Ancelotti wants even more from Ronaldo
Carlo Ancelotti says he will expect even better performances from Cristiano Ronaldo, now the Real Madrid attacker has secured the Ballon d’Or 2013 trophy.
Ronaldo enjoyed an upturn in form during the period when votes for the award were being submitted in late October and early November, scoring a phenomenal 13 goals in six games for club and country -- including the stunning hat trick against Sweden that clinched Portugal’s place at next year’s World Cup.
The Madrid boss said he expected such motivation levels to continue through 2014, and that he would ask for even better displays and more goals from his star man.
“Cristiano has been playing very well,” Ancelotti said. “Winning the Ballon d’Or was a great motivation for him, and it will be the same again for the next year. It was not a weight on him.
“Now he has more responsibility as the holder of the Ballon d’Or, we can ask more from him. It is difficult to ask more from someone who has scored more than 60 goals in a season, but I have the courage to ask for even more.”
Ronaldo brought his second career Ballon d’Or trophy to training at Madrid’s Valdebebas facility on Tuesday morning, with the whole squad and staff joining in for a group photo.
Ancelotti said the award was something to celebrate, and individuals with Ronaldo’s professionalism and attitude were good for the sport of football.
“It is a good day today as we have congratulated Cristiano for the prize,” Ancelotti said. “He deserved it, and everyone must be happy with that, above all him. He liked it a lot -- he has worked a lot for this. He was very emotional, very happy. We all took a photo. It has all ended well.
“His professionalism on and off the pitch is a good example for all youths. He leaves a good image on the pitch, with fair play, serious attitude, he does not protest. This is positive for football in general. Football needs this type of player -- like Messi, [Franck] Ribery, Thiago Silva, [Andrea] Pirlo…”
Meanwhile, Ancelotti said Real Madrid should progress in the Copa del Rey ahead of Wednesday’s last-16 second leg against Osasuna after claiming a 2-0 win at the Bernabeu in the first meeting.
However, the Italian remembered that his side had suffered on the way to drawing 2-2 at the Reyna de Navarra Stadium in December and warned it may be difficult.
“The players are motivated, they are committed,” he said. “They all know how difficult it is to play in Pamplona against Osasuna. We have had problems there. We need to play an intense game as they will do everything possible to win. We must concentrate, play our football, not think about the advantage, and try to score the first goal as quickly as possible.”
The Italian coach said Fabio Coentrao -- who has been linked with a move to Manchester United -- would start the game, while first choice left-back Marcelo and in-form midfielder Luka Modric were set to be rested.
“Coentrao is fit,” Ancelotti said. “He is in the squad and he will play tomorrow. He is focused and motivated to play.”