Ancelotti gives Vinicius vote of confidence amid Mbappe rumours

By Sports Desk November 27, 2021

Carlo Ancelotti has insisted that Vinicius Junior will continue to play in his favoured left-wing role regardless of who may join Real Madrid in the future, with Kylian Mbappe heavily linked.

Vinicius has been one of Madrid's standout performers this season, recording 10 goals and five assists in just 18 appearances across all competitions so far – second only to Karim Benzema (15 and eight respectively) in both categories at the club.

Madrid were reportedly keen to sign Paris Saint-Germain star Mbappe in the transfer window, but a move never materialised, although the 22-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and continues to be touted as a target.

However, Ancelotti has reassured Vinicius of his place in the side no matter who may arrive in future transfer windows.

"Vinicius is a player who has to play on the left and he will continue to do it regardless of [what other players are at the club]," Ancelotti said ahead of Madrid's LaLiga match against Sevilla on Sunday.

Ancelotti was asked about the club's new stadium plans and any potential future changes to the squad, but refused to be drawn on specific players such as Mbappe and Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland.

"I like good players and they are both very good," Ancelotti continued. "I have talked about the future of this club, which has always been very clear. 

"The new stadium, the squad we have with many young people, a lot of quality, means that the future is going to be better.

"I imagine the new stadium with Ancelotti. I don't want to mix names and hopefully, Carlo will be the coach of the new stadium."

Madrid are one point clear at the top of LaLiga with a game in hand on Real Sociedad and face a tricky task on Sunday as they host third-placed Sevilla.

Los Blancos have not lost any of their last five games against Sevilla in LaLiga (W4 D1). Not since April 2003 have they gone six or more without a loss in this league fixture.

Indeed, Madrid are unbeaten in their last 12 home games against the Rojiblancos in LaLiga (W11 D1), scoring an average of 3.25 goals per game across that run.

Related items

  • Brady quiet on playing future amid retirement talk after Bucs' playoffs exit Brady quiet on playing future amid retirement talk after Bucs' playoffs exit

    Tom Brady declined to discuss his playing future amid retirement talk after almost pulling off a miracle comeback as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers crashed out of the NFL playoffs.

    The Bucs trailed 27-3 but fought back to level the game in the final quarter before eventually losing 30-27 to the Los Angeles Rams in Sunday's Divisional playoff.

    Brady threw a spectacular pass for Mike Evans for a 55-yard touchdown to make it 27-20 in the fourth quarter.

    Tampa Bay's exit comes amid growing speculation about the 44-year-old quarterback's future, with one year remaining on his Bucs contract.

    "I haven’t put a lot of thought into it. Just take it day-by-day and see where we’re at,” Brady told reporters after the game.

    Brady added: "The truth of it is I'm only thinking about this game. I'm not thinking about anything past five minutes from now."

    Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians offered no insight into the situation either, stating "that's up to Tom" when pressed on the issue.

    Brady completed 30 of 54 attempts for 329 yards and one touchdown in Sunday's defeat. The seven-time Super Bowl champion had a 67.5 percent completion rate for a career-high 5,316 yards with 43 touchdowns and 12 interceptions this season.

    The Bucs had entered the playoffs as the NFC's second seed but fell short after going all the way last season as fifth seeds.

    "Always tough losing at the end of the year," Brady said.

    "Obviously we showed a lot of fight but at the end of the day when you lose a game, you lose a game."

  • Xavi: Alaves win shows there is life in Barcelona yet Xavi: Alaves win shows there is life in Barcelona yet

    Barcelona head coach Xavi says Sunday's 1-0 win at Alaves shows that there is life in the Blaugrana yet.

    Frenkie de Jong netted an 88th-minute winner to clinch the points for Xavi's side, who move up to fifth in LaLiga, one point behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid.

    Barcelona bossed possession (76-24 percent) and generated 10-6 shots with 4-2 on target, getting their just reward with the Dutchman's late goal.

    "It cost us a lot, but they were three crucial points and the team needed and deserved them," Xavi told reporters. "The sun has risen again, this victory shows that there is life."

    He added: "It means a lot of confidence, continuing to believe in what we do."

    Barcelona will enjoy a break before their next league game against Spanish champions Atletico Madrid on Sunday 6 February.

    “We are in the fight, one point away from the Champions League," Xavi said. "These days are going to come in handy. They will come in very handy."

    The Barcelona boss was also complimentary towards teenager Pedri, who has only just returned to the fold following a thigh injury. Pedri made his first LaLiga start since August.

    "He’s a marvellous little player, and at 19, to do everything well is spectacular," Xavi said.

    "How he looks in possession, how he perceives the game, he is excellent and the model player. He can lead by character, quality, ambition, it’s great to have him back in the team."

  • England survive to level series after astonishing West Indies onslaught England survive to level series after astonishing West Indies onslaught

    England edged out West Indies by one run in an extraordinary second T20I at Kensington Oval, just about making up for their wretched start to the series.

    There looked to be no doubt about the outcome when West Indies crumbled to 98-8 in pursuit of England's 171-8, but Akeal Hosein and Romario Shepherd both blazed innings of 44 not out to leave the home side just short on 170-8.

    Hosein finished the match with three consecutive sixes off Saqib Mahmood, whose final over cost 28 runs as West Indies' chase ended in heroic failure.

    After a nine-wicket battering on Saturday, England delivered a more competitive performance, with Reece Topley making a successful return to international cricket. For Topley, this was a first T20I appearance since facing South Africa in March 2016 and his brilliance had West Indies in immediate trouble at 6-2 in their reply to a solid England score.

    After a relatively slow start, Jason Roy carted Fabian Allen for 24 runs from the 11th over as England began to pile on the runs. Roy top-scored with 45 before he was caught just inside the ropes at long-on by Kieron Polland off Shepherd, while Moeen Ali made a useful 31 and Chris Jordan flung the bat for 27 from 15 balls.

    Topley then gave England a superb start with the ball, snaring Brandon King lbw with the second delivery of West Indies' reply before smartly running out Shai Hope.

    Nicholas Pooran had been dropped twice before James Vince held an exemplary diving catch at deep midwicket to give Moeen the wicket of the dangerman for 24 in the eighth over, and West Indies imploded from there, or so it seemed.

    Adil Rashid had Pollard and Darren Bravo pinned lbw, each time needing a review to get the decision, before Ali accounted for Jason Holder and Odean Smith in the 12th over, leaving the home side on 65-7.

    Fabian Allen followed for 12 at the start of the 16th over, but then came the big flurry as West Indies, with two wickets remaining, got to the point where they needed 38 from the final two overs. Topley temporarily applied the brakes, but Mahmood was almost powerless to resist the big-hitting ninth-wicket pair, Shepherd making his runs from 28 balls and Hosein from just 16 deliveries.


    A theme persists

    West Indies have now alternated between victory and defeat in their last five men's T20I home matches. Their lower order gave England a headache in the closing overs, but recent history pointed to West Indies probably struggling to follow up their opening win. Indeed, the last time West Indies won their first two T20Is in a calendar year was in 2016, as they beat England and Sri Lanka in consecutive matches.

    West Indies go down fighting

    The hosts looked toast when they went seven down, but the lower order made England suffer horrendously, even as West Indies fell short of the victory target. The tourists' bowlers were seriously unsettled by the big hitting of Shepherd and Hosein, and there might be a lasting psychological impact caused by that pair, ahead of the third game in the five-match series on Wednesday.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.