Ancelotti unsure about Bellingham fitness for Real Madrid-Braga

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Jude Bellingham’s shoulder will be assessed ahead of Real Madrid’s Champions League clash with Braga, after the star midfielder returned to training on Tuesday, Carlo Ancelotti said.

Bellingham — who is Real Madrid’s top scorer in all competitions this season with 13 goals — fell awkwardly in the first half of his side’s 0-0 draw with Rayo Vallecano on Sunday and is a doubt for Wednesday’s group stage match. Santiago Bernabeu.

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“I don’t know if he will play [against Braga]”, Ancelotti said in his pre-match press conference.

“He’s recovered. He felt comfortable in training. He didn’t take part in the whole session to protect the shoulder, but he felt good in all his movements. I’ll assess it with him tomorrow.”

Club captain Nacho Fernandez hailed Bellingham’s “Real Madrid DNA”.

“He’s a fighter and a winner,” Nacho said. “In every training session and in every game, he only thinks about competing and winning. He has started in the best way possible, scored a lot of goals and helped the team. He has shown that he has what it takes. It is a huge pleasure to have. Such. The player is here.”

Madrid top Champions League Group C with the most points so far after wins over Union Berlin, Napoli and Braga, but Sunday’s goalless draw left them two points behind La Liga leaders Girona.

Ancelotti denied the team’s goal-scoring ability – beyond Bellingham – was a concern, after criticizing forwards Vinicius Junior, who has two league goals this season, and Rodrigo Gose, who has one.

“I think if you consider less [goals] You’re more likely to win,” Ancelotti said. “We’ve averaged two goals in our time here, and I think we’re more or less at the moment. That’s what’s important. The team has done a lot defensively this season, with a lot of clean sheets and that means you don’t need so many goals.”

“We have patience [with Rodrygo]”Said Ancelotti.” Forwards go through these spells, sometimes you shoot a lot and you don’t score, other times you touch it and it goes in. Rodrigo is the player who has taken the most shots in La Liga. He moves well, he gets into the box, sometimes his shot is blocked or he is not efficient… this moment will pass.”

Vinicius’ attitude has also been questioned after frequent clashes with the opposition, including in last month’s Clasico. Former Barcelona captain Carles Puyol said this week that Vinicius would get “more recognition” if he changed his attitude on the pitch.

“We’ve talked [Vinicius] A lot, since he came to Real Madrid,” said Nacho. “Maybe he is a player who is more excited than others, with the way he plays, he takes players, he hits the opponent… he is changing a bit. bit It’s inevitable, he has so many characters, he’ll get into some fights. He is well looked after here.

“If Puyol wants to talk to Vinicius personally, let him, he has a lot of experience,” added Ancelotti. “Vinny continues to make the difference. That’s what we think. Maybe he needs to improve his attitude in some situations. But also he’s improved a lot, and he’s still improving, and we’re delighted with him for what he does on the pitch.” “

Real Madrid announced a new deal for Eduardo Camavinga on Tuesday, extending the 20-year-old midfielder’s contract at the Bernabeu until 2029.

“Real Madrid and Kamavinga have agreed to extend the player’s contract, keeping him at the club until June 30, 2029,” Madrid said in a statement.

“Kamavinga arrived at Real Madrid in 2021 aged just 18 and won six trophies in his first two seasons… At just 20, [Camavinga] Already played 114 matches in Real Madrid shirt.”

It follows the confirmation of new contracts for Vinicius and Rodrigo last week.

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