions League following a 1-0 away win over Inter Milan who appear to have already put Ancelotti’s side in charge of Group D.

And Madrid got off to a quick start in Spain as well, after five wins and two draws that brought them to the top of La Liga, three points ahead of Atletico Madrid and five ahead of Barcelona.

Ancelotti was asked on Friday when the honeymoon period will end after Madrid’s 6-1 loss to Mallorca.

“When it’s going to end I’ll tell you but so far I’m fine,” he said.

It wasn’t just the results that boosted morale, after a summer that started with Atletico winning the title and ended with Real Madrid making around € 50million (RM244million) in profit. of the transfer window and not having signed Kylian Mbappe.

These are the performances that have thrilled fans and given a bit of freshness to a side that seemed to have dulled under Zinedine Zidane last season.

Zidane’s success at the helm was historic but his style, whenever it was possible to identify one, was cautious, emphasizing defensive solidity, honed by his years at Juventus under Marcelo Lippi, over offensive exuberance. .

Ancelotti released the handbrake and the result was young players thriving and goals soaring.

Real Madrid have scored 21 goals in seven La Liga appearances this season, a total split between eight different players, including Karim Benzema, Vincius Junior, Marco Asensio, Eduardo Camavinga, Gareth Bale, Dani Carvajal and Nacho Fernandez.

Benzema has eight, as well as seven assists, with the Frenchman bolstering his claim to be Lionel Messi’s heir as the best La Liga player and perhaps even the best all-round striker in the world.

While Benzema’s performances are nothing new, Vinicius and Asensio have exploded under Ancelotti, Asensio scoring a hat-trick against Mallorca midweek and Vinicius discovering a more clinical advantage he previously lacked in his career.

18-year-old Camavinga is already a fan favorite.

“Camavinga has no pressure, his character is like that, he is very cheerful, he gets along well with his teammates, he tries to learn Spanish quickly,” said Ancelotti. “It is the freshness of youth.”

When Ancelotti’s arrival was confirmed, some were disappointed that Madrid had not been more daring, accusing the club of choosing a safe option instead of a more ideological coach in the mold of Thomas Tuchel, Julian Nagelsmann or Pep Guardiola.

The attacking success even made Ancelotti nervous, with a greater focus on defense contributing to a goalless draw against Villarreal on Saturday.

“To be honest, we focused a lot on the defensive end because that was the area that needed the most improvement,” said Ancelotti.

But as greater challenges lie ahead, the merits of his appointment have so far been clear, with Real Madrid enjoying the freedom that comes with lowered expectations and the emergence of youth.

“My relationship with the club is very good right now, it’s a honeymoon time for me,” Ancelotti said this week.

“We will have less brilliant moments, but my respect for this club will always be there, for what this club represents, the president, the supporters. More complicated times will come but we’ll have a good time. “- AFP

Add a Comment