Jude Bellingham, the top midfield player, suffered a sprained ankle on Tuesday and was forced to miss Real Madrid’s Champions League round of 16 first leg against RB Leipzig. However, Carlo Ancelotti believes his squad can play without Bellingham.
The England international was anticipated to miss three weeks after limping out in the 57th minute of Saturday’s 4-0 La Liga victory over Girona, which gave Madrid a five-point lead at the top of the league table.
With 20 goals in all competitions this season, including four in his five Champions League games thus far as the La Liga powerhouses topped their group, Bellingham leads Madrid’s goal scorers.
Ancelotti stated, “We never think about those [players] who aren’t here,” during Monday’s pre-match press conference in Leipzig. “It is more equitable to consider the people present. We have won four of our last four games [this season] without Bellingham. Those who have taken his place, such as Joselu or Brahim [Díaz], have performed admirably.
“Bellingham is a very good player — like [Thibaut] Courtois,[Éder] Militão, [David] Alaba — but tomorrow it’s an opportunity to be even more motivated.”
Toni Kroos, a midfielder for Real Madrid, stated he hasn’t decided yet whether to stay with the team past this summer or if to unexpectedly return to the Germany national team for the Euros after retiring in 2021.
“I always tell you the truth, and the truth is I don’t know,” Kroos stated. “I’m considering my options right now. I haven’t made up my mind yet. I’m glad that more people want me to play for another year because that’s preferable to them wanting me to stop.”
Before retiring after Euro 2020, Kroos, who has been a standout player for Real Madrid this season, collected 106 caps for Germany and helped them win the 2014 World Cup.
“Many factors influence it,” Kroos stated. “I aim to have the best possible finish to my career. I’m having fun right now. I should have a little more time to consider my options since I want to make the right choice. The national squad is in the same boat. Like with my renewal, I’m debating it but I’m not sure.”
When asked about Germán, Ancelotti replied, “For me, it’s hard to say which is his best season, because he’s always the best.” “He has the same percentage of [completed] passes as he did ten years ago… His character hasn’t altered.
He is a member of an enthusiastic squad, and he excels at controlling the game when he has the ball.
Ancelotti continued, “You have to respect his decision because it’s his.” “You must emerge victorious. However, you must pick the appropriate moment. This year might be the best for Toni Kroos, or it might be next year.”
Due to a walkout by airport security, Madrid had to take a plane to Erfurt, which is about 90 miles away from Leipzig, and then take a bus to finish the trip.
Madrid’s bus was involved in a small incident with a car on the way, according to the German tabloid Bild, but no casualties were recorded.