Carlo Ancelotti is not one for overwhelming his Real Madrid players with talks full of tactical ideas and complex instructions. The Italian prefers clear and simple messages.
According to Relevo, before El Clásico on Sunday, Ancelotti asked his team to be compact to prevent Barcelona play playing between the lines and entrusted Toni Kroos and Aurélien Tchouaméni with a special mission: to keep a close eye on Frenkie de Jong and Pedri, a task the midfield pair carried out superbly. Neither of the two Barca players felt comfortable and they ended up stifled.
Kroos is in his best form in recent years and some of the credit for that must also go to Ancelotti. The German is one of the coach’s right-hand men, and when asked if he has asked Kroos to renew his contract (it expires in June), Ancelotti said: “He knows perfectly well what we all think; me, his team-mates, the club… we don’t need to push him into anything. He’s a professional and he loves Madrid so much that whatever he decides we’ll be happy”.