Ancelotti moving on from Blatter row
01 November 2013, 18:46
Madrid - Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has welcomed Sepp Blatter's apology for comments he made about Cristiano Ronaldo, but says the FIFA president ought to think more before he speaks.
Blatter enraged Madrid and Ronaldo himself by describing him as a "commander on the field", whilst also saying he preferred four-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi to the Portuguese when speaking to a group of students at Oxford University last week.
After complaints to FIFA by Madrid and the Portuguese Football Federation, Blatter apologised for any offence caused and described Ronaldo as an "exceptional" player.
"It surprised me a lot, Cristiano is very professional. He gives everything and I can't say anymore," Ancelotti said on Friday.
"The damage is done. All the answers are good, but the damage is done. Sometimes before speaking it is better to think and count to 10. I do that many times."
Ronaldo responded in the best possible manner on the field with a hat-trick in Madrid's 7-3 thrashing of Sevilla on Wednesday.
And the former Manchester United man even performed a military salute in celebration of his first goal in mocking reference to Blatter's comments.
Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema also scored twice and provided two assists each, but Ancelotti refused to confirm that those three would start up front against Rayo Vallecano on Saturday with Tuesday's Champions League clash with Juventus in mind.
"I think I am going to rotate the players a little, that will be good for the game on Tuesday.
"Tomorrow we need to play with intensity. Some of the players that didn't play against Sevilla are going to play.
"I don't know if the same three will play together again tomorrow, but they are in good shape, they have recovered well and don't have any problems."
The Italian did confirm that Xabi Alonso would make his first start of the season after making his comeback from injury in midweek, whilst Raphael Varane misses out as he is still struggling to play three games in a week after recent knee surgery.
Rayo have yet to take a point from Madrid since returning to the top flight over two years ago and have the worst defensive record in La Liga having conceded 27 goals in just 11 games.
But Ancelotti wants his own side to tighten up at the back after their poor defensive display against Sevilla.
"I prefer games where Real Madrid can play well for 90 minutes in attack and in defence. Against Sevilla we could have done better in defence.
"Tomorrow we need to do better to not give up so many opportunities.
"It is a derby and they are always different games. Madrid have won the last five times, but sometimes it has been difficult. I hope that we play well to continue the good moment that we are in."