On the eve of his side’s Champions League group game against Celtic, Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has defended the comments he made in relation to the penalty given to Girona at the weekend.
The Italian coach has been reprimanded for claiming that the referee ‘invented’ a penalty against his team in the 1-1 draw.
However, he insists that there was no ill feeling meant in those words and that he simply felt it was the wrong decision.
« They have reprimanded me for what I said. Invented penalty in Italy means that they called a penalty which wasn’t one, » said Ancelotti in his pre-match press conference in Madrid.
« It has nothing to do with bad faith or accusations against the referee. It doesn’t change anything for me if they give me a four-game ban.
« For me it wasn’t a penalty, according to what they told us at the beginning of the season.
« No one is infallible. If I get four games, well, I’ll be patient. I’ve coached 1,200, so if I have to miss four… »
Turning his attentions to Wednesday’s closing game in Group F, Ancelotti expects an intense but open game. His team need a win to guarantee top spot in the group, while Celtic cannot avoid finishing bottom.
« It’s an important game. Our aim is to finish first in the group, » said Ancelotti.
« Celtic are an intense team. We are keen to show our best level again and the conditions are there to do that. Celtic won’t change their identity.
« They will play their game with passion. It will be a very open match. I have a lot of respect for that team. »
Real Madrid the sole survivors
While confirming that Aurelien Tchouameni is out and Karim Benzema is a doubt, the Madrid coach was also asked about the potential of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid not making the last 16.
« I wouldn’t sleep well, I don’t think anyone at a big team would if they were knocked out the Champions League, » said Ancelotti.
« But it’s premature to be talking about Spanish football being in crisis.
« Spanish teams could still win the Champions League and the Europa League. We need to wait until the end. »
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