Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti came to the defence of his underperforming squad as they prepare to begin their defence of the Champions League against Basel on Tuesday.
Real have had a horrible start to the season, losing the Supercopa de España to city rivals Atletico, and then only winning one of their first three games in La Liga. Ancelotti’s side lready trail Barcelona by six points in the league, having lost at Real Sociedad and at home to Atletico Madrid on Saturday.
Still Ancelotti believes he has the talent at his disposal to become the first side to retain the trophy in the Champions League era.
“I feel like a coach that has to fix things with the team just like last season. This match arrives at the right time because any game can be good for the team to react.
“We have a lot of desire for this competition, we want to be competitive and try to win it again. It is a motivating factor to be competitive in the most important competition in the world.
“We have good memories of last season’s competition and we will fight to repeat it this season. I wouldn’t change this squad for any other in Europe.”
The sale of Angel di Maria and Xabi Alonso, in part to pay for James Rodriguez, has left Ancelotti short on options to change the side that lost to Atletico.
Ancelotti made the decision to go with captain Iker Casillas in goal this season, a move that has not paid off. King Iker was booed by large number of Real fans at the Bernabeu at the weekend after conceding from a corner for the third time in two games. But the Real Madrid boss does seemed concerned with the form of his goalkeeper saying:
“Casillas has experience and character to deal with this situation without any problem,” said Ancelotti. “The debate for me is closed.
“I want to be clear that in our team the debate doesn’t exist. I will not speak of the goalkeepers this season.”
One player whose form has to concern the Italian is Rodriguez, as the Colombian has failed to live up to his massive €75m price tag. Rodriguez was an ego buy, made by Real president Florentino Pérez, as his purchase and subsequent sale of di Maria and Alonso not only upset the chemistry on the pitch, it upset the dressing room, with Ronaldo in particular furious that di Maria was allowed to go to Man United.