Athletic Bilbao knocked Real Madrid out of the Copa del Rey, earning a 1-0 victory against Los Blancos at San Mames. The winning goal came as late as the 89th minute when Alex Berenguer stepped up to score.
There have been many who has criticised Carlo Ancelotti’s team selection who didn’t bring on Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale despite the absence of Benzema. He instead decided to play the South American players who just returned from international duty.
The Real Madrid coach has now defended himself and his team selection.
Carlo Ancelotti defends his team selection after getting knocked out by Atyeltic Club from Copa del Rey
Ancelotti said in his pre-match press conference, via Marca: “I’m the one who sees the players every day.”
“I’m not hurt, I’m used to this, to living through these moments, as Real Madrid coach you always have to make decisions.”
“Sometimes you’re right and sometimes you’re wrong, it’s nothing new.”
Gareth Bale was seen laughing on the bench during their loss to Athletic Club.
Ancelotti said: “I didn’t see it, I don’t know why he laughed, but it doesn’t seem important to me.”
“I wanted to put Hazard on in extra time, and that’s why he warmed up.”
“We’re fine, we’ve had injuries to Karim, Mendy and Mariano but they all return next week and this difficult period is going to end.”
Carlo Ancelotti also commented on the absence of Karim Benzema and how it is affecting the team.
He said: “The player who is the top scorer is missing.”
“Every team has a player like that, and if he’s missing then it’s clear you’re going to lose something.”
“We’ve had games without him where we have played well and won.”