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Carlo Ancelotti sets ambitious tone for Real Madrid’s Copa del Rey opener

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Carlo Ancelotti has made the intentions of Real Madrid clear as they enter the Copa del Rey, debuting against Arandina tomorrow at 21:30 CET.

The coach emphasized that the team, as defending champions, aims to win the competition once again. Ancelotti expressed his confidence during the pre-match press conference on Friday.

“We’ll start tomorrow and try to do our best. I hope we can bring our A-game, play a serious match, and compete as always. The team is focused, motivated, and ready for the game. As I’ve said, this competition brought us a lot of happiness last year,” said Carlo Ancelotti.

Reflecting on past victories in the Copa del Rey, Ancelotti mentioned, “The only conclusion I draw is that I’ve won this competition twice, and both times were unforgettable; once in Valencia and once in Seville.”

Regarding potential squad rotations, Ancelotti stated, “I wouldn’t speak of a game with changes. It will be a tough match, similar to last year against Cacereño. Tomorrow, we have to take it seriously because it will be challenging, but we’ll aim to win because this competition matters a lot to us. Due to fatigue, as we played on Wednesday night, I might make some changes, but the team will be competitive.”

Ancelotti also praised Bellingham, acknowledging his strong performance in the first part of the season. He said, “Considering his adaptation to our club, a new culture, and language, he has done very well. He’s the best for us.”

Additionally, the coach shared warm sentiments about Sergio Ramos, expressing, “I have a special affection for him, and I wish him the best in his career. He will succeed because he is a serious professional and a brave man.”

Kroos is confirmed to be in Saudi Arabia, recovering from a minor ankle issue after the Mallorca game. Arda Güler might feature as a starter in the upcoming match. Mendy is not yet available, but Ancelotti expects him back for the Supercopa.

Ancelotti also confirmed that Kroos, Tchouaméni, and Vinicius will not be traveling for the upcoming match, but all other players are available. Expecting a challenging game, he hinted at making changes to keep the team competitive.

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