Everyone knows what’s happened – Carlo Ancelotti fires back at Barcelona

By Sports Desk January 26, 2024

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has hit back at Barcelona in a row between the rival clubs over refereeing standards.

Title-chasing Real controversially beat bottom side Almeria 3-2 in LaLiga last weekend after a number of contentious VAR calls went in their favour.

Commenting on what occurred, Barca boss Xavi claimed his side could not expect such luck with refereeing decisions.

“I already said in Getafe that it was going to be very difficult to win this league,” said Xavi, whose side are seven points behind second-placed Real. “There are things that we do not control, everyone has seen it.”

Barca president Joan Laporta went even further in his criticisms, suggesting the whole competition had been “corrupted” by the Almeria controversies.

Ancelotti responded on Friday with a thinly veiled reference to the ongoing investigation into Barcelona and alleged historic payments to Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, the former vice-president of Spain’s referees’ committee.

“I don’t like to get into this kind of controversy,” told reporters Ancelotti at a press conference carried by the club’s website to preview Saturday’s game at Las Palmas.

“There’s been a lot of talk this week and I think the same as I said before. We don’t have to divert the issue, everyone knows what has happened in Spanish football over the last 20 years.

“That’s the problem of Spanish football, not the league being adulterated, because it isn’t. Spanish football has had a problem and the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office and the Guardia Civil are carrying out investigations and we have to give them time and patience.”

Ancelotti expects his team to rally after being questioned this week in the aftermath of the dramatic Almeria game, in which Real fought back from 2-0 down to win in the last minute.

He said: “We will try to perform at our best in a game that could be difficult because Las Palmas play very good football and defend really well. It’s going to be a demanding game.

“We’re motivated to get back to playing at our best and be more solid at the back. This week has been good for us, we’ve rested. The team is in good shape.”

Ancelotti will have to make one notable change to his line-up, with England midfielder Jude Bellingham suspended after clocking up his fifth LaLiga booking last week.

Ancelotti said: “We’ve been able to make up for the absence of important players many times and we’ll do the same again.”

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