3 August 2014 15:32
Carlo Ancelotti expects James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos to boost Real Madrid’s close-season preparations ahead of the UEFA Super Cup.
The European champions failed to win a game during the International Champions Cup – rounding off their time in the United States with a 3-1 defeat to Manchester United on Saturday.
Ancelotti’s men will now prepare for their Super Cup clash with Sevilla on August 12 – and the Italian coach thinks the introduction of World Cup winner Kroos as well as Colombian star Rodriguez will improve preparations.
“I’m sure that we’ll play with a different level of intensity and spirit in the Super Cup,” said Ancelotti after the defeat to United.
“James Rodriguez joined up and began training with the team [on Friday]. He’ll be training and I think, potentially, he’ll be able to play.
“There will be players [Kroos and Rodriguez] who will be joining the team and will improve our quality. The two new arrivals are both good players and will help the squad.”
Cristiano Ronaldo made his first appearance of the close-season against his former club on Saturday after suffering with injuries towards the end of last season and throughout the World Cup.
Ancelotti backed the Portugal captain to be fit for the Super Cup in Cardiff and said his absence had served as a blow for Real’s preparations.
“We have some players who have just joined up a week ago and are not in optimal condition, but that’s normal,” he added.
“Obviously, the team isn’t necessarily accustomed to playing without Cristiano and some other players, but it’s normal that we’re going through this.
“Cristiano played 20 minutes. It means his condition is improving. He needs another week to train with his team-mates and then I think he will be ready for the first game of the season.”