Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has refused to call Lionel Messi the best in history and seemingly thrown Karim Benzema into the debate.
WHAT HAPPENED?Ahead of Real Madrids return to action following the conclusion of the World Cup, Ancelotti was quizzed on all things football by reporters. WithMessi having won the tournament with Argentina, naturally he was asked if he now considers him to be the best player in history, to which he gave a rather interesting response.
WHAT HE SAID:Ancelotti explained:Its hard to say. Hes a great footballer. His career is spectacular but if hes the best in history, I dont know because each era has had very important players.Saying that hes been the best in history isnt going to come out of my mouth.
THE BIGGER PICTURE:The Real boss went further in his analysis of the debate, suggesting that his own striker, Karim Benzema, has a right to be in the conversation: I have enjoyed all the players and now I have a Ballon dOr (winner) every day here (Benzema). I have seen Maradona and Cruyff and I have enjoyed them.The Frenchman won the 2022 Ballon dOrfollowing an exceptional season where he fired Real to a La Liga and Champions League double, following years of consistent world-class form. Interestingly, though, there was no mention of Cristiano Ronaldo, who Ancelotti coached in his first spell at Real.
AND WHATS MORE:Ancelotti also gave an update on Benzemas fitness, with the striker having been left out of Frances World Cup squad due to injury. Weve got Benzema back and thats good, he said. He came back on December 10. He started working with the team, played 30 minutes and 45 minutes in friendlies and hes doing well, with enormous enthusiasm. He knows that his first leg of the season has not been good and he wants to show things in the second. Hes going to show all his quality in this stretch of the season.
WHAT NEXT FOR REAL MADRID?The veteran manager will be hoping the early withdrawal from the World Cup has allowed Benzema to get back to his best possible shape, with the Blancos set to get back to La Liga action against Real Valladolid on Friday.
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