Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti willing to persist with Sergio Ramos in midfield
Madrid, May 8 (IANS): Spanish football club Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has said he is willing to persist with his experiment of deploying defender Sergio Ramos in a midfield role.
Ramos was preferred to Lucas Silva, Sami Khedira and Asier Illarramendi in the midfield during his team's 1-2 Champions League first leg semi-final defeat against Italian champions Juventus away at Turin.
The 29-year-old Spaniard felt uneasy adapting to his new position and was severely criticised after the game.
“I have not made a decision on whether Ramos will be a midfielder again,” Ancelotti was quoted as saying on Friday.
“Ramos in midfield is not over yet, though. He can play in many positions and I believe in him 100 percent. He had a difficult game in Turin, but that doesn't mean he cannot play in midfield. I will field him there again if necessary.
“Playing Ramos in midfield is not a gamble. It was not a foolish move when we beat Atletico Madrid and Sevilla. I don't think it's reckless to play Sergio in midfield,” he added.
Midfielder Gareth Bale, under fire for a poor performance against Juventus, was also defended by Ancelotti.
“Bale's situation? We have not spoken with him individually because we do not care about those kinds of statistics. Bale did not have a good game, but neither did the rest of the team.”
“There is no need to talk with Bale about this. He will play well again versus Valencia, as will Real Madrid in general. We are fighting to win La Liga and the Champions League,” he said.
The Madrid boss also confirmed striker Karim Benzema would be up for selection though he is not 100 percent fit yet.
“Benzema is not 100 percent yet, but he is available again. He is feeling good again. We will make a decision on Saturday whether he makes the bench or not.”