Haaland for Vinicius at Real Madrid? Not for Ancelotti

By Sports Desk April 14, 2023

Carlo Ancelotti would not swap Vinicius Junior for Erling Haaland, with the two looking likely to come up against one another in the Champions League semi-finals.

Both Manchester City and Real Madrid comfortably won their quarter-final first legs against Bayern Munich and Chelsea respectively, with star players Haaland and Vinicius shining again.

Haaland has scored an incredible 45 goals for City this season, while Vinicius has 21 goals and 14 assists in 45 appearances for Madrid.

While a prominent goal threat, Vinicius leads the way for Madrid in chances created (89) and expected assists (10.68), and only Eduardo Camavinga has made more appearances than the winger for Los Blancos this term.

Asked at a press conference ahead of Madrid's LaLiga trip to Cadiz if he would trade the Brazilian for the Norwegian, Ancelotti said: "No, what a question! 

"Each one has his own. Madrid takes advantage of Vinicius and [City manager Pep] Guardiola from Haaland."

Ancelotti confirmed he will be without Vinicius as well as Toni Kroos for Saturday's game at Cadiz, with both having adductor strains, but insisted it is merely a precaution.

Former Milan, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain boss Ancelotti also queried the notion that English clubs are often considered favourites for the Champions League, such as City this season.

 

Ancelotti masterminded wins over Chelsea, City and Liverpool last season on the way to becoming the first coach to win the Champions League on four occasions.

Madrid knocked out Liverpool this season and are 2-0 up against Chelsea after the first leg of their quarter-final.

"I'm not bothered, because the truth is that English football has teams that compete very well," he said. "It doesn't surprise me that the English are favourites, although Spanish football took two teams to the semi-finals last year, this year Italy has three in the quarter-finals. 

"The English think they have the strongest league, but outside there are other championships that continue to compete with less money, such as Spain and Italy."

Madrid were beaten 3-2 at home by Villarreal in their last league outing, now sitting 13 points behind leaders Barcelona with 10 games remaining.

Ancelotti insists his team will continue to give their all in LaLiga though, suggesting a club of Madrid's stature could not do less.

"We have to respect the competition and if we can't get to the first position, we have to be second," he said. 

"We wear a shirt that demands fighting until the end."

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    Tchouameni picked the ball up around 25 yards out before drilling in a rising drive which took a deflection off a Mallorca defender and spun off up into the top right corner.

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