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Jan 10, 2014

Ancelotti will 'wage war' for Casillas

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti said he would “wage war” to ensure goalkeeper Iker Casillas finished his career at the Bernabeu.

Iker Casillas
Carlo Ancelotti will 'wage war' to keep Iker Casillas at Real Madrid.

• Rigg: Encouraging results

World Cup winner Casillas is yet to make an appearance in La Liga this season after losing his place to Diego Lopez, but is preferred in goals in both the Copa del Rey and the Champions League.

And despite admitting it was not easy to choose between the best two keepers “in the world”, Ancelotti was adamant he would do everything necessary to keep club legend Casillas at the club.

"It was not an easy decision, I have two goalkeepers of high quality, the best two in the world," the Italian trainer told RNE.

"I started with Diego as my number one, but then did not consider that Casillas would not play. Rotating goalkeepers is not the most desirable thing, it is not easy, but they have understood.

"I'll fight the same way I did for Xabi [Alonso]. This team have key players representing the club and I will wage war for Casillas to finish his career here, in Madrid."

Alonso committed his future to the Spanish capital club after signing a new two-year contract extension earlier this week.

And Ancelotti said he was delighted the 32-year-old chose to stay with Madrid, admitting Alonso was a one of a kind player.

“Xabi is an important signing for his quality and experience," Ancelotti said. "Losing him [would have been awful] because there is not another player like him at his level.

"You can only compare [Andrea] Pirlo, who is 35 years old. Everybody loves Xabi here, he brings more balance to the team. Luka is much improved, though, he has shown his ability."

Ancelotti also revealed the reason as to why Madrid are lagging behind fierce rivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in the league this season. 

Madrid currently sit in third position in La Liga, five points behind the joint leaders.

"We're not doing as well because we changed philosophy this season," he added. "Last year's Madrid played more on the counterattack, we want to play with more possession. It takes time to adjust.

"It will take a little longer to catch Barcelona and Atletico. I am aware that some people's patience is limited, which is normal because Madrid have to try to win every year.

"If we beat Espanyol this weekend then we'll have 47 points halfway through the season, which is not bad. But Barca or Atletico could have 52."

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