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Aug 2, 2014

Ancelotti: Real's struggles 'normal'

Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti believes Louis van Gaal is the right man to lead Manchester United going forward.

Real Madrid's preseason struggles on their American tour are "normal," coach Carlo Ancelotti said after his side lost 3-1 to Manchester United on Saturday.

The European champions lost all three of their matches in the International Champions Cup, including defeats to Inter (on penalties) and Roma, and Ancelotti said Real are not yet ready to start the season.

- Rigg: Casillas struggles again in another defeat

"We can't be ready, obviously, the way we are. We have players that just joined up a week ago," Ancelotti after the match in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Real's two big acquisitions, Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez, have yet to feature following their World Cup heroics, and Ronaldo only made his preseason debut in the second half on Saturday.

"Obviously, the team isn't necessarily accustomed to playing without Cristiano or some other players, but it's normal that we're going through this."

Real Madrid have struggled without their complement of players, losing three in a row.

A day after Ancelotti said his star winger would not play against United, Ronaldo came in with 20 minutes to play as many in the U.S.-record crowd of 109,318 were chanting his name.

Ronaldo has been battling lingering knee injuries since last season and seemed to be less than fully fit with Portugal at the World Cup.

"His condition is improving," Ancelotti said. "I think that he needs another week to train with the teammates, and then I think he will be ready for the first game of the season."

Real Madrid open with the UEFA Super Cup against Europa League titleholders Sevilla on Aug. 12.

"Cristiano really wants to play in the Super Cup and for this reason I only gave him 20 minutes," Ancelotti said.

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