‘I’m not crazy’ – Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti explains reason for playing Antonio Rudiger at left-back against Barcelona

    Antonio Rudiger may be used at left-back next season, with Carlo Ancelotti keen to maintain the partnership of David Alaba and Eder Militao.

    Rudiger, 29, has been one the world’s best centre-backs over the past few years and moved to Los Blancos from Chelsea this summer.

    Rudiger (L) could start in a new position next year for Real Madrid

    Getty

    Rudiger (L) could start in a new position next year for Real Madrid

    The defender impressed in the 1-0 defeat to Barcelona

    Getty

    The defender impressed in the 1-0 defeat to Barcelona

    But despite his talents in the middle, the Germany international was deployed at full-back on Saturday, as Real lost 1-0 to Barcelona in El Clasico in Las Vegas.

    “I liked him a lot. I am not crazy and he is very intelligent. He can play in that position, just as he can also change in the match with Alaba. They didn’t do so today, because it went well,” the Italian said post-match.

    Rudiger, known for his marauding runs, did well in his outing and even offered one shot on goal that went wide during the defeat to the Catalan giants.

    His overall game was hailed by new teammate Thibaut Courtois after the clash.

    “I think he’s a great player, he contributes a lot,” said he Belgian, who also noted his temperament.

    “Above all he has plenty of personality and intensity as we saw in that brawl,” he added.

    Alaba and Militao’s partnership is something Ancelotti does not want change

    getty

    Alaba and Militao’s partnership is something Ancelotti does not want change

    Ancelotti was questioned as to why he didn’t use Alaba at left-back given he almost played there for over a decade at Bayern Munich.

    “[Alaba] as a left-back…only when necessary,” he said. “I don’t want to change the pair from last year.”

    Alaba and Militao put in a number of impressive performances for LaLiga’s champions last season, helping them to the domestic title and a 14th Champions League triumph.

    Real Madrid have previously been linked with a move for former player and Tottenham left-back Sergio Reguilon, as a replacement for Marcelo who left the club this summer.

    However, if Rudiger continues to impress in the full-back role, the Brazilian’s replacement may already be at the club it seems.

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    It could be a wise move by Ancelotti, given Rudiger was the fastest player in the Premier League last year (36.7 km/h), and moving to the left flank allows him to join the attack more given he is very comfortable on the ball.

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