Carlo Ancelotti praised Luka modric and Toni Kroos after the veteran midfielders staged Real Madrid’s 1-0 Champions League round of 16 win over Liverpool on Wednesday.
Karim Benzema scored in the 78th minute with junior vinicius providing the assist as reigning champions Madrid beat last year’s beaten finalists Liverpool 6-2 on aggregate to qualify for the quarter-finals.
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Ancelotti said that the performances of midfielders Modric and Kroos, whose contracts expire this summer, as well as youngsters eduardo camavinga It had been key to Madrid’s control of the game.
“We are a modern team. Football today demands collective commitment, individual quality, energy and experience,” said the Italian coach at the post-match press conference. “Modric and Kroos played well today. The team could have been afraid of having the ball to avoid their pressure, but they did well and we controlled the game.”
“The atmosphere is created by the players,” added Ancelotti. “The humility of the veterans is the key, they have no ego. The youngsters are patient, they know they have players with fantastic careers ahead of them. But Modric and Kroos don’t play for the careers they’ve had, they play because they deserve it.”
Ancelotti said Benzema had suffered “some discomfort” after scoring but would be available for Sunday’s La Liga Clasico with Barcelona, echoing earlier words from Benzema himself, who described it as “a blow”. and described Vinicius as the best player in history. the world right now.
“It is, for me,” Ancelotti said. “Today he didn’t score but he was decisive, he gave the assist and every time he faced a player he was dangerous.”
Madrid’s victory saw them join Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Napoli, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Benfica in the quarter-final draw, which will take place on Friday.